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Problem Child by Jurgen Namupira Troy

Luke 18:16-17

But Jesus called unto them and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for such is the kingdom of God.

“Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”

*********

The problem was not the problem but the cause of their problem was the actual problem.

She was raised in an almost perfect way. Anything desired for her goodwill was readily available. As an only child she had all the attention of her parents. They loved her and vowed to guard her with all their might and provisions. However, one thing was missing in the life of this child.

It took them close to six solid years to conceive after their perfect and magnificent wedding. They had the best wedding event in the community and up to date none other has met their standards. Even big wigs from the parliament were present on that day. All went well as according to their plans but one thing seemed not to be working in their favour.

They did all they could, they tried seeking help from specialists nothing wrong was identified. They longed for a flower in the house but nature did not allow it to grow. Whenever Cynthia would visit her friends and find them struggling with their children her heart wept tirelessly. She cried with passion hoping that one day in her house there would be someone to break down the property and she would yell at him/her.

Donald on the other hand had lost hope and being a father one day. The only option he was left with was adoption. To his surprise Cynthia did not go along with his decision. She wanted to nurse her own baby, to push her own weight with struggle for nine good months, to scream in the labour room surrounded by doctors and nurses asking her to push although she is tired.

“Do you understand Donald, I want my own baby,” said Cynthia. She stood from the sofa and headed for the kitchen to prepare him a cup of coffee. They had argued over the issue and Donald had decided to just accept defeat and play along the optimism lines of his wife. But what compelled her to believe that after close to six years in a marriage without a child magic would bring forth one?

The couple was a pair of devout atheists who never subscribed to anything to do with Christianity. Even on their wedding day it was difficult for them to answer the priest that conducted the union process. The issue of Christ ever stepping foot on earth was just a fallacy. In terms of creation they preferred the big bang theory. To them it made much sense. At some point they would ask, “if He created man why is not giving us a child” (by He they meant God). When the doctors failed to help they just left fate to decide their destiny. When it was time then theirs would pitch into the picture.

*****

The problem started when she asked them to her a bible for her birthday gift. They had not expected anything of this nature from their three year old daughter. This was her first request when she got home from her aunt’s place. Donald’s sister was a deacon in her church and was also part of the intercession team. During the one month holiday when Rose had out of pre-school she been staying with her aunt who really loved her. She regarded Rose as a blessing and her given the name. Donald could not reject his sister’s request because he knew that she never to no for an answer. As such Rose was received as a blessing from God in a house of non-believers. How awkward it was!

“Aunt Prisca said we should pray before we eat,” said rose as they were about to dig into their plates. Filled with rage Donald looked into at his daughter but remembered how he just loves her. The innocent look just negotiated with his feelings on her behalf.

“But but, listen here Rose. Look…” Donald did not know how to say whatever it is he wanted to say to his blessing.

“What Papa?” the smile she put on now confused him even more. “How will I handle this situation now…” he thought to himself. All this while Cynthia was just stuck around a father and daughter’s conversation wishing they could reach a compromise. Once again Donald tried to say his words;

“See Rose, in this house we do not pray for food. It does not matter what aunt Prisca said. Let us just enjoy our food right.” To his disappointment that did not ring any sense in the scope of rose. She began to argue that we have to pray for our food that it will be blessed also.

“Remember I am also a blessing because you prayed for me to be born.”

The truth is they had lost the war. Aunt Prisca had inserted the wrong software into their child’s system. With a sense of defeat they asked her to pray knowing that tomorrow they will have to pray also and a series of days to follow.

As if the food prayer issue was not enough, a new war broke when it was time to sleep. It started with “Daddy please sing me a lullaby.” Fair and fine, there was nothing with that. Only when she said, “No, I want baby Jesus I love you,” the problem started. They had to call aunt Prisca who had to teach them the song over the phone and the then sang for her until she dozed off. That was the end of day one of problem child.

Days turned into weeks, weeks into months and months into years. By the way, they did not buy her the bible and she wept bitterly. She was so heartbroken because she had always bragged at her friends saying, “I’m going to get a bible for my birthday this year.” Instead Donald and Cynthia decided to get her a teddy that was as big as her. She never in love with it as she had fallen in love with others they had previously bought her. This one came at the wrong time.

One Friday evening, they sat in their sitting room at their Borrowdale mansion watching Studio 263 on Zbc. The air in the house grew heavy and smelled like something was burning. They looked down the passage and notice smoke escaping Rose’s bedroom. How she had sneaked out of the sitting surprised them. They were both carried away Baba Jari and his co-actors in the drama who were so magnificent. Baba Jari had been flying with some kung-fu at Muvengwa who fled with his life calling out for Temba who had been busy in the shop. All this while they were flowing tears of laughter and their blessing born to non-believers was in danger.

There was no time to open the door and Donald just knocked it down with a kick. There she was, standing on the floor with the new teddy in piece. She had failed to make peace with it and had decided to burn it to ashes. She threw piece after piece into the small blazes and they were burning slowly.

“I never asked for you! I only wanted a bible but they got you. Why? Why did you allow them to bring you home? Will you tell me about Jesus? No, just like them you don’t even know anything about him. He is such a nice guy. Did you know that? They hanged him on the cross on top of a mountain so many years ago. Satan was very happy just like he is today because my parents don’t love praying,” she held the last piece in her right palm and started sobbing. “You are just a toy and you won’t understand.”

Cynthia was taken aback by what she just heard. “How could my own daughter have such thoughts,” she said to herself. Was she dreaming or something? No! This was reality. Rose was going to become a problem child. She has always been a problem, conceiving was also a problem and now this. A pair of atheists has raised one naughty protesting Christian who just wants to study and hear about the so called Messiah. How long were they to put up with this comedy? Truly, they did not know. They were stuck between a rock and concrete. As a matter of fact, it was crystal clear that if they did not buy the bible as soon as possible something worse might happen next. They managed to calm her down and persuaded her to bed but it was not easy. Their princess was badly hurt emotionally.

The following morning they took her to a book store and she had to pick her bible from the shelves. There was a wide variety of versions with some which had this other kind of English like Shakespeare’s sonnets. It was a real struggle to understand them. Fortunately, there was also a range for children’s bibles and she picked one with a colourful cover. That weekend was peaceful with rose stuck with her bible enjoying the soft tiny pages. She read about Jesus over and over again. She narrated his parables to her parents and they just listened not to upset her. When she would finish narrating they cheered her for her intelligence.

The week went by and everything was perfect. Oh! They had now gotten used to praying before every meal although they did not understand. They took turns to pray for their food and it was always indirectly blessed. Then came the Sunday of the weekend after the fire incident, Rose knocked on her parent’s bedroom so early. She jumped on to their bed and they thought to themselves, “What’s up now?”

“Mom, dad let’s go to church today.” She said with an innocent smile on her face.

“Where?” Donald jumped out of bed. He could not believe his ears. What had they done to deserve such a torture? First it was the prayer issue followed by the bible now church.

“To church father, Jesus told me I should go to church and join Sunday school.”

“Where did he tell you that,” asked Cynthia.

“He was in my bedroom tonight. He took me to heaven and I saw all the angels singing. Grandmother was also singing with the angels. She now has big beautiful wings and they were glowing so bright.”

“Donald, your daughter will give us huge problems in this lifetime.”

“It seems we have to find a church today Cynthia,” said Donald.

Luckily aunt Prisca was there to their rescue. She took them to her church where Rose first learnt about Jesus Christ. They sat on the front row and Rose was really paying attention to the preacher. The preacher reached out to her and asked her to join him on the stage.

“How are you young lady,” said the preacher.

“I’m fine sir,” she responded confidently.

“What would you like to be when you grow up?”

“I want to be a pastor and teach great lessons like Jesus.”

The whole congregation was surprised by the level of reasoning by such a small child. Most probably this was a childhood calling into ministry. Donald and Cynthia were called up on stage and the preacher prophesied upon their lives. Funny but impressively they accepted to become born again and follow the lessons of Christ. They raised their Rose in a Christian way from that day.

Today, rose has become a magnificent preacher in the nation. She has changed Zimbabwean societies with the word of God through great teachings. She was also once a guest speaker at multinational preachers conference in Congo. The Lord is blessing her and has her own son now.

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