“At the count of three, the Holy Ghost will move in this place. One, two, three… Fire!” And half of the people were on the floor screaming. Except me.
As a child born in the Church, this was one of the things I could not get: why God was ignoring me. Why had the Holy Ghost never thrown me on the floor? Instead, I witnessed over and over again people around me getting full of it and falling. I saw the ministers speak in strange languages that seemed to empower them (No one ever took the time to explain to us what that meant of course but that’s another story).
As I said, I was troubled that I’d never broken any chair. Not even one broken chair to my name?! I had special trauma on deliverance days. The falling on those days was something exceptional and thrilling. Our ministers would shout and warn us to close our eyes or the evil spirits leaving the people would enter us but someone like me, I could never resist peeking from under my lashes for too long. How could I? With all that loud shouting and noise going on?
Sometimes I got jealous. Really jealous. So, even one evil spirit to leave me, I did not have? I wanted to feel what those people were feeling. Was it like electric shock or wind? Why the screaming? They were like celebs.
Nobody ever answered my unvoiced questions. Every single time, you could spot Little Chioma, sad and abandoned by God saying her amens with a loud voice yet returning home the same.
Very often, I’d close my eyes tight and pray-cry with all my strength for God to touch me too. He never did. I never fell. Sometimes I concluded that God did not want to touch me because I was a sinner. I was between 10/11 years old.
One day, I decided that I’d had enough. We were almost at the end of that deliverance program and I had yet to fall. Angry, I decided that the last day would be my day. I left home for service the fixed evening with one thought in mind – I must fall. In church, I gave God the last chance to throw me down. Still nothing. I gathered courage and waited with apprehension for the perfect time. It came.
The minister said the words and I threw myself down heavily and remained there. I did not have the boldness to pretend the shouting and twisting parts. Minutes later, embarrassment consumed me. I felt like the whole world knew I was a scam. There I was on the ground without a plan for the most convincing time to stand after a Holy Ghost push. At last, I stood.
I felt like the fool of the century. My favourite pink gown was dusty, my scarf had come off during the fall and dust had gotten into it too. Worse, my brothers were looking at me like I had grown horns.
The walk back home was the most awkward and silent one ever. We were no sooner inside the house when my bratty little brother told mummy, “Mummy, Chioma fell today.” And then he accompanied it with this evil laughter he perfected from the womb. Oh, how I wanted to pound his eyes out with my fists but I had to pretend that he had told the truth or who knew what mum would do if she heard I was playing with the Holy Spirit.
Anyways, that day I resolved in my heart never to fall for any human again. It was certainly not worth the attention or dust. Secretly, a part of my heart still carried that rejection stint deep inside. During my university days as a young Christian, the questions resurrected. “How was everybody falling?! Why was the Holy Spirit choosing the people to flood with his power and leaving me standing?”
It took a long time to receive understanding on this matter but I did learn later. I understood that the Holy Spirit was really a person to interact with and not just a force to wrestle people on the ground. He was not an “it.” I realised that as I believed in this person and interacted with him, he was changing me from the inside out. I did not even notice his fruits in my life while I was waiting for him to throw me down until others started pointing it out.
I received rest on this matter as God trained my faith to focus on his words and not sight. Someone came to me with this same problem some years later. She was whispering in guilt, trying to understand where she had gone wrong while I was smiling widely before answering her questions.
Is the overflowing power of the Holy Ghost real? Very very real.
Are signs important? They are.
But I can show you something greater – The unfailing word of God. Faith in God’s word is a better way to live by. Fruits are what have the capacity to replicate their kind.
Falling is not bad at all but Sister Ronke, and Bro Silvanus, you have been falling for 8 years now. Please show us the fruits. How has it impacted the lives of men around you?
Don’t forget that the day Jesus will come to taste you, it’s not the beautiful signs he’ll look for but fruits. Not the tongues or power but simple fruits. He won’t be happy with anything less than this.
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