.In the early hours of today, I lied down to rest a bit before heading for work.
The rest turned to a deep sleep, and in the sleep I had a dream.
I visited my younger sister’s school and while I was in the staff office, I heard some noise towards the end of the building.
Curious as to what would make such sound and disturb the silence and serenity of the academic environment, I picked a stone and threw it towards the end of the building, and source of the noise.
The noise stopped but a shout replaced it.
‘Who threw that stone?’ A voice queried with authority.
I stepped forward and answered that I was the one.
Some minutes later, a group of security men came to meet me and they read out my offence.
‘Throwing stones is highly forbidden in this environment, you will now follow us.’
Before I knew what was happening, I was surrounded by two or three security men who accused me.
They came with chains and handcuffs and I was surprised at the gravity of punishment for such a light offence.
I was quickly bond hands and feet and my wrists were cuffed.
As I was led away towards the security, I stood still for a moment, looked over my shoulder at the crowd that followed and I shouted back at them,
‘Everyone, look! I am suffering for this small crime all because I confessed to throwing the stone. It was I who volunteered and told them I did it. Do I deserve this?’
Some folks mumbled in support of me but none came to save me from the security men who were unmoved.
It was a little offence but I had to stand trial all the same.
And no one came forward to beg on my behalf or speak for me.
I was not afraid at the start of the whole commotion but as I drew nearer to the waiting van, and saw the anticipating hands of four uniformed men waiting for me, my legs began to quake.
That was not the most painful part.
Just before the van, Blessing, my younger sister was in her class with about twenty of her classmates.
And as I approached, everyone in her class turned their eyes towards me and looked on as I walked with chains around my ankles and cuff around my wrists.
But not my younger sister.
She turned her back with all the will she could muster and refused to look on as her elder brother is led away bound.
I knew her eyes would already be teary and ready to weep, but I still hoped she would look at me.
Till I fell into the hands of the punishers, she didn’t turn.
‘What have I done?’ I asked the armed men.
‘Just because I threw a stone and stepped forward when asked?’ I pleaded.
Sweat gathered around my temple as I realized I was going to get punished a great deal just because of a little offence.
‘There are no little offences’, one of the punisher answered me as if he could read my thoughts.
A great fear clouded my mind and I started to panic.
I really wished someone would come to my aid, but no one came.
The crowd looked on behind me, the punishers stood before me, and just as I was led away, I looked back at my younger sister, and with all her love, she still couldn’t bare looking at me.
‘No one can save you’, I knew it then.
I woke from the dream and looked around my room, very grateful that it was all a dream.
For several minutes, I thought long and hard about my life and the significance of the dream.
And I needed no Joseph to tell me what it all meant, and what I had to do.
It was a parable.
It was only a stone I threw, just a little sin, a little anger and hurtful words, a little dirtiness, a little false remark.
The stone didn’t even hurt anyone, the sin may also not hurt anyone. It may be between you and God; no one may know of it or be affected by it.
I stepped forward and confessed I threw the stone, most sinners also know they have done wrong, and may even tell a friend about it.
In any case, it is all open before God.
The Armed men took me away all the same, there is always a punishment for sin, no matter how little or insignificant. And they all attract the same measure of punishment.
And while they led me on, my beloved younger sister saw me but couldn’t bare seeing me disgraced.
No one in this full world will be able to save or deliver a sinner.
Father won’t, mother can’t. Best friend may try, but he will surely fail.
I pondered more and considered my state; and then, clearly, I heard the sure words of the Lord,
‘By faith are you saved through faith.’
‘And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’
‘Whosoever I have made free, he shall be free indeed.’
I come to you today with the words of the Lord.
Repent. Accept the Salvation of Jesus Christ. It is free.
All you need to do is accept the gift of God’s grace.
No matter how long or how strongly you may be bound to any sin, it might have even turned to a habit, Jesus can, and will save you.
Just accept the forgiveness and Grace of the Lord.
You are free.