Shackles of love

“You are sleeping on me, again.” He said calmly

“I’m not!” I responded sharply. That made it very obvious that I was dosing.

“Okay, what was the last statement I made?” He asked.

I winced; not that question again. He always would ask this question and I always failed impressively. “You said for you…to live is Christ and to die is gain.” I responded looking away.

Apostle Paul shook his head and said with a laugh, “You never update your answers too.” That was true. I had been giving this answer for a whole year. I never knew I was that dumb.

“I think I have to discipline you.” He added.

“There is now no condemnation for those who are in…” I added jokingly.

“Chains?” Paul asked with a smile. We had a good laugh.

The truth is we were all in chains but I was the jailer; he was the prisoner. I really liked this man. He was put under house arrest but continued doing what he was imprisoned for…PREACHING. I had endured 365 nights of lectures about a man named Jesus and the life he introduced – Christianity. There was something about this life that baffled me. It was clear in Paul’s life. Paul wrote letters to encourage churches, people visited his home and he expounded the doctrine with them. He preached unceasingly.

Truly, Christ was his life. He preached about him fearlessly…even in chains. Inasmuch as he wanted to leave this world and go to his eternal home, he used every breath he had left to preach the gospel. He walked the talk…what I called a genuine preacher. He cared about everyone, believer or unbeliever, and left all his cares for God. Crazy, huh?

“At least, you’ve learnt something,”  Paul starred listlessly into the dark blue skies. He loved the sight of the twinkling white lights. It gave him hope; even in the darkest hour, there were twinkling lights to assure you of a brighter day in a few hours. That was his remedy anytime he was tempted to feel sorry for himself.

Indeed, I learnt something.

Paul under house arrest (c) Google images
Paul under house arrest. (c) Google images.

My colleague stood in the doorway and nodded. Tears stunk my eyes. My lecturer had been executed for lecturing. I dreaded this day. I wished I could stop the execution but I was a mere soldier. I stared at the chains that once bonded us.

“These are the chains of love that bonds us to our Lord and fellow brethren,” I could almost hear him say this with that smile that lit up his face and dethroned those sad eyes that happened to reign at night after a long day. He was a joyful person. He came seeking to sign a treaty but got a penalty.

Early this morning, he was escorted to the court. There were two escorts…three instead for the third person was Joy. Paul walked like a victorious athlete who was just going to receive a laurel. In this case it was death. What a mad man! I suggested that he might as well try his luck and plead insane.

“…to die is gain

Those words rang like an early morning alarm that very moment. I now understood. His life made sense. Christianity made sense. His lectures buttressed my new found understanding.

I bowed my head and said, ” Father, forgive. I don’t deserve to be called your son but because of your chains of love, I’m here to stay.” I rose, took the chains, hanged it on my shoulders and stepped out into the blinding sunlight to put my family and colleagues in chains with Apostle Paul’s heritage which he passed on to me…the chains of Love. Yes! everyone must hear of Jesus’s love.

“For me….to live is Christ!”
Scriptural reference: Philippians 1:21

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