“Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.”
– Psalm 30:5b
The above was the welcome message I had on the Nokia phone I used at some point while in the university. It was there to remind me every morning I woke up that if the pain I was experiencing was still there, it had an expiry date, one morning would come and the pain would be gone. You see, that period of my life was probably the most depressing moment of my life. That same period, I had a hymn I carried in my wallet everywhere I went so I could read/sing it when I needed encouragement to carry on.
Pains are broadly divided into either physical or mental. If you suffer a physical pain, that could be taken care of with drugs and therapy. However, I will be discussing mental/emotional pains here and for this type, you can’t say there are pills because these are wounds in the heart/mind. We react and respond to emotional pains differently, this is largely because only the one wearing the shoes knows where it pinches. You may like to read an earlier piece I did on this same topic.
If you’ve seen the movie October 1 by Kunle Afolayan then you’d remember Aderopo as the villain. However, let me show you another angle, the heroic side of Aderopo you probably would not have noticed. Let’s digress a little bit then.
In the movie, we see two men hurting from a pain in their past – the pain of abuse. At the tender ages of twelve and fourteen, they were selected as the two best boys in their village school and sponsored by a clergy to the prestigious Kings College in Lagos. On getting to Lagos, it didn’t take the boys long to know why the overall best student, a girl didn’t enjoy the sponsorship of their benefactor, he was into boys and thus began their journey into pain. One of the boys, Agbekoya could only endure the abuse for a few months before he called it quits with western education. He was angry with white folks and everything they brought, he returned to farming, and in the words of Inspector Danladi Waziri, ended up becoming a nobody!
The other, Prince Aderopo endured the harrowing pain for six long years and went ahead to complete his degree programme at the University College, Ibadan before expressing his pain. Let’s take time to ponder here, why did Aderopo stomach the abuse for six years while Agbekoya could not? I think the answer lies in responsibility. Aderopo was royalty and upon his shoulders hung the future task of helping his village, Akote navigate the uneasy terrain of post-independence Nigeria. He observed that the advantage leaders of that era, the likes of Awolowo and Akintola had was education. He knew that education would play a major role in the years ahead and so he was ready to pay whatever price came with the desire to acquire one as a future leader of his people. Isn’t that the stuff of heroes? Enduring pain for the sake of your people.
Where Aderopo missed it and cross carpeted to villainy was in not handling his pain properly, he vented his anger on the same people he hoped to liberate with his education. He decided to violate and kill six virgins to pay for his six years of abuse. Why did he choose that path? The answer was provided by the town’s chief priest, baba Ifa –
“He’s in turmoil, in pain, he wants to be free, but is indecisive as regards his course of action.”
When pain comes, it most times dispossesses the victim of freedom and control over the mind – one lacks the ability to think straight. Pain inflicts bondage. At that point, only few people can be able to relate with one’s experience. Still yet, you might not find anyone who can help you overcome the pain. But I know someone who can always help overcome pain. Let me introduce you to Jesus, the pain bearer. He says,
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28).
Jesus is the answer to pains. I wish I could tell you something different but truth is, he is the only time tested pain reliever I know. In the short time I have been on this earth, I have experienced pain you might not be able to relate with and Jesus brought me out of it better and stronger, and that’s why I’m recommending him.
While everyone around you may desert you, or fail you when you need them most, Jesus would stay with you all the way (Psalm 23:4). He can relate with all types of pains. Hebrews 4:15 tells us that,
“we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are…”
And just in case you’re going through pain and want to share, you may reach me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am @seunalade