Before They Knew Me.

Before they knew me, I was laying in a couch listening to the radio from a black boom box. The couch had brown seats, mahogany colored wooden legs, wooden arms. And there were two armchairs next to the couch in the living room; there was one on its left, and another on its right, facing each other. An old CRT television sat right in front of the couch and the boom box was right next to it, both on wooden shelves. There were no pictures on the cream colored walls. There was little space around the furniture. Because the rented house we lived in was small. It was my mother’s plan to temporarily stay there till she finished up the house she was building. I was barely ever there, since boarding school had me away from home, more than half the year. It was house number 4 I’d lived in, through 13 years of residing in the city of Accra; approx 1200 sq ft of space built as a side house for a much larger building right next to it. It was walled and gated but outside the gate, there was a metal shop, and auto repairers worked around it. And one would have to pass by the shop, and drive on a dirt path to reach the gate, as it was behind the shop.

It was around 4pm in the afternoon. The radio had been playing Ghanaian preacher after preacher from Sunny FM. And I liked one. But just one. So I usually turned off the radio right after hearing his 30 minute sermon. But that day I fell asleep in that couch and woke up and heard a preacher I wasn’t familiar with. He was preaching about sacrifice. My ears perked up as though they had heard a beautiful jazz tune. I got up, pushed through my bedroom door (literally two steps away from the couch), grabbed a notebook (my “jotter“) and took notes. The preacher was saying Christianity should be about sacrifice, that it should be difficult, and should be about what we can give up for God, not get from Him. And I asked myself, who is this man? I had literally never heard anything that seemed as biblically accurate and sound. I was convicted. I listened till the end of the message so I could hear his name. And the sermon outro announced his name as Dag Heward-Mills. I knew that name. Rather coincidentally, I had a good friend with the exact same last name. This friend of mine was his first son, in fact. Ironically, he had come over to my house just the day before. So I got up once more, walked three steps to the dining table and sat before the laptop which lay on it. Yesterday he had laughed at the laptop, because it was years behind with its boxy looks and slow software performance. But it worked. So I opened up my Skype and typed to my friend. I typed only one sentence. It went, “David, can I come to church with you this Sunday?” and I clicked send. The end.

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