How does one come to feel comfortable when separated and singled out? Standing out from the crowd takes on an identity in itself. To stand out means to not be part of a group. To stand out means to be on one’s own. A young person usually does not enjoy standing out. Standing out implies that whatever comfort could be found and attained from groups, communities, towns and cities is out of reach. Standing out therefore automatically involves sacrifice.
But when one is at peace in a state of being an anomaly or a misfit or separated from the norm, there might be no turning back. When one has broken away from needing the approval of others, there might be no stopping that one. The concept of being separate and set apart poses difficulty for many who choose to walk its path. But it held no nuance for Dag. He was used to feeling and thinking separately.
As early as six years old, Dag had been picked on by his classmates. They would point and snigger at him because of his mixed parenthood. He was only half Ghanaian and they never let him forget that. The name-calling was endless- Obroni. Red. Disappointed European. White man. Outsider. But his mother gave him several talks on this subject; her own experiences were much worse than his and her counsel strengthened him.
He clapped his gloved hands together, trying to cup warmth into his face. It was to no avail. London was freezing cold. It was the type of cold that brought nothing but pain to one’s limbs. Dag was waiting for the bus. He had already been waiting for over thirty minutes. The 7:32 bus was on schedule. But it was 7:28. 4 minutes more of pure torture.
He walked briskly up and down the sidewalk. His joints needed movement to create some type of heat, if any. When he stood still, he would shiver so bad. He had never felt anything like it. He kept trotting.
A hot Christian had to keep moving, he thought to himself.
Since he had arrived in London, he had not given rest to his feet. He was playing drums in the church he attended. And that was a task in itself. When he had joined the church musicians, he was told he had to be dressed in a suit. On his budget in London, that was more than stretch. But he did his best to appear decently dressed every Sunday morning. He could just remember the other day when the one of the soles of his only pair of church shoes got broken and he had no extra pounds to get it repaired. He didn’t believe in owning several pairs of shoes. But he couldn’t afford any more either at the time. As he walked up the stage to the drums at the beginning of the service, he had adopted a swagger to his walk, dragging his foot so the gaping sole would not be seen by the congregation behind him. He grimaced at the thought and a gust of wind blew by. Why was it so cold!
He had also taken to vigorously inviting all his contacts from university of Ghana Legon who were residing in London. Like a man on a mission, he would travel to go see them and leave them with a pocket-sized book or two by Kenneth Hagin. He would ensure that they could make it to church and once they were established, he would take to visiting them at home to make sure all was well.
The winds of London spared no habitant as they unleashed cold and snow during the winter. The godless atmosphere in London spared no soul either. The depth of this truth sank in his soul the more and more he stayed in the city into which thousands of Ghanaians flocked like birds on a journey to their hibernation destination. He was appalled by the immorality he would see on the streets. He was disheartened by the church buildings he saw, which now housed bars and nightclubs. The gospel had been stamped out and what was a loud cry in the times of John Wesley was now but a whisper.
So he was devoting much of his time to prayer. It was now about seven months since he had been away from his home in Accra. Although he had come on this trip only because the lecturers in the University of Ghana had gone on strike, he felt his visit to England was divinely orchestrated. He felt that he was growing spiritually as he got involved in the work of ministry and the church he attended here. Also, he felt he had ample time to pray about his ministry, the church as well as his relationship with Adelaide.