We are blessed and opportune to have a guest writer in the house today, enjoy this piece from her.
The very day I broke my ALABASTER box, a part of me rose up to new possibilities, and a part of me became alive and living.
BEFORE THE ALABASTER BOX
Being the middle child amongst five siblings, I received preferential treatment from all and sundry. Maybe because I was the last girl before my twin younger brothers, howbeit I grew up to be terrible.
Seun Peters is my identity, and ever since I was a child my parents believed that I was born again.
probably, because I was born into a Christian home. Morning devotions, night devotions, and bible studies were the order of the day in our home. Mum and Dad brought us up in the way of the lord and I can tell that they made full proof of their ministry.
But in bringing up a child, a lot of factors are put in place. I refused to attend the boarding school like my other siblings and so my parents allowed me to school from home. One of the days while walking back home after school, I came across some group of young girls and boys of my age in an uncompleted building.
I left my direction and crossed the other side of the road so as to check what was going on there, to my greatest surprise these young boys and girls were smoking cigarette and all other tobacco substances.
I tried my best possible to stop them but they made fun of me and even offered me a share of what they had. I quickly walked away and turned towards my direction, but as I walked, I couldn’t take my mind off what I had seen. A part of me wanted to have a taste of the cigarette and so I made up my mind to follow that same route on the morrow.
The awaited day came and as I prepared for school, I was interrupted by my mum who said I wasn’t going to school; instead I was going for a medical check-up. I had been diagnosed with seedlings of fibroid at fifteen and my parents did everything within their power to make me whole again.
I was devastated as I wouldn’t be able to have a taste of the tobacco today, but still that didn’t deter me.
We went to the hospital and after seeing my doctor, mum decided we would be going to the market to get some food stuffs but because I had a personal agenda, I feigned weakness and she had to drop me at home first before going to the market.
As soon as I heard the gate lock, I quickly changed into something casual and off I went to the uncompleted building. When the other teenagers saw me, they taught I had come to talk to them as I had done the other day little did they know that I had come to join them.
I collected a cigarette from a young boy whom I later got to know as Akin. Akin was light in complexion, his lips were dark owing to the cigarette and even when he smiles you could tell that he’s a smoker at first sight. I lit my own portion of the cigarette and as I inhaled it, I coughed loudly. My chest seemed to be ripping apart but Akin mentioned that I would get used to it as time went on.
Indeed, I got used to it. I began to play truancy in school, I would dress up for school but as I moved minutes away from our home I would change into something else and join my newly found friends at our joint and we would begin the business of the day –smoking.
Several months had passed and nobody noticed my movement as I always left the house the normal time I would leave for school and I returned the exact time I would have returned if I had attended school. One of the days as I got to the uncompleted building to resume the day’s business I sighted a brand new Toyota Corolla and I wondered who would have come to visit us.
“Hello Seun, how are you”
“I’m fine thank you sir”
I rolled my eyes at my friends as it appeared that I was the only one this man related to. I rested my eyes on Adaeze the only lady in their midst before I joined them and she whispered to me that it was my turn to go out with chief. I didn’t understand what she meant but I followed chief into his car and off we drove!
The car came to a halt in front of a gigantic building that had this inscription “PARAGON HOTEL”. We walked in and met the receptionist but from the way she interacted with chief I didn’t need a soothsayer to tell me that he was a regular customer in that hotel and to crown it all he had a special room in the hotel too.
I followed chief like a sheep about to be slaughtered and we made use of the elevator as Room 351 was located on the last floor of the building. He inserted his keys and the door swung open.
The room was no better that what I had seen on televisions; it was a handsome room in the Italian mode of the Empire period –beautiful old faded tapestry panels –reddish –and some ormolu furniture –and other things mixed in –rather conglomerate, but pleasing. It was big, not too empty, and seemed to belong to human life, not to show and shut-upedness. I was afraid to sit in case I wrinkle the fabric or stain it with something I don’t even know is on my pants.
The couch is cream but inlaid with a fine green silk; leaves embroidered so delicately that they might have landed there in spring and just sunk in, but I know they took hundreds of hours to sew. The white curtains are linen, the kind of white that is untouched by hands and devoid of dust. A cursory look to the right shows me the almost hidden cords that are used to open and close them. The floor is a high polished wood, dark and free of either dust or clutter. The host; chief was happy showing it.
Chief came closer but I moved farther away and before I could take another step backwards, he grabbed me and made me sit on the finely laid sheets with force; gradually he went in to me. I wouldn’t say if it was rape or making love, howbeit chief deflowered me at sixteen. When he was done he made me shower in the convenience and after a little while he took me back to the uncompleted building.
Adaeze saw me and made a gesture with her hands that simplified I was now a big girl, I gave a sheepish smile and made move to go home but as I looked at my left hand I found out that it was past 6pm, the time for school dismissal was 3.00pm besides that day was our regular OPEN DAY. I ran as fast as my legs could carry me and sooner I found myself at my father’s gate.
“Where have you been Seun, you weren’t even in class for your OPEN DAY”
“I’ve been in church dad; I just felt I should be alone”
“Did you forget that the 3-days program would kick off soon?”
“No dad, I just needed to talk to God”
I was lying to my father for the umpteenth time and neither he nor mum ever got to notice. Several days had passed and i haven’t been to the uncompleted building to see my friends, I attended school during this period but then I felt empty.
I felt I needed something so desperately but whatever it was, Seun Peters couldn’t fathom. It was Wednesday and the church programme would kick off today, I decided to go at least so I won’t be home alone and probably to clear my head too. Little did I know that I was would break my box of ointment in church that particular night.
As I sat on the fourth role from the left hand side of the altar, I thought about all that happened to me that day and how I had escaped my parents’ wrath by lying to had been in church, where on earth did I get such guts from? As I pondered on my new way of life I just stared at the guest preacher, I could see him but I heard nothing.
BREAKING MY ALABASTER BOX
Suddenly, my knees began to give way, I felt like I was leaving this world but now I could hear the preacher though not so audibly but I heard him mention the Alabaster box, I heard him say that there was need to break our alabaster boxes at the feet of Jesus. As he went on further, I broke down and let out a loud shout, I didn’t know why but I shouted all the same and I cried too.
It was a call unto salvation. “How would my parents’ feel if they find out that I was never saved”?
Maybe that’s when they would get to know that there was a huge difference between growing up in church and being born again. Seun Peters grew up in church but she was not born again but on that day when my own Alabaster box got broken,
I felt alive, I felt a new Seun Peters emerge irrespective of where I had been and how I went there.
What matters to me now is that I am saved and born-again with a broken Alabaster box at the feet of the master showing genuine repentance and receiving real forgiveness.
I care less about public opinions for I have spent enough of my past lifetime in doing the will of the gentiles –when I walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, and abominable idolatries……
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