She picked flowers, disengaged the petals as she walked about the Kwara garden. Kechi has a habit of keeping her hands busy whenever she had to wait. It helps her not to get worked up while waiting. What she was doing amused her and she asked, “Kechi, did the petals plead to be set free? Don’t you think you are shortening their lifespan?”
“Kechi, why can’t my father be like yours?” Chichi interrupted.
Kechi startled and puzzled said, “I don’t understand.”
Kechi, Chichi and Tomi had planned to spend the weekend at Lamgo Falls. They agreed to meet at Kwara garden for feedback after they had discussed with their parents who were to help them financially. So it was a furious Chichi that arrived with Tomi.
“My father refused to give me money for the trip. I’m not in a habit of asking my father for money, but whenever I ask, he gives me one excuse or the other,” Chichi lamented.
Tomi chipped in, “he pays for your school fees.” “Well, yes, but is that all he should do? He doesn’t buy clothes for me. The other day I asked for bus fare to Kechi’s place, he refused. I told him that bus fare to Kechi’s was no big deal. He said that the money would finish if he continued to remove bus fare.”
Kechi and Tomi burst out laughing. “Sorry Chichi, forgive us. We didn’t mean to laugh at you.” Tomi quickly apologized.
“I feel terrible, I feel sick, am so upset, am sooo…..I HATE HIM!!” bemoaned Chichi
“Oh Chichi, surely it can’t be all that bad!” exclaimed Kechi. “Yes Chichi, it can’t be that bad. Let’s take a look at the bright side of your father. Your father is very jovial; I have not heard him shout at your mother. But you have heard my father shout at my mother several times. My father kicks my brother, yours does not.” Tomi consoled. Kechi added, “Yes, my father gives me money whenever I ask for it, but he doesn’t spend time with my brother and I. Your father comes into your room and plays with you. He listens to all you have to say. You are blessed to have such a father. I am sure you don’t hate him. You are just upset because he could not give you money. And remember he has five of you to take care of. My father has just I and my brother.”
“So you see Chichi, our fathers are not perfect. We all have one thing or the other we don’t like about our fathers.” Chichi thought for a moment, sighed and then said, “I guess you are right.”
“You know, there is something we can do for them,” said Kechi. The others looked at her and Chichi asked, “What would that be?”
“We can pray for them, we should ask God to help them conform to the image of Christ. For only then can they be all that God wants them to be. Only then can they be the perfect fathers. Rather than being antagonistic, we should love them despite their shortcomings. Love would produce a positive response while antagonism would do the opposite. If we change our attitudes toward them, their attitudes toward us would improve.”
To ascertain she understood, Chichi asked, “Hmm… for instance, if my father gives me money, no matter how small, I make him feel he has done a great thing by being so appreciative right?” “Yes” the others chorused, glad that she was feeling better.
“Thanks girls, I know better now… So anything stopping us from praying for our fathers now”
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