The Bigger Picture

The Bigger Picture – Chapt. 3

With her eyes closed as she held on to the angel’s hand, she could sense a change in the atmosphere. She didn’t know how long her eyes had been shut, and honestly speaking, she couldn’t tell.

Not exactly a surprise, considering she was no longer bound by time zones.

Opening her eyes, she no longer saw white. It now looked like she was back on earth.

“We’re in Sekondi,” the angel announced as she observed the new surroundings. From what she could see, this was a residential area, and in front of them was a simple-looking bungalow.

“This is the home of the Quist family. Let’s go in and take a look, shall we?”

Elizabeth nodded excitedly as she and the angel moved towards the house.

She had always wanted to visit the twin city. Schooling in Accra and Kumasi, as well as mission trips to Keta and Hohoe, had afforded her the opportunity to visit three out of the sixteen regions, and being a person who liked travelling, she had looked forward to having the opportunity to visit the others.

“Lovely neighbourhood,” she murmured to herself as they drew closer to the house. “Although I’m sure this place is trash compared to what you see in heaven.”

The angel nodded. “This place is obviously inferior to home. Way more inferior. If only you who are His understood what awaits you; you wouldn’t go crazy over these temporary things which will be destroyed one day.”

They entered the house, walking to the living room. It wasn’t lost on Elizabeth that as spirit beings, they had walked right through the walls. A pretty cool feeling for her.

In the living room sat an elderly man, clearly in his 70s, in what could be considered the chair for the head of the house. On each side of the head chair stood two sofas, on which two middle-aged couples sat, looking upset and aggrieved. Given the manner in which they sat, a verbal war was ready to kick off.

As Elizabeth looked on, the man on the left side started to speak, only for the lady beside him to interrupt him rudely. He turned to her and snapped angrily. The elderly man and the other couple suddenly descended on the two of them. in a matter of seconds, the living room was like a verbal representation of World War One. Aspersions were cast, curses were hurled and insults were thrown from one party to the other. It was generally one toxic atmosphere.

Elizabeth, the peace-loving, non-confrontational personality she was, found this horrific. Especially when she heard quite a number of swear words from the elderly man. One of her biggest turn-offs.

She turned to the angel, gesturing towards them in amazement. “This… this is awful! Look at the kind of language they’re using on each other! Why are they doing this to themselves? Aren’t they a family?”

The angel nodded. “The old man is Charles Quist. The man on the right is his son Patrick with his wife Adesua, and on the left is his daughter Ayeyi with her husband Fiifi. And this is just one of many fights. The truth is, Charles is very proud, unapologetic and doesn’t care very much about others. His wife had to endure thirty odd years of being torn down by his words. And somehow, the children inherited his narcissistic nature and it’s going bad for them. Especially considering they all live in here.”

Elizabeth looked puzzled by that. “But… but why? Shouldn’t they be in their own homes?”

“They were, but financial issues popped up, and they had to settle here while the men try to find new homes. That and many others are the reasons you see them all going at each other like this. If it’s not that Patrick is verbally demeaning Adesua, it’s that Ayeyi is making nasty threats against Fiifi. It’s a horrible atmosphere here, it really is.”

Elizabeth shook her head. “Wow, this is tragic. But do they have children?”

“For Ayeyi and Fiifi, no. The other couple have two children, and one of them is upstairs. Patience is her name. Let’s go see what she’s up to.”

Before Elizabeth could say anything, they were in a bedroom. A rather messy bedroom. The kind of messy that Elizabeth had seen a couple of times in Sonny’s room and playfully chastised him for.

On the bed, amidst clothes and books, lay a young girl who looked between the ages of 18 to 20, a straight look on her face as she sat up with her laptop on her lap and big headphones over her ears.

“Yep, this is Patience,” the angel said as Elizabeth peered at her. “And she looks sweet, but that heart is one darkened heart, twisted and shaped by all that she’s been through.”

She immediately looked at him. “Her parents?”

The angel nodded. “A victim of the emotionally abusive ways of her parents. What she and her brother Bernard have been through at the hands really grieves the heart of the Lord. The kind of words that have been spoken into her life by those two bickering downstairs is just horrible. And it’s affected her. What you see, Lizzy, is one pessimistic, passive-aggressive and generally unfriendly young lady. Eaten up by the wounds of hurtful words spoken upon her day after day.”

Elizabeth shook her head sadly. This was tragic. Even though the way her parents didn’t pay much attention to her work was hurtful, they did not go as far as these ones had done. As she observed the stony look on Patience’s face, she could tell how hardened the young girl’s heart had become.

“This is sad,” she murmured.

“Indeed. But well, let’s move forward a bit, shall we?”

The atmosphere turned white for a moment, then the supernatural duo found themselves in a university environment. Students walking around to and fro as they made their way to their respective lecture halls.

“Look out for Patience. She’s coming from the other side,” the angel pointed out as she stretched her neck and looked out for the young girl.

She saw her walking with a guy looking quite like her. She didn’t need to make any guesses; she knew that was Bernard, her younger brother.

As they walked towards their destination, Elizabeth and the angel watched as a young lady walking in the opposite direction approached them with a big smile on her face. The hearty greeting she gave them was not exactly returned with equal energy, but the small smile on Patience’s face was enough to show she had audience before them.

Left to Bernard alone, she would have been embarrassed in the glare of the public.

“Who’s that girl?” Elizabeth asked.

“That’s Jane. She’s been talking to Patience for a couple of weeks now, and she’s inviting her to a worship concert.”

“Oh, cool. That’s great. With the look on Bernard’s face, I have my doubts about  him attending.”

The angel shook his head. “No, he won’t. He doesn’t know her that well, and anything to do with the Lord is repulsive to him.”

Elizabeth shook her head. “That’s so sad.”

“Indeed. Patience isn’t very receptive to the things of the Lord either, but she tends to be a little accommodating  of Jane since she’s been a friend of sorts to her, as opposed to others who have treated her as more of a project to be accomplished.”

As he spoke, she noticed Jane hand the siblings some flyers, flash them another smile and walk away. The shrug and subsequent pocketing of the flyer by Patience and Bernard’s scornful viewing of it made it clear what each of them would do.

“Yep, I can see it. Patience will begrudgingly attend, and Bernard won’t even bother himself,” she guessed out loud.

The angel nodded. “Correct. Now, let’s find our way to the concert.”

Before she knew it, they were in an auditorium, with many people around, dancing as the worship team belted out tunes from Hannah Marfo.

If there was anything Elizabeth was enjoying in this, it was the way they were able to switch from one period to another. Not being bound by time was super awesome. Plus, worship concerts were a ‘love language’ for her. Nothing beat the atmosphere of such events.

As the praises came to an end, a young lady was introduced to the audience. Holding a guitar, she made her way to the podium, took her place behind the mic and said, “Hallelujah! So this song is a song that I heard somewhere on Soundcloud, and it really touched me, so I… wanna share it with you all.”

She took up her guitar and started strumming.

Elizabeth’s eyebrows went up. Those chords were quite familiar. But it didn’t sound like a song that was popular. It was more like…

Worn out from all the stress of the world,

Words are knives in the heart of this little girl…

Then her eyes went wide.

Those lyrics were hers. That song was hers!

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