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The Bigger Picture

The Bigger Picture – Chapt. 5

By the time Mr. Quist was done with his prayer, Elizabeth was crying, overwhelmed with the weight of the knowledge that had just been dished out to her. From the moment that minstrel at the worship concert began singing her song, she had had a hint of where this was heading to, yet it did not make it any less overwhelming to absorb that her little acts of obedience had actually changed an entire family’s eternal destiny.

“I… I can’t believe God has used this little effort of mine to do something like this,” she sobbed. “I’m stunned. What have I done to…”

She trailed off.

The angel smiled. “It’s all a part of His will. You’ve been faithful in your task, and the King is using it for His glory.”

Elizabeth wiped her eyes and shook her head. “I’m just so… I don’t know what to say. What a God we serve!”

“Indeed, Elizabeth, He is greater and more powerful than your human mind could ever comprehend.” The angel then took her hand. In a flash, they were back in the white area she had first met him.

It was clear this little journey outside of time was coming to an end. But what an impact it had just had on her!

“So you see, that was the reason why the Master sent me. He wants you to know that He understands the pain you’re going through. He sees your frustration at how unappreciated you feel, and He’s noted your tears. But He wants you to understand that your efforts for the Kingdom aren’t going unnoticed, and that the efforts are reaping rewards greater than you could ever imagine. At the end of the day, it’s not about your popularity and how people on earth will admire you. It’s all about fulfilling His purpose. You may be ignored by your friends, cousins, siblings and parents, but His Majesty sees it all, and will happily reward you before all of heaven when Jesus comes to take His bride home.”

“I promise, I’m not going to bother myself with the opinions of others anymore,” Elizabeth vowed, tears still flowing down her face. “I’ve seen enough. I’m going to pay attention and do what Jehovah expects of me. If He’s pleased with me, that’s all that matters. It’s all about Him now!”

The angel smiled. “Keep making music for His glory. He has greater plans than you ever could imagine. He’s going to use your weak efforts to do big things. Just remain faithful to your calling.”

He then turned to leave, but stopped and turned towards her yet again.

“And before I leave, King Jesus wants you to know this: He loves you with an everlasting love, and nothing will ever change that. He can’t wait to have you in His glorious presence.”

Tears of overwhelming joy still flowing, she smiled as the angel bade her farewell, and disappeared.

***

Beep… beep… beep… beep

Sonny Bossman was seated at the bedside of his little cousin, praying under his breath as he rocked back and forth on his seat.

It had been about a week since she had been involved in that terrible accident after she had left the studio. It had been one nasty collision the other driver had made with her, and it was only a miracle that had kept them both alive, especially in Elizabeth’s case, as she had suffered major trauma that induced her current situation.

For the past week, however, as he and her parents had been frequenting the hospital and praying over her, there had been one thing on his mind, and that of his uncle and auntie as well.

They had not been fair to Elizabeth.

Granted, Lizzy didn’t behave as one who wanted the spotlight for herself. As far as they were concerned, she showed no signs of envy for where he was in life as far as his ministry was concerned. But she did have her own thing going on, and suffice to say, they had all treated it very lightly.

For the past couple of days, he reflected on the number of times he had asked how her music ministry was going. The number of times he had reached out to her, offering her assistance. The number of times he featured her in any of his concerts.

They were very few. As a matter of fact, he had been so engrossed in his own work that he had basically brushed her aside.

Now as he sat there, he felt pangs of regret stab mercilessly at him.

How many times hadn’t Lizzy shown him love and been one of his biggest fans? Being the 2nd of three boys, she was the closest to a sister he had, and they had shared quite a special bond since childhood, especially considering that she was the only child of her parents. Granted, he tended to be quite busy these days, but making time for her wasn’t something that was beyond his control.

He just pushed it aside and kept himself busy.

Now as she lay there, not only was the world in danger of losing a talented and anointed music minister, but he was in danger of losing a little sister. A little sister he could not afford to lose this early in life.

“Heavenly Father, spare her life, I pray,” he whispered. “Lord, I can’t afford to lose Lizzy now. I just can’t. I promise I’ll be a better big brother to her. Lord, I promise I’ll support her in her ministry and do the best I can to lift her up. Just bring her out of this state, Lord. Please.”

As he continued to pray, the door to the ward opened. Elizabeth’s father walked in, holding a bottle of Blue Skies juice. Handing it over to Sonny, he shook his head as he observed his daughter on the bed. “What wouldn’t I give to see her wake up right now. God, this week has been horrible.”

“Ummm, Uncle Nat. I’ve not been able to sleep since it happened. Just been praying and praying and praying.”

“Hmmmm. I really wish I hadn’t shouted at her like that. That was so unnecessary of me. I mean, all she wanted to do was remind me to check out some of her works. But… I pushed her away. That wasn’t fair of me at all.”

Sonny looked up at him. “Uncle, to be honest, we really haven’t been good to her. Since it happened, I’ve just been reflecting, and honestly, we’ve been doing Lizzy dirty. We really have…”

A muffled moan cut him short, as he and Uncle Nat’s attention immediately turned towards the bed.

Elizabeth was moving.

“She’s moving! Oh my God, she’s moving! Sonny, go call the doctor, quick!”

Uncle Nat didn’t have to tell him twice.

As she began to open her eyes, she moaned a couple of times before looking around. “Oh, Lord…”

“Lizzy! Aww, my darling little baby! You’re awake!” Mr. Nat Bossman gushed, grabbing his daughter’s hand in gratitude. “Oh, thank God you’re finally awake…”

Sonny came in with the doctor and a nurse, who quickly moved to check up on her. Mr. Bossman duly stepped back to allow the health professionals to do their job.

Once they were done, the doctor said to the Bossman gentlemen, “Well, she seems a bit dazed and confused, but that’s because she just woke up, so give her a bit of time. Her memories should come rolling in soon enough. I’ll give you a few more minutes before you leave, so we can attend to her properly and run some tests.”

“No problem, Doc. Just give us a minute and we’ll be out of here.”

As the doctor and the nurse stepped out, Mr. Bossman took his daughter’s hand. “Honey, we’ll see you in a couple of hours. But I just want you to know, that now that you’re back, that I am so sorry for what I did before you left the studio. And things will change. I promise you that.”

“Most definitely, Lizzy baby,” Sonny added. “No more taking you for granted. From now on, we’re gonna do what we can to help you in this ministry. Trust us on that.”

“Yes, yes, we most certainly will. Have a good rest, sweetheart. We’ll see you later.”

As they exited the room, Elizabeth, with her eyes closed, had a smirk on her face.

Her memory, contrary to what the doctor thought, was already working fine. She had heard everything her father and cousin said, and even though she was grateful, she had already seen enough to keep her going.

“I’m glad they’re ready to help out now,” she murmured to herself. “But chale, the only thing that matters to me now is that God is using me, no matter how tiny and insignificant it might seem. At least, I’m fulfilling my role in the bigger picture. And that’s all that matters.”

THE END

I guess the moral lies in what the angel said to Elizabeth. Just keep going for the Kingdom, dear believer. Your labour will bear fruit eventually, and you will be rewarded at the appropriate time. Thanks for reading!

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The Bigger Picture

The Bigger Picture – Chapt 4

The angel nodded. “Yes, that’s your song.”

Elizabeth simply stood there, amazed as the young minstrel continued to sing.

The truth was, of all the songs she had released, Ears Like Mine had had the lowest patronage. There was the likes of How Sweet and Praise Is Due which had quite a number of listens and downloads on her Soundcloud platform, but the one in question, per the last time she checked, had only 4 listens and 1 single download. In any case, this song was similar in terms of subject matter to another popular song of hers, You’ll Be Loved, which also gained quite some attention.

She simply stood there, awed as this young lady crooned out this creation of hers. Quite beautifully, she had to admit.

Looking in the direction of Patience, she noticed a bit of attentiveness on her part. From the moment Elizabeth and the angel showed up, their young target had showed all the enthusiasm of a half-asleep person. Those praise songs had barely moved her to any form of excitement whatsoever.

As the minstrel continued to sing Ears Like Mine, however, Patience seemed to pay attention to the words.

To know the Maker of all things hears my cries,

And calls for me to draw close to his side,

Tells me I’m dearly loved, the apple of His eye,

How sweet these words sound to ears like mine.

Before she knew it, they were out of the auditorium and back in the room of Patience. It was dark, the lights were off, but Patience, who was lying on her bed, seemed deep in thought.

“Those words have broken through,” the angel commented as they observed her, brows furrowed as she continued to ponder over the words of the song and a host of other things. “Those words are the seeds this heart needed for the Holy Spirit to come in and do His work. Now she’s reconsidering all she’s ever thought about the King. The treatment she’s been subjected to made her think there’s no God, and even if He did exist, that He cared not about her. But those words have brought the truth to her, in a deeper way she never anticipated.”

At this point, Elizabeth had no words. She was utterly amazed.

Another interesting fact to this whole scenario was this: Ears Like Mine had been written and recorded with quite an urgency in her spirit. She had put out 7 songs, and during the week the recording sessions took place, she had strongly considered dropping the song, because it didn’t really sound good to her as she read over the lyrics. However, the promptings within her spirit were too strong to permit her to go ahead with that decision. So she went ahead and recorded the song along with the others.

Seeing the song’s stats had made her quite disappointed. Just 4 plays? Ah! she had thought to herself as she shook her head the last time she checked up on those statistics. She had even felt a bit annoyed that she had gone ahead to record the song to begin with. Little had she known that God was working through those minute numbers.

“Let’s move forward a bit, shall we?”

Still in a state of amazement, Elizabeth was caught up in her own thoughts as they moved a few nights forward. The angel’s voice broke through her stunned reverie.

“It’s been 10 days now. And she’s been battling with the truth. Trying to hold on to what she’s known for so long. But her grip on those lies have gotten weaker by the day.”

As he ended his commentary, Elizabeth heard sobs from the bed. As she continued to observe, Patience got out of the bed and knelt by the side. “God, I don’t know what to do. I’m… I-I… I’m just so confused. But if You’re real, please show up. If all those things in that song about you loving me and stuff is true, please show me. Please.”

The angel then said to Elizabeth, “Excuse me for a moment.”

Before she could ask where he was headed to, he made his way to the side of Patience and whispered, “Check Jane’s status.”

As he stepped back, Patience, seemingly desperate, quickly heeded his voice. Grabbing her phone, she opened her WhatsApp and moved straight to the status section. At the top was Jane’s name.

She immediately pressed on her status, and upon seeing what was there, began to tear up.

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3)

I dunno why, but I just felt led to let somebody know that God loves you with an everlasting love. Despite all you’ve been through, in spite of what you might have done… through it all, the Holy One of Israel loves you. With an everlasting love. Not our kind of fickle, conditional love ooo. Everlasting!!

All you need to do right now is this…

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

Come to Jesus! He’s waiting for you. To give you the rest you’ve been longing for. To take off those burdens that have weighed heavy on your shoulders for so long. There is freedom from all the hurt and pain you’ve held onto at the feet of Jesus. Run to Him, dear friend!!

Elizabeth and the angel watched as a tearful Patience fell on her face, and right there and then, surrendered herself unto Jesus.

Elizabeth could see a look of pure, unbridled joy on the angel’s face at that sight. It really was true that the angels rejoiced at the sight of a sinner giving their lives to Christ.

“There’s nothing more beautiful to these eyes than this, Elizabeth,” the angel confirmed. “Your act of obedience led to this soul being saved. But there’s more.”

Before Elizabeth could get a chance to react, they found themselves in the living room of the house. It was daytime this time around.

Mr. Quist was in his seat as Patience, with a new and cheerful disposition, sat before him, explaining some things to him.

“It’s been about 2 weeks since Patience gave her life to Jesus. As you can see, His glory is manifesting in her appearance. His peace has filled her heart. No more hidden bitterness. No more rage. Just a new creation inhaling and exhaling His joy and peace.”

Elizabeth, by this time, had become pretty emotional. To think it was her song that had been the catalyst for this change. She had never expected that the prayer she constantly prayed in singing “Somebody Else’s Story” by John Waller would come true like this.

“This is glorious,” she murmured, her voice already cracking.

“Indeed it is. And as you’d expect, being filled with His love is compelling her to share Jesus with the family. That’s what she’s currently doing, talking to her grandfather.”

“Is it gonna work? Is she gonna win him to Christ?” Elizabeth asked excitedly.

Right after asking the question, Mr. Quist rose to his feet, a look of utter disgust on his face. Elizabeth winced as he rained nasty invectives on his granddaughter while claiming Christianity to be nothing but a sham and a scam. Two minutes of his harsh talk, and he walked off.

“Not at this current moment. Clearly Mr. Quist is still walking around with that stony heart. But let’s keep going.”

It was like watching a movie at this stage, with no timelines whatsoever. Elizabeth found herself in awe as they continued to move from one part of time to another, observing as Patience began to intercede fervently for the whole family.

Observing as her parents and uncle and auntie and brother dismissed her and shunned her company at a point.

They watched on as things slowly began to change. With time, Patrick and Adesua began to act less harsh towards her and Bernard. Mr. Quist somehow began using less curse words. Ayeyi and Fiifi’s arguments lessened over a couple of weeks.

As Patience continued to intercede and grow in her walk with God, the Quist family began to warm up to her new way of life, eventually asking for prayers and invitations to church.

Before she knew it, Elizabeth was watching them all in the living room singing praises unto God.

Yes, indeed. The family they had seen throwing foul words and acidic arrows at each other when they first arrived, had within a matter of seven months been changed by the power of God.

The elderly Mr. Quist went on his knees afterwards, with the other six members of the house doing likewise, and let out a passionate prayer.

“Heavenly Father, we give You all the praise and all the glory! We thank You, for it is only by Your mercies that we can come before You and ascribe to You the worship You deserve. Father, we were bound for hell! Wandering sheep! Enemies of Your Kingdom! But GODDD! You have shown us mercy! Mercy which cannot be fathomed by our limited minds! Mercy that we cannot comprehend! Mercy which has spared us from what we deserved: an eternal separation from You.

“Holy One of Israel, we just want to praise You! For translating us from the kingdom of darkness to that of Your Holy Son, Jesus Christ! We bless Your name and we say worthy is the Lamb who is seated on the throne, who died that we may have a connection with You. Worthy is Your name, Jesus! You are the Righteous One, the Great I AM, El Shaddai, the Essence of Love, He who was and is and is to come! Thank You for saving us! Thank you for saving us…”

Such a powerful prayer by a man who once would rather drop a dozen F bombs than mention the name of Jesus with any form of reverence.

As the whole family – Patience, her brother Bernard, her parents and uncle and auntie – knelt beside him, faces stained with tears as they responded to each sentence with Amens, it was clear: this troubled family was now saved.

Saved from their torrid, ugly past.

And it all started from the lyrics of a song written by Elizabeth Bossman…

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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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The Bigger Picture

The Bigger Picture – Chapt. 2

White. Blinding, piercing white.

That was what Elizabeth awoke to.

Squinting as she opened her eyes, she looked all around her. Alarm and befuddlement grabbed her heart as she observed her current surroundings.

Nothing but white all around. White beneath her, white above her, white around her… all white everything.

“God Almighty, where am I?” she asked herself as she looked around. “HELLO?? HELLOOOO??”

No answer.

Still wondering where she was, Elizabeth looked down and observed what she was clothed in.

She was no longer in her sunflower blouse and jeans. A garment as white as her surroundings is what covered her.

Her brow furrowed in confusion. Ah, but…

Then it hit her. Her senses felt much sharper. Her eyes felt a million times enhanced.

All these were things she knew happened once a person was out of their earthly body.

Her eyes widened. Oh my God! This only means one thing. I’m… I’m…

“Elizabeth!”

A gentle but firm voice interrupted her thoughts. She immediately looked around to see where it came from.

If that voice startled her, then seeing the one to whom it belonged as she turned definitely stunned her.

The owner of that voice was a being in human form. About seven feet tall with a shining face and also clothed in a white robe, it was clear this was a heavenly being that approached her. Even though the look on his face was a gentle one, fear still gripped Elizabeth’s heart as she wondered what it was he had to do with her.

“Fear not, Elizabeth,” he said calmly to her. “I am not here to hurt you. I am a messenger sent by the One who reigns forever. An angel of the Most High God.”

“S-s-s-so I’m d-d-dead? Is it time for judgment? Are you taking me to the throne? Is it time for me to face God?” Elizabeth blurted out, still taking it in.

The angel smiled and shook his face. “No, you’re not dead.”

Elizabeth looked confused. “But-but… but how? Then why am I here? How come I…”

Trailing off, she already looked like she didn’t know what else to ask.

The gentle smile still on his face, the angel gestured toward his right side. Something like a moving image slowly appeared. As Elizabeth looked into it, she could see what the image was, and it wasn’t exactly the most pleasant thing to see.

It was her on a hospital bed, with two nurses attending to her.

“You’re currently in a coma on earth,” the angel explained as she watched. “The accident was a nasty one, to be honest. Had the King not assigned your ministering spirits to bear you up in their arms, you definitely would not have survived. As it stands, the doctors are quite amazed at how you survived such an accident, considering the kind of trauma you suffered.”

Elizabeth was amazed. “Wow. But… but my parents. Sonny. How are they…”

“They’ll be fine,” he assured her. “Of course, they’re frightened right now. Praying fervently for you to pull through. But they need not worry. Neither should you. Your time on earth is not yet over. You’ll return soon.”

Elizabeth turned to face the angel as the image disappeared. “So… so why am I here? If I’m not meant to depart, then… why am I here? And uh, what’s your name?”

There was something so soothing and calming about the way the angel smiled at her, as he did so once again.

“My name is not what’s important here, Elizabeth. What’s important is why you’ve been brought here. You see, the Eternal King has noted a major concern of yours. Your music ministry.”

Elizabeth froze.

“He has watched you throughout your time on earth, and how you love to make music for Him. He’s seen how you started out in the choir, how your parents sowed the seeds of love for Him and a burning desire to worship Him. He’s seen your heart, and how it beats for seeing Him glorified in every song you make.

“He’s also seen your tears and frustrations concerning the lack of support. He has heard your cries and seen your struggles. He knows that it is not worldwide recognition or fame you seek. And indeed, that is not in His plan for you. But there’s something He wants you to learn. In His sovereignty, everything that happened has happened so He may reveal something to you. This is something that can only be revealed outside of time, and that is why you are here. So take my hand, Elizabeth, and follow me as I show you what the Maker of heaven and earth has commanded me to reveal unto you.”

Her heart beating furiously as she slowly moved her hand toward his, Elizabeth had thousands of thoughts running through her mind.

For one, this otherworldly experience was certainly something she could not believe she was actually having. She had always heard about some of these out-of-body encounters, and wondered if they were for real. Clearly, as she stood before this giant being, feeling much more alive than she had ever felt on earth, they were.

And what he had said concerning her grievances were quite a surprise, to say the least. Even though she had always been encouraged to be as open with God as possible, there was always that gnawing feeling that she was nothing but a pathetic little ingrate whenever she turned to Him with her problems. Hearing this angel tell her how He acknowledged her frustrations without lambasting her was not what she had expected at all.

And of course, as she grabbed the hand of the angel, all she could wonder was what it was the Lord had decided she should witness.

Whatever it was, it would definitely ensure she’d never be the same again.

Categories
The Bigger Picture

The Bigger Picture – Chapt. 1

Welcome to this side of the State, y’all!

So… this is a story with an essential message for every Christian. Especially those who are worn out and ready to give up on the Lord’s work because there’s little to no support. I wrote this a couple of years ago, and I decided to redevelop it for the State. Enjoy!

Elizabeth Bossman walked out of the front door of Soaring Eagles Studios, the darkest of expressions on her face.

Where you would normally see a bright and infectious smile, there instead was formed a peeved look and an unhappy frown. Holding a notebook close to her chest, she marched over to her blue Toyota Avensis, tossing the notebook into the back of the car before getting in.

As she put on her seat belt, she looked at the radio, briefly pausing in contemplation, before shaking her head. This evening was supposed to be for her Christ For The Nations playlist, but with her current state of mind, music was not needed.

A vent was.

Starting up the engine, she moved out of the parking lot, inhaling and exhaling heavier than usual, in an attempt to still her beating heart, pounding out of fury.

“I’m tired. Just so flipping tired,” she muttered to herself as she turned in to the main road. “Tired of being ignored. Tired of being undermined. Tired of being made to feel like some second-rate vineyard worker. God, I’m sick of it!”

Stopping at the red light just a few metres away from the studio, she adjusted her mirror. As she caught a view of her notebook, she shook her head.

“Little support. Little appreciation. Little encouragement. It’s like they’re not even bothered about what I do. Like, I don’t even understand. Even Daddy and Maame. The ones who saw my gift from the beginning and got me to work on it and use it specifically for God’s glory, they virtually ignore me. I’m literally having to beg them to listen to my demos before I get any feedback! Ugh!”

As the traffic light switched to green, she raised her eyes to the heavens briefly before stepping down on the accelerator.

“Lord,” she sighed, “I know I do this for You, but it gets so hard sometimes, I get discouraged with all the lack of support I’m getting from those around me. All I seek is someone who really believes in me and shows their support as I do this. But there’s nobody. Nobody.

“I’m delighted to be singing for You, Lord, but it’s depressing when my own parents seem to be more concerned and supportive of my cousin, who’s doing it big.I don’t want to be jealous of him, because I know all that he’s been through, and he’s been in the music industry longer than I have. But he’s not been as helpful as I had hoped. He rarely helps me out. I’m struggling in this thing, and he almost never checks up on me. Sometimes kraaa, it feels like he doesn’t want me to reach the top. As if I’ll come and steal his shine or something. But I mean, that’s just ridiculous. That’s not what I’m in this thing for. Not at all.

Lord, You know I don’t need to hit the music charts as high as he is. I’m not looking to be an iTunes hit. I don’t need to have 5 million fans on my Facebook page, talking about how talented and anointed I am. I mean, those things might be nice, and if You were to grant them to me, I’d be delighted, but… that’s not what I want. I just want some support. That’s it.

“Coz honestly, I’m starting to get cynical. I’m really getting a little sour about all this. And I don’t want that to happen. I want to have a pure heart in what I do for You. Please, help me, Father. Everyone around me, from my own parents to my coaches, are way more concerned with Sonny than with me, and I just end up feeling like an unappreciated nothing. Please help. Please!”

These words poured forth from the lips of the twenty-four year old as she made her way back home, the cup of frustration having reached its brim. Whereas the Bossman household and staff of Soaring Eagles held her older cousin, Sonny Bossman in the highest esteem, his past two albums already causing a stir all over the African continent, Elizabeth was most often shoved aside. Sure, they did have time for her and showed some level of interest, but the delight at Sonny’s uber-successful venture into the gospel music venture led them to keep her in the cupboard under the stairs while they worked hard to maintain his success.

She had held back from speaking numerous times, constantly whispering to herself that this was nothing to get worked up about. But after spending nights penning down new songs for a future debut album, her patience had officially reached its breaking point when her father and the studio producer had pretty much shouted her down when she tried to speak to the latter about her work. The focus was on Sonny’s West African tour.

She was fed up. Totally fed up.

“Just a little support, Lord. That’s all I’m asking for. Someone to not pretend like I’m some annoying little mouse on the dining table,” she continued to spurt out as she moved along the highway, eager to get home, scream into her pillow and get lost in the playlist she should have been playing.

Stopping at another traffic light, she rolled down her window. The car that pulled up beside her had the radio volume up, and the song coming out the speakers was a familiar one.

My Comfort by Sonny. One of his numerous chart-topping singles.

She shut her eyes and let out a huge sigh. “There it is, Lord. Some tiny feeling of bitterness rising up. And I know it’s not right. Please, help me, Daddy Lord. I do not wanna have to walk around with this feeling in my heart. You’ve blessed him, and that’s totally fine by me. I mean, You choose who to shower Your special graces upon. But I’m not happy with how I’m treated. Please, Lord, show up for Your baby girl!”

A couple of seconds later, the traffic light turned green, and being the first in line, she immediately stepped on the accelerator and moved.

Of course, the expectation was that the cars coming in from the right would stop, as the traffic light they were at had stopped.

Unfortunately, whether it was due to faulty brakes, or a sheer streak of stupidity, one Honda Accord seemed not to get the memo, as the driver sped right past the red light, turning into the other side of the highway.

By the time Elizabeth saw the madness, it was far too late to quickly turn away from the oncoming path. Her eyes widened in terror as the Accord headed straight for the side of her car.

“JESUS, NOOOOOO!!!!” she screamed.

A second later, the Accord smashed right into the right side of her Avensis.

Terrible impact. An unpleasant scene no motorist would want to witness on a Thursday afternoon.