My weekend was pretty decent (thanks for asking); everything went as planned till the Pastor announced that there would be a meeting after service of all church workers and singles. As I happen to be both (yes I work in church, don’t act surprised), I had mixed feelings about waiting for another meeting because my initial plan was to head to Yellow Chilli and devour the seafood okra that I had been dreaming about all week.

The Pastor spoke softly to the singles of the church about the importance of being upright in the Lord and most of all abstaining from sex before marriage; he went on to talk about the consequences of premarital sex such as unplanned pregnancies, STD’s including the spiritual implications as he put it. Each time he speaks on this topic, I feel bad for him because about half of the ‘singles’ population usually has a smile on their faces knowing that other than the spiritual implications, they can protect themselves from getting pregnant or STDs but that’s not what I really want to talk about.

Towards the end of his speech, he mentioned the absence of a certain sister as she walked to the front with a protruding belly that must have been about 6-7 months old. Sister Cynthia was one of the few people who helped me settle into church, she became a member in her teenage years and grew to be a devoted church worker including being the assistant head of the singles’ fellowship, so you could imagine the surprise on the faces of a lot of members as she stood in front.  As the pastor continued to speak, I watched a lot of the ‘elders’ have the look of disgust on their faces, like she had committed the greatest sin of being pregnant. Most of them engaged in side discussions saying things like ‘She doesn’t even look remorseful’ ‘Can you imagine?’ ‘Who is the father?’ ‘She has brought shame to her family’ and I just wanted to turn around to give them a good piece of my mind but hey it wasn’t about me so I shut up and continued to listen to the pastor. 

It was easy to feel pity for her as she shed tears in front of the people but I knew Sister Cynthia, I knew it was all a scam, I knew this was all part of her master plan. I remember calling her on her 28th birthday to offer prayers of love and being found by the man whom she would become the bone of his bones; when I was done she said ‘Thank you Sister Gidi, I appreciate your prayers but I am no longer waiting, if I am not married by 30, I am getting pregnant and living my life’. Well here she was, 32, pregnant and single seeking approval from the people of God.

As part of the usual tradition, the pastor asked what punishment should be given to her and of course the over-zealous members offered all sorts from washing toilets to arranging the seats in addition to sitting at the back of the church for one month. One woman stood up to express her disappointment at the shame brought to the house of the Lord even though everyone knew she was planning a rush wedding for her 22-year-old son who got his 18-year-old girlfriend pregnant; of course she thinks no one knows but everyone knows nothing is a secret in the house of the Lord.  

After the ‘ceremony’, members walked up to Cynthia like it were a funeral, consoling her for her unplanned situation and offering words of wisdom. As expected, she kept up the act, put her head down in planned remorse and said how much she missed church.

When it got to my turn to ‘sympathise’, Cynthia smiled and said ‘Now that I am having twins, Mr Right can take his time to show up’