THE GREAT SACRIFICE

“My husband does not love me”, cried Elizabeth Nyarko to her best friend, Lucy Attah. Elizabeth’s complaints to her best friend, Lucy had been going on for quite some time now. This time around, Lucy was determined to help her best friend find a permanent solution to her predicament.

On a fateful Tuesday morning, Lucy rushed with excitement to Elizabeth’s humble home. It was quite a comfortable home. Four bedrooms, a very large hall and a skillfully designed porch was where Elizabeth, her husband and two kids found their shelter. The kids had gone to school, Mr. Nyarko had gone to work but Elizabeth was a bit under the weather so she decided to rest when her friend unexpectedly arrived at her home. “You did not even call to find out if I was home”, Elizabeth said, with a mixed feeling of shock and happiness. “Ohhh!!!!, I was so excited I did not even remember to call”, Lucy replied with glee.

Anyway, my dear friend Elizabeth, I think I have found the solution to your problem. Elizabeth stiffened to attention. Elizabeth did not even blink as she was totally focused, listening with rapt attention to the solution to her seemingly unsolvable problem.  “The wise man resides in Paradise City”, said Lucy. Lucy went on to give Elizabeth the details of the location of the wise man. “From my investigations, no problem has been too hard a nut for this wise man to crack”. “Stop that Lizzy, you and I are Christians and you know very well that I will never compromise on my ideals of godliness”, Lucy reiterated to her friend Elizabeth, who was beginning to show signs of fear. He is not a medicine man or mallam. He is just a man endowed with so much wisdom.

With all her fears evaporating into the air, Elizabeth made up her mind to go and see the wise man. At least, she needed a solution to this impending problem of hers. She set off for paradise city on Friday evening at six o’clock pm and arrived at six o’clock am the next day. She quickly got directions to the wise man’s house. With her shaky hands, she proceeded to knock on the door of the wise man. Her desire to find a solution to her problem superseded the fear that she could be meeting with a juju man/ mallam which happens to go against her Christian ideals and principles.

A river of smile and calmness replaced the earlier feelings of nervousness when the wise man came forth to have a look at the one calling upon him that early in the morning. “Yes, please who are you and how can I help you”, said the wise man. Elizabeth went on to introduce herself and also told him the reason for her coming. The wise man opened his door for her and she came in. Elizabeth was quite impressed with what she saw. It was quite a comfortably furnished hall.

I do not charge any amount when I help people to solve their problems. My wisdom is a gift from God and that is why I do not charge. However, people do show appreciation and that is why I am living here. This house was even given to me as an appreciation, the wise man said with a smile on his face. Elizabeth went on to tell him about how her husband has started coming home late, does not eat her food and was never happy with anything she did. “It was never like this in the beginning”, said Elizabeth with tears streaming down her cheeks. “I know what you need”, said the wise man. I need the toe nail of a lion and when you get it, let me come to your home. Write down your address so that I will be able to locate you. Elizabeth expected something different. She was filled with thoughts of how to get the toe nail of a lion since she knew that the lion was a very wild animal. Elizabeth wrote down her address and left, feeling a bit disappointed. However, she loved her husband so much and so on her journey back home, she decided that she would embark on the mission of finding a lion’s toe nail.

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Upon arrival at home, Elizabeth telephoned her best friend, giving her a detailed account of all that transpired when she met with the wise man.

Lucy was also shocked and felt that the wise man did not want to help her dear friend. Lucy advised Elizabeth not to waste her time because it was impossible to get the toe nail of a lion. Elizabeth had however made up her mind and not even her best friend could discourage her.

Elizabeth located a forest and hoped that she would find a lion in it. She took a month’s leave from work so as to solve this all important issue of hers. As destiny would have it, on her first trip to the forest, she heard the roar of a lion. She followed the lion and spotted the abode of the lion. On her second trip to the forest, she took a bowl of fresh meat with her. She went to the abode of the lion and dropped the bowl there, making sure she stayed hidden from the sight of the lion. This continued for some time and the lady was very tactful in making sure she sent the bowl of fresh meat just after the sun set. The lion being as observant as it is realized that someone has been visiting him. On her third trip to the forest, she approached the lion’s abode but to her utter dismay she could not find the lion at its normal resting place. Unknown to her, the lion was also interested in knowing the good soul that brought it fresh meat to eat. The lion saw the lady and registered her face to its memory.

Elizabeth dropped the bowl of meat and left. The next day, she did not also see the lion. She became worried and was engrossed in her thoughts about where the lion could be to an extent that she did not notice a very large snake which lay just ten feet away from her. Unknown to Elizabeth, the lion had been following her. Just as the snake was about to strike, the lion sprung up from nowhere and attacked the snake. The lion killed the snake as Elizabeth watched on. It was then that it dawned on her that the lion had saved her life. She realized that the lion had taken notice of her good works. The lion roared happily and moved majestically towards her.

She was scared to death and wanted to run but she just found the nerves and stayed calm. The lion in various ways expressed gratitude to Elizabeth and this sparked off a great friendship between the lion and herself. She visited the lion consistently and never forgot to add the bowl of fresh meat. On one of such trips to the forest, she took along with her a pair of scissors as she felt it was time to get what the wise man had requested for. As she placed the bowl of meat down, the lion came rushing out to feast. Elizabeth played with the lion and then seized the opportunity to make hay whiles the sun shines when she realized that the lion was engrossed in eating the fresh meat. She cut a toe nail from the lion which was too busy to notice.

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Elizabeth left the forest with great joy and called the wise man. The wise man was also surprised and agreed to meet both Elizabeth and her husband on Sunday. Lo and behold, the day came and the wise man called upon Elizabeth and their husband at their home. The wise man had it very easy in locating the house. He was received by Elizabeth who was expecting him. She invited him into the hall and went in to inform her husband that they had a guest. Her husband was reluctant to go but for some reasons best known to him, he decided to meet their guest. Mr. Nyarko exchanged pleasantries with the wise man. He sat down and listened as the wise man spoke.

“Mr. Nyarko it is very rare for someone to be willing to lay down her life in search of love. Will you believe it if I told you that your wife has been paying regular visits to the forest just because of you?” Mr. Nyarko shook his head in disbelief. The wise man narrated how Elizabeth came to see him with her problem and the solution she gave to him. Mr. Nyarko’s eyes were filled with tears as he imagined that his wife could have lost her life just trying to solve their problems. Mr. Nyarko felt disappointed in himself and went on his knees, asking his beloved wife for forgiveness. She readily forgave him that was how their problem was solved. What if I had failed to get the toe nail of the lion? The wise man smiled and said “I was just waiting for a month to elapse.

The attempt alone would have won his heart over. Go and tell all your friends who have such problems that they should treat their husbands just like the way you treated the lion. The lion could have killed you but nevertheless, you still decided to get its toe nail. If you really love someone, you will go the extra mile despite the risks involved. God loves us all and that is why he took that great risk of sacrificing his only son. We behave just like your husband and despise such love just because we did not witness Jesus’ death. Let us all learn to love because it is only with love that this place can become the haven of peace we want it to be. Just like you, we only have to discover what the lion likes and focus on it despite the prevailing negatives.

Every human comes with his/ her negatives and positives and it is left for us all to focus on the positives. Perfection cannot be found on earth. On earth, the best way to survive is by making adjustments and seeing the good in people. There is power in love.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Baiden Gideon                                                                                                                                          gidbaide@eonlineghana.com

 

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