A guy met me the other day. I think it was a Friday afternoon in
He said he needed some money to complete his admission
process for a higher degree that was closing 11.59pm that very
5000 naira was what he said remained to be paid so he could
register and finish the application before the deadline.
I had only spoken to the guy once before that day and when he
came to my workplace and asked he wanted to see me, I was very
He narrated his story and why he was stranded at that time. ‘My
dad travelled and his phone has been off’, he said. ‘He has paid
most of the money before he went on his journey to Abuja.
Immediately he returns, I’ll refund you, please.
I warned the guy; told him that if he had come to tell me lies and
scam me, that heaven will be angry with him.
‘Just a week ago, a guy borrowed some money from me and he
never returned,’ I told him. ‘Please, don’t let the same thing happen
to me twice so I won’t start losing my faith in people.’
I always added humour to my words even when I meant to be
serious, and the guy smiled and assured me he wasn’t a swindler.
The warnings I gave and his consequent assurances took about
ten minutes before I gave my ATM card to a trusted brother at
work and told him to help me withdraw 5000 naira from the
Lest someone called me foolish for not confirming his story before
lending him the cash, I placed a call to someone connected to the
school and ask if indeed, application had started.
‘I think so; it closed before. But maybe they have extended the
deadline. They always do things like that.’ The former student of
the school assured.
‘Well, I guess his story is verified; and it is only 5k. Let me trust
him; the money isn’t too big.’ I thought as I handed him the cash.
Though two or three years, at most, younger than me, he
prostrated halfway and thanked me profusely.
I told him it was okay; and for the umpteenth time, I pleaded with
him not to make me regret the goodwill.
‘Don’t worry sir. I will return the money next week. Thank you very
much.’ He said.
A week passed and I didn’t hear anything from him.
A month passed, nothing.
Till date, I have neither seen him nor the money he promised to
A week after he absconded with my cash tightly wrapped in his
hand, I asked around for his mother’s phone number and called
‘Your son borrowed some money from me ma, I want it back. He
said that he wanted to apply…’ I explained.
‘Where did you get my number?’ The woman asked impatiently.
I dodged the question as I didn’t want to reveal the identity of the
woman that gave me the said phone number.
‘Look ma, I haven’t seen your son since that day and it was a good
deed I did for him.’
‘Where did you get my phone number?’ she asked again.
When she realized I wasn’t going to answer that particular
question, she continued. ‘Go and call his father. He is not my
My mouth opened to speak something more but words escaped
me. I was both surprised and confused.
‘How can a mother say his son is not her problem?’ I thought.
The woman spoke on, ‘I have not seen him for how many weeks
now. I cannot give you any money. Go and meet his father about
the money, it is not my problem.’
I was shocked beyond words and a brief silence passed between
us before I cut the call.
I was both shocked, disappointed and annoyed.
I collected the father’s phone number from the same provider of
the mom’s and I placed a phone call to him.
By this time, I already knew my money was almost as good as
‘Hello sir’ I spoke when he picked.
‘Hello, who is this?’ He asked.
‘This is Victor sir; your son told me he wanted to apply for
admission into a school the other day and said I should…’
‘Victor? Which Victor?’ He cut in.
I didn’t want to say my surname because I was sure he would
recognize my father’s name and probably know my dad, so I
continued my story without telling him.
‘I am Victor sir. I said your son borrowed money from and he
didn’t return it.’
‘Which Victor?’ He asked again.
I was forced to finally give up my surname and as expected, he
knew my father and said so.
I was not interested in friendship and I went on to complete my
When I ended, the first thing he did was to ask me, ‘So you too
gave him money just like that? Without thinking and wondering
how someone like me would not be able to provide for his own
I was shocked. ‘But sir, he said you travelled and that…’
‘You shouldn’t have given him. I have not seen that boy since last
month. We organized prayers for him to deliver him from his
vagabondage and he ran away on the last day of the prayers.’ The
man voice became increasingly pained as he went on.
‘Me that has prayed and helped strangers, I can’t even seem to
help my own son. He goes about the city using my name to dupe
people of their money.’
My own worry about getting my money back soon turned into pity
for the man.
He went on talking and explaining how this same son of his had
put him into trouble so many times and disgraced his name.
‘So, Mr Victor, I can’t help you at all. I don’t even know where he
his. I’m sorry about your money.’
‘No sir. I’m sorry about your son sir.’ My voice grew in pity. ‘May
God deliver him. Please try not to worry too much sir.’ I couldn’t
imagine a son doing that to his father.
‘Everyone has his own life to live’ I hinted the need for him to move
He agreed, ‘Yes, I have his siblings to take care of, he can’t kill me
before my time.’
He said he had practically stopped worrying about him and I
guessed that was why he never even suggested refunding my
The man apologized again on behalf of his son and the call ended.
And then, I stood there, my money totally forgotten, and the boy
totally forgiven, and I began to ask myself some pertinent
‘What happens when things like this happen to a parent?’
‘Can a mother actually disown his own son? Can a father deny his
‘After years of love and sacrifice for this boy, can his parents
actually lose their love for him?’
But then, the answers came to me clear as day.
Even I, who isn’t in any way related to the young man, has quickly
forgiven him on hearing the story.
How much more his own father and mother?
Even seeing him far away, coming to beg for forgiveness, his
father would open his arms wide and embrace his son.
His mother’s heart will soften and welcome his son back if only he
would ask for forgiveness.
Despite the hurt and pain both parents have suffered because of
this child of theirs, they will run to meet him a far way off
whenever they see him again.
And with all the mother’s denial and the father’s professed
indifference, both of them would never stop loving their son and he
will never stop being their child.
Yes, they have been hurt, they have had their hearts broken, the
child has made them suffer again and again;
But I know with all certainty, whenever he comes calling, they will
accept him back into their family.
He lied to me and duped me but I forgave him.
He ran away from home and abandoned his parents but they will
welcome him with open arms if and when he returns.
If with all the hurt, mere mortals, frail weak dust, flesh and blood
would forgive, how much more the Heavenly Father.
No matter the depth of evil and the thickness of iniquity, God will
forgive it all.
You can fall from grace thirty times, the Lord will forgive thirty-
Never allow any thought, question, doubt or words of men or the
devil stop you from taking the bold first step of coming back to
God and asking for forgiveness.
If humans will forgive a man who has done them evil repeatedly,
won’t the everlasting creator have mercy on his creatures?
Jesus never turns a man away from him. If you seek salvation, you
will find it.
Even while death clamped down on him and pain ravished his
flesh, Christ the Saviour pleaded for his killers with the last of his
breath, ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do.’
Jesus stands with love in his heart and forgiveness in his hands
and knocks the door of your heart today.
He calls you to open your heart and accept him back into your life.
He will never turn you away if you do.
A guy met me the other day. I think it was a Friday afternoon in