YOU TOO CAN SURRENDER NOW
As I looked up, behold a woman whose dress sparkled like the bright morning stars. Her eyes were dripping with blood. I wondered what could make the beautiful lady to shed blood. I was still wondering when she pointed to the ground, to my right. As I looked where she pointed, I was totally terrified with what I saw – a pool of blood flowing like a river. On the surface of the pool of blood was an inscription: “Come, my child”. I wondered who would be calling and what the person wanted to show me. Walking towards that direction, I met a man whose face was so scary that I couldn’t look at it. He asked me where I was headed. Before I could open my mouth to answer him, he ordered me to go back.
“Don’t mind him!” a mighty voice countered him from the direction the blood was flowing. “I am the one that called you, my child. Come.”
I continued towards the direction where the blood was flowing from. At a point, I began to hear a sound as if it was raining. As I looked up, I saw a young man hanging on a tree and blood was gushing out from his body. I wondered how so much blood could gush out from one person. The man wept greatly and breathed heavily. Tears filled my eyes as I watched him in his pains.
“My child, I have suffered here for over two thousand years. Please, child, come and console me,” he cried in a low voice.
Immediately, the vision disappeared from my sight. I woke up to discover that it was a dream. I looked at the wall clock to know the time; behold, on it was the bold inscription, “I am the agonizing Jesus appealing to you”.
I couldn’t get up from my bed. It was as if all the blood in my body had dried up. I had heard many preachers of the Gospel preach about his suffering, but I had never been touched or moved for once to quit the sinful life that I lived. Why would he lead me to console him? Had he forgotten that I was a notorious armed robber, a drug addict and a fornicator? I didn’t know the last time I went to church or opened my Bible. Indeed I had a Bible. So he suffered so greatly just for me to be saved? He died guiltless so that I would live.
That moment, I went down on my knees and cried for more than two hours, asking him for forgiveness and mercy. I blamed myself for being so heartless all the while, wallowing in sin, not minding that I was adding to the suffering of an innocent man. While I was praying, I slept off. Then I had a dream. In the dream, a man clothed in sparkling white apparel stood before me, and I was on my knees, with my face to the ground. He lifted me onto my feet, smiled and pointed towards the wall. On the wall was an inscription which I could neither read nor understand.
Before I could ask him to interpret it, he disappeared. Immediately, I woke up and looked at the wall, where he had pointed, but couldn’t see anything written on it. I was highly disturbed; then I heard a voice which said, “Look very closely at the wall.” As I looked at the wall, behold the inscription which I saw in the dream! But it was now written in the language I could read and understand. It said: “I will not condemn you neither will my father condemn you. Your sins have been forgiven. Now go and tell your friends and loved ones what you saw. Lead them as well to console me. I am the agonizing Jesus Christ appealing to you, my son.”
I stood up immediately from the floor where I was sitting, moved to the wardrobe, where I hid my arms, drugs, condoms and other things which had been part of my illicit and decadent lifestyle over the years. I packed them in a travel bag. I searched for my Bible and found it. I only brushed my teeth and went out without taking my bath. I took those items to a nearby church and, after narrating my experience to the resident pastor, surrendered everything to him. He prayed and led me to Christ. After that, he advised me to surrender myself to the police, promising that the church would stand by me. Since it was the best thing to do and since I was ready then to do anything to pay for my sins, I went to the police station and did as I was directed by the pastor. I was arrested and taken to court. The church stood by me till the final day in court. Although I had known what the outcome of the final judgment would be like, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I was ready to accept it. My punishment was reduced to six years imprisonment because I voluntarily surrendered myself to the law. While in the prison yard, the church stood by me. They showered their love and gifts on me.
In the prison yard, I nearly led one-third of the inmates to Christ, even inmates who were Muslims. From the records I kept while in prison, out of those I led to Christ before I left the prison on 21st June, 1985, eight were Muslims.
Today, I am bold to say I am fulfilled. When I left the prison, the church took me in, since I had nobody on this earth to call my relation. I grew up to discover that I was alone in this world. When the church saw the zeal in me to be a preacher of the Gospel, the sponsored me in a Bible school, where I graduated as a pastor. I must confess that I have never had any cause to regret since I surrendered my life to Christ. I have a free life. All that I couldn’t achieve as a sinner came to me begging. I was shocked the day two powerful presidents of the world knelt before me to pray for them. I have visited almost 70 countries of the world and still counting. I was also fortunate to reunite with my family members while on a ministerial outreach in the Eastern part of Nigeria. In fact, things are totally different with me since I surrendered. You too can surrender now.
Chinedu Vincent Okoro is a Nigerian writer and Political activist. He read Educational Management and Political Science in Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT). He is currently the PRO, Abia State Chapter of Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA). He has some published literary works to his credit, including Now I Know (a drama), My Case is Different (short story), Selfless Flesh (poetry), Comfortable Elephant in an egg(poetry) and other political cum socio-economic articles. He was made an Ambassador of Spanish Language by Cesar Egido Serrano Foundation (Spain).