If you’re a regular commuter, you’ll definitely know how it is in these Lagos buses. From the noisemakers to the sweaty conductor, the fat woman by your side eating up all the space and the pastors who think it’s right that you give your life to Christ inside that bus.
On a normal day, once these Pastors begin their sermon or worship, it’s like they’ve infringed on everyone’s right to be a a commuter. Some pull out their piece and block both ears, some others who are lucky to be sitting by the window just keep their face out.
So, most times, the preachers just go on and on. Save for one or two passengers who probably have the spirit of God, they rarely get an amen to their prayers or a hallelujah to their regular ‘praise the Lord’. But, amazingly, this never deters them. They go and on till it’s time for them to alight.
Last week, I witnessed something different. A female Pastor thought it wise to bless the people of God who were opportune to be in the same bus with her. As she began her song, everyone joined in. It was like everyone in that bus were church members on their way to a deliverance service. The bus was spirit-filled. As she spoke in tongues and blessed the people, the response kept increasing. At a point she requested that all those who were sick in the body should raised their hands, and many people did. At that moment, I was scared people were going to begin to manifest. But none of that happen.
As people began to alight, they greeted and prayed for her, with words like, ‘the anointing of God will never diminish in your life’.
But something happened before the pastor began her ministration.
After successfully struggling to avoid body contact with the crowd of people I met on my way to the bus-stop, I got in a bus and secured a space beside 2 women. Normally, a space by the window is where I always prefer to stay, but all I could think of at that time was for the bus to get going so I could get to my destination on time.
As I kept thinking of when the bus was going to get filled up, I realised the woman by my side had lost her phone and money before getting in. She was in a conversation with a man in front who kept helping her to make several calls to people who claimed she didn’t forget her phone at their place. Then, they concluded it must have dropped in the previous bus they alighted from. He gave her some money and left the bus, saying he was going to help her find it.
I felt really sorry for her. If you’ve ever misplaced your phone, you should know the feeling. I was about telling her not to worry, that she’ll find it. But before I could spill anything out, I heard some sounds from her. She was praying and speaking in tongues.Then I knew I had to mind my business.
Commuters trooped in and filled up the bus. We were set to move. I pulled out a N500 note from my purse even though the bus fare was N100 and the conductor kept screaming, ‘500, 1000 no enter o’. I knew I was going to get my change. As the conductor was about collecting the bus fare from us, the woman by my offered to pay for everybody. Yes, the same woman who had lost her phone and some money. The same woman who was praying and speaking in tongues beside me. She was the Pastor.
Immediately, the conductor announced in Yoruba, “she has payed for everybody”. I could see smiles in the bus. People were more than excited. They kept thanking and praying for her. Some even asked, “is today your birthday? Let’s sing happy birthday for you.” She replied with a really sweet smile, “it’s not my birthday”.
The bus had barely moved halfway when she began her ministration, and everyone joined in like it was a church service. The experience made me realise that no one is really difficult to win or convince. You just have to touch a button, solve a problem or help them out with something in return for whatever it is you want them to buy into.
With the scorching sun and the crowd of people they had to deal with before getting into that bus, many commuters entered really angry, but knowing it was a free ride to their destination, moods became lighter.
I was also one of the happiest. God bless that Pastor, I hope she found her phone.