Once upon a time, but not a long time ago, there used to be a poor single lady by the name, Amara. Seven years – seven good years – after striving through the four walls of the University for a Degree; after seeking tenaciously for a job, yet she couldn’t find a job.
“Nigeria is such a terrible country,” she sighed in her soliloquy with a sombre countenance and shook her head slowly from side to side, whereupon she continued, “what kind of country is this? No job, no husband and no money. I’m just tired.” She paused and continued, “but I’m not giving up.”
Amara is such a nice lady, quiet and sometimes shy. She has quite a handful of friends, most of which are in a similar condition to hers. The adversities in Nigeria had been trying to leave creases on her face but to no avail, because she still remained cheerful despite all the setbacks. So one day, one of her numerous job applications replied and called her for an interview. She was so happy because she felt that, of all the employment opportunities she had applied for in all those years, this vacancy – ICT Officer – was the one that seemed she was the best match for.
Eagerly, she set out early in the morning for the interview. On getting to the bus stop, there were no buses.
“Oh my gosh,” Amara muttered in disappointment and continued, “how am I going to get to this interview before 9 am? God please help me.” This was painful for her. She waited almost an hour before she could get into a bus. Eventually, she felt a sweet sensation of relief as her bus began its journey to her destination, despite the traffic jams. Unfortunately, this sweet sensation of hers met its demise as the bus jerked and jerked and the engine rumbled and stuttered and then stopped.
“Ah, why me?” she whimpered in frustration and stepped out of the bus peacefully, while the other passengers were busy quarrelling over the balance of their transport fare. Luckily, her destination wasn’t that far, so she paced up in order to meet up, in time.
Finally, Amara got to the street – a busy street – where the company is located. As she crossed the street to the other side of the road in order to get into the company, she met a strange woman, who was nicely dressed but seemed to be sick or something.
“Hello! Please can you assist me to cross the road? I ain’t feeling quite well,” the elderly woman stammered. Amara paused for a second and contemplated on that request.
“Oh God, why are all these happening to me; how am I going to get to this interview, I’m already 30 minutes late?” she queried within herself in a brief dilemma and then assisted the elderly woman. As they sauntered and crossed the road; the elderly woman said, this time, revealing her foreign accent, “please, don’t leave me here. My doctor recommended at least a stroll per day to boost my health.”
Amara couldn’t take it anymore. She didn’t come there for a casual walk with an elderly woman; she has an interview to get to. So as she tried to voice herself and express her plight to this woman, the elderly woman touched her on the shoulder and said, “don’t worry my child, everything is gonna be alright.”
Those words touched Amara and she yielded resignedly to walk with the elderly woman in her stroll. They walked for a while and conversed with each other and then walked back through the same route they came from. To Amara’s surprise, the elderly woman led her into the same company she was to have an interview with.
As they got into the building, the elderly woman said in her sweet accent, “I’m sorry Amara, for all the troubles: for the bus stop incident; for the bus’ breakdown; and for delaying you from getting to your interview…” At this point, Amara was dumbfounded.
“How in the world, did this woman know about all the setbacks I encountered today?” Amara puzzled within herself.
The elderly woman then continued in a gentle demeanor, “you see my child, no pain that we suffer or trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education and to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude, tolerance and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our character, purifies our heart, expands our soul and makes us more tender and charitable. This life is ironic: for it takes pain to discover pleasure; it takes sadness to know happiness; it takes war to value peace; and it takes hatred to treasure love. Remember my child, patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet…”
The son walked up to his mother, hurriedly and interjected, “Mum, where have you been? We’ve been looking for you.”
The elderly woman enthused, “Ah my son, don’t worry about me; I only went for a stroll with this young lady. She’s such a darling,” and then turned to Amara and said, “Amara, meet my son – the MD/CEO of the company. He’s such a hardworking single man.” Turned to her son and said, “meet Amara – the lady I told you about – our new Personnel Manager.”
“Oh my gosh! Mummy, thank you so much…” Amara burst with great excitement. She initially came for the post of an ICT officer, now she got something much bigger. You could notice a raft of joy all over her. She thanked the elderly woman as much as she could as the woman sauntered away, leaving her son and Amara in their new acquaintance. “My mum is such a strange woman, you know,” the son commented as they conversed and walked deep into the building.
That comment relieved Amara of her earlier puzzle about this elderly woman and she reminisced about those words the elderly woman told her before the son interjected.
“Remember my child, God will not suffer you to be tempted above that which is beyond your ability, but with the temptation, He will also provide a way out. He is faithful and will always love you.”
©Emmanuel Aghado 2013