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Bury Me Please, I Paid My Tithe (a Short Story) - Religion - Nairaland

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Bury Me Please, I Paid My Tithe (a Short Story) by Nobody: 9:52am On May 25, 2017
I’ve got a problem with religion, you already know that. And that would affect “the religious you” planning to read this short story.

You’ll either scroll down and perhaps click "like" without reading, or unfriend or block me in the end, after reading. Worse still if your parents are pastors, like mine, you'd try to fix me in the same box as one of the biblical sons of Eli. But please, be patient with me to learn from the few lines running ahead of you. You could do the blocking and unfriending later. My parents are ministers too and I don’t regret saying that. I am proud of them, pun intended.

Everyone on the planet has got a unique defined path; mine is to hate the excesses and scams of religion and to love truth and humanity. I believe in Yeshua, Prophet Mohammed (SAW), peace be unto him, and their admonitions during their short stay on the planet. I also believe in such names as Buddha, Krishna, Confucius, My Grandpa—a naturalist, and many other true religious icons. But I have a problem with some of their teachings or rather the interpretations most of us have given to them. Today I’ll talk on tithing.

My case study may seem skewed to a particular faith—Christianity, it is yet not limited to it.

Growing up to this age, I am yet to pay a tithe of my meagre income, according to the way your pastors would want it paid. And I don’t regret it. You know why? I learnt how to tithe from the Bible and got an out-of-place interpretation therefrom, when I was still a little boy. Overtime, I observed how my grandpa sowed his seeds. He first cures the land; rid it of trees or stumps—which had been there on the land for some long period of time, to replenish its lost fertility from over cropping. Grandpa bulldozes the land, ploughs it, and then sinks his seeds on the bare earth. I notice he does not plant on the trees. He uproots them—all, before planting on the bare earth. This is how to tithe—how to sow a seed of goodwill. You sow it in the lives of the poor and wretched (relatively) in society, especially little children; they are fertile lands. I learnt that through observation and deep meditations, coupled with reading religious best sellers. But majority of people are blinded by adulterated doctrines; blind to reason.

With the seeds of your thick sweats, your pastors live in such houses that scrape the heavens like Nimrods tower; angry, maybe god would change their languages again—this time, make the languages even more complicated. More confusing.

You trek to church, for those too poor to own a keke, talk less of moto, pastor passes you in his tinted "Beast" for a car, and if he by chance recognises your face, he waves "the peace of the Lord be unto you" and zooms off, leaving the tired you and a mist of dust behind. You smile, happy pastor did pray for you, he did wish me well, unto God, you say to yourself. You get to church late, and become the topic of the day's worship service, for late coming to the house of God built by the hands of some poor men your only good hand was part of. Ah!

With your ant toils, your elephants for pastors build world class schools your children (who served the bricklayers for free in the name of building for the lord) can’t afford to get knowledge in.

With your thick blood for sweats, your pastors erect giant modern structures for hospitals outside the country; hospitals you can’t afford to get sick in, talk less of dying there (you can’t even afford the flight tickets). All your properties sold can’t pay to get your torso embalmed there, if by miracle you mistakenly get to die there. More pathetic is that after your death (in your own house or in a dilapidated structure for a government hospital), your wife would run to your church’s DPC—Death Planning Committee for support: financial and otherwise, or the former preferably. They’ll then open the Tithe Journal—deep sighs punctuating their overstretched silences—and spit chewed chilli peppers for counsel on her face, in her ears.

They’ll say “sister Vero, sister Philo, your husband faltered during his 30years service in His vineyard. He did not pay his tithe for 2months or thereabout in about 4years in his vineyard, we are sorry we can’t support you, okay. God would not forgive us if we do; you understand these things, sister Vero, sister Philo”

Sobbing, your wife would mumble, “only 8 months out of 30years and you can’t support me bury my husband, who played the church’s keyboard (for free) for 30years in His vineyard?”

She’d cry butter and milk, your ghost will watch her cry, you’ll want to pat her back and say honey it’s okay, but your hands will dissolve into her—inside out. You’ll hand her a hankie she won’t take from you, it would pass through her face. You’re dead. The dead can’t give the living moral support. You and your ghost will throw solid insults at your pastor and DPC chairman and the other excos—that’ll convert into gas before they reach 2yards to their faces. Soft as whispers, they won’t feel it. They didn’t hear you.

After all the pitty-patter, your wife would take you home to your people. They’re traditionalists and naturalists, and they did warn you about your scam faith. You always saw them as heathens whose hellfire would burn of such hot substances as—sulphur and brimstone and helium; petrol dey learn. After a little refusal to give your body a quiet welcome in your abandoned homeland, customs and traditions, your mother and father will say before the sun sets, ‘the dead also deserve some sleep—a good rest.’ Then they’ll give your ghost and torso a befitting burial, the earth taking you in at once in one big gulp, as though she’s been starving for years, hungry for your blackened body and the soon to come maggots.

Shortly after, your wife will go back to the church with the remnant foods, drinks and meat and other leftovers from your burial—for thanksgiving. Then she’ll continue paying the tithe from where you stopped, but unlike you, she would try to not default. She wants a white burial—in the church. She also wants Pastor Bartholomew or is it Barnabas to sing for her hymn 20something- ‘across the bridge’ with his sweet baritone, into the ears of her ghost, and say to her ‘sister Vero, sister Philo, from dust you came, to dust you shall return’. But pastor will fail again. She will default 39years of tithing by 3months.

Ehi Zogie

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