Joseph episode 4

Joseph
(The hand of God)
Episode 4
By the time he was in his second year in the university, Joseph knew he had to tell his parents about his new faith. He couldn’t keep lying to them and pretending he was okay with idol worshiping, as a matter of fact, he couldn’t stand any of those sacrifices anymore, and he dreaded going home for his second semester, he decided to take off his necklace- the one he had worn since he was little, the one his father sternly warned him never to do without. Didn’t his father say that something evil was going to happen to him if the necklace left his neck? But he had never been more well and sound since he took it off. He felt peace, too. He had given his life to Christ for a long time now and yet wore the fetish necklace because he didn’t want to disobey his father.
But he was never comfortable wearing the black and red necklace everywhere. Now that he was going home for the semester break, he knew he just had to spill the bean.
***
Doris was too excited to see her son to notice that he wasn’t wearing his necklace. She hurried into the kitchen to prepare Hassan’s favourite meal for dinner. It was at dinner table that night that Chuks noticed his son’s bare neck. His eyes blazed in anger.
“What happened to your necklace?” he asked ignoring Hassan’s greetings. It was then that Doris noticed, too.
“That’s true,” she said. “I almost didn’t notice you took it off. You know you are not supposed to go without it, Hassan.”
Hassan knew he couldn’t procrastinate telling his parents the secret he had hidden from them all these years even though he knew how much it would break their heart, especially his father. He cleared his throat and said quietly, “I’m sorry, Dad, Mum, I stopped wearing the necklace.”
“What?” his parents chorused.
“What do you mean you stopped wearing the necklace?” Chuks raised his voice.
“Dad, I’m sorry but I am a Christian now and I don’t need a necklace or whatever for protection. Christ is enough for me. And I think you and Mum need to consider putting those idols away. They will never save you.”
Doris’s mouth dropped open, she didn’t think her son just said that, and Chuks eyes were going to pop out of its sockets. It seemed his son was going crazy.
“How dare you!?” he screamed.
“Are you okay?” Doris examined her son.
Hassan pushed his food away and started to leave the table.
“Where do you think you are going to?” Chuks yelled.
“I lost my appetite. It’s been a long journey home. I just want to rest.” He walked away leaving his both parents confused.
Chuks stared at his wife ridiculously. “Did you know about this?”
“You think I’m a party to this?” Doris quickly returned.
Chuks rosed from the table fuming with anger, he walked out of the house.
Doris had always suspected this. From the moment Hassan left for campus, he had been different. He seemed to question some of their beliefs and opposed others. He barely participated in the family rituals and she thought since he was old enough, he could choose to worship at any time he desired.
She should have known better that his friendship with Veronica and Christopher’s son was going to have a great influence on him.
***
Veronica and Christopher were happy to see Hassan. He had stopped by to see them. Their son, Paul, was away in school though. They were glad to know he had continued his faith and were also surprised when he told them about his confession to his parents.
The couples had always prayed for him. They worried for him, too.
“And what was your father’s reaction?”
“He was really furious like I expected, but I left the table before he could say anything.
I guess my parents were both in shock. I left the house very early this morning. So I haven’t seen them after last night.”
“Let’s pray they take it well,” Veronica said.
***
Later that Afternoon, he left for home. He dreaded going back home, but he couldn’t stay out all day.
Chuks had stayed up all night thinking about his son’s confession. He feared the trouble this would bring upon him if the cult found out. Besides, Hassan was going to turn twenty-one in the coming month, and he had taken a vow to give the boy back to the society – it was the reason he had worn the necklace to keep him safe. If he couldn’t pay his vow, he knew the kind of disaster that awaited him. He knew he had to do something fast. Hassan must be joking. He just couldn’t renounce his beliefs just like that.
Hassan found his father waiting for him when he stepped into the living room. His mother had left for the market, the gateman had told him.
He knew it was time to answer to his father but he was surprised at the soft voice which his father spoke with.
“You can’t join those Christians like that,” Chuks tried to make his son see reasons.
“But I am old enought to choose whatever religion I desire.”
“I get to choose for you,”
Hassan shook his head. “I really don’t understand why this is a problem. I get to live my life, after all, you and Mum lived yours.”
“We gave you that life.”
“No, God gave me life not you.”
Chuks laughed. “I see, let me explain,” he began. Chuks told his son how his birth came about and also about the oath, a vow he was to fulfil in a month’s time.
“Are you saying you are a member of a cult?” Hassan was amazed.
“I have always been. Where do you think I got all these wealth from?”
“I can’t believe this.”
“You have to, and you have a part to play.”
“I do not have any part to play,” Hassan asserted, rising to his feet. He was no longer afraid of his father. “No one is going to force me into worshipping another god. I get to worship God Almighty alone!”
“Not in this house! I forbid you!”
“No, you can’t. You don’t have the power to!”
Chuks was stunned at his son’s boldness.
He trembled with anger. Not once had Hassan defied him before. Right now, he was going to make his decision so he could know he meant every single word he spoke.
“If you do not renounce that nonsense religion, then I disown you! You cannot be my son and continue to worship that God of yours!”
“You don’t mean it, Dad,” Hassan scoffed, but his father was dead serious.
“You start by picking your things and leave this house, or have a change of mind and continue being my son.” Chuks walked out of the house now. Hassan was still in shock when he heard his father’s car roar to a start and screeched out of the compound seconds later.

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