Just like the biblical prodigal son who came back after squandering his father’s wealth, Pascal turned to his wife and started begging her to forgive him. Lisa didn’t mind her own predicament but asked what happened to him.
Pascal narrated his ordeal with tears,
“I was in my house fuming and threatening to deal with Eddy, one of my workers who was to accompany our daughter to Buenos Aires. Ha! I’m in trouble. Erm…erm… Our daughter, I mean, Anne is nowhere to be found. My life is in a mess….” He looked at her to see her reaction but she wasn’t perturbed.
He repeated, “I said, Anne has escaped and we have been looking for her. I’m in trouble.” He waited for her to respond but she didn’t reply.
“Don’t you know our daughter again? I said, Anne has disappeared.”
“I heard you. Go ahead with your story…” She said as she gazed at his unshaven beard.
Pascal steadied his arms with the crutches and continued talking,
“I’m sorry for all that happened. All my workers and friends turned against me. Eddy finally turned against me after I threatened to take a legal action…” At this point, he held his head with his right hand and shed few drops of tears.
Lisa couldn’t stand his tears and the reactions of the passersby. She waited for Pastor Helen after she had already sent a text message to her while she talked with Pascal. He was about to suggest finding a place to sit when Pastor Helen called to inform her where she parked her car. Lisa asked him to follow him and he hobbled on his crutches.
When Pastor Helen saw them, she jumped for joy and helped Pascal and Lisa who were decorated with Plaster of Paris. She recognized him based on the text message Lisa had sent to her and their unusual reunion. Pascal didn’t understand what was happening until Lisa told him about her identity. After exchanging pleasantries, she drove them to her house. When they had settled down in the living room, Pastor Matthew joined them after his regular mid-day intercessory prayers. His wife joyfully shared the testimony of how God brought them together after seven years in His own wisdom.
“Is that so, Mrs Lisa?”
“Yes Pastor!” Lisa turned to see her husband who sat there looking like a stray dog in the midst of cultured sheep.
Pastor Helen had gone to the kitchen to prepare food for them. Meanwhile, Pastor Matthew engaged them in conversation.
“He is Peter, my husband who abandoned us for the past seven years. How our paths crossed today is still a mystery to me?” Lisa told him.
Pastor Matthew replied her, “My wife told me everything about your marriage and the way God’s mercy located your daughter too…”
Pascal interrupted him, “My daughter?” He turned to Lisa, “Our daughter? Anne? How? Is it true? Tell me where she is?”
Lisa sighed deeply before responding to him,
“You maltreated her and she fled. Anne is…”
Pastor Matthew cautioned her and turned to him,
“He is Peter! I don’t know who gave him that name.” Lisa cut in.
“Ok, Mr Peter. Your daughter is with us and…”
“In this house? Please, I want to see her and apologised to her. I’m really sorry.” Peter pleaded.
“No! She is in my house where God has settled us in His mercy.” Lisa said proudly.
Pastor Matthew began to talk with him until his wife called them to the dining table. Pastor Helen deliberately served Lisa and her husband’s food together and made sure they sat next to each other. It was a mild drama as Lisa served herself only but Pastor Helen encouraged her to serve her husband who was a bit helpless. She reluctantly served him and he thanked her profusely. Pastor Helen, who was beaming with smile tried to liven up their moods by sharing some beautiful stories with them until Peter almost threw up but Lisa quickly gave him water to drink. Pastor Mathew and his wife were satisfied with her action and the way he thanked her with joy.
After they had finished eating, they went to sit in the living room. Lisa called Anne to inform her of her location and gave her some instructions. As they sat there, Peter’s phone repeatedly rang but he ignored the caller. Peter turned to his wife,
“How we met today is still a mystery to me. I never knew you are living in this city. Ha! Lisa, I’m sorry for abandoning you and Charlie. How is he? I’m sure he is a big boy now. I’m sorry. I thought I could live without you but I was wrong. The more I pursued money, the deeper I went into misery which only my heart knows. Lisa, I’m sorry.” He wiped his tears again.
He continued, “I have been unfaithful. I went astray, broke the hedge and got bitten. The people I trusted most turned against me and took away my hard-earned money. I couldn’t report them because we were involved in illegal business. Ha! I regretted ever leaving you. Lisa, how we met today is still a mystery. I’m sorry.”
“You have only talked about yourself. Did you see me at all? Did you observe my hand? You still carried around your selfishness and…” Pastor Helen cautioned her.
“But I heard him asking you in the car but you ignored him. Lisa, be patient with him too. At least, he has acknowledged his faults and apologised.” Pastor Helen told her
“Pastor, he abandoned me. That’s unfair. I was bitter against you. I was ready to deal with you but I thank God for His mercy and Pastor Helen for her counsels.” Lisa said facing Peter.
Pastor Matthew thanked God for his wisdom and love.
“I have seen couples who were separated and never came back after several pleas and encouragement. But in your own case, it beats me how God would bring you together from your former countries to live in the same city for more than three years without knowing or meeting each other. Now, God arranged it in such a way for you to sustain physical injuries to connect you at the same hospital. My God! This is the love of God in action.”
His wife added, “My dear, you can say that again. I remembered when she told me everything that happened to them and the spiritual undertone, I didn’t know the answer would be in this manner after our prayers and fastings. No wonder the Bible says in Proverbs 30 verses 18 &19,
‘There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:
19) The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.’
The way of a man with a maid, let me say, with his wife is too wonderful for me. After seven years, God still kept you from marrying another man or woman in order to ensure His original plan and desire for couples to dwell together until death. God is faithful. Though, you have gone away from God and your marital responsibilities, he still brought you together to know him and fulfil His purpose for you.”
“Yes! I remember what God told me about His purpose for us in the expansion of His kingdom but we weren’t sensitive to His leading. We were so consumed with our different pursuits and ambitions. Love of money pushed me away from God. My life is battered….” Peter burst into tears again.
Lisa felt the urge to ask him about Josephine,
“Where is Josephine?”
“Josephine? How did you know? She is the one disturbing me with her calls.”
Lisa turned to Pastor Matthew, “Pastor, ask him who Josephine is and her relationship with him?”
Pastor Matthew asked him and he paused before responding,
“Josephine is …
To be continued in Episode 42.