What does faith look like?
My cousin (Cuz) had been shortlisted for an award.
We were talking about how and what we were going to wear on the night especially since the host had chosen to hold the event in style, on a boat. You heard right. I had attended parties and luncheons on a boat before, but for ‘posh’ events.
Anyway, imagine my shock when Cuz arrived to pick me up and announces that she was tasked with the chore of printing the certificates for the award recipients. The questions What? Now? Today? Why not before; and a host of other questions plagued my mind.
So we had to get these documents printed on the high street before we could leave. It was a last minute request from the organiser after some things had gone, not-quite-right that day.
So you know what it’s like when you’ve been waiting excitedly, dressed up, all made up and wanting to just go somewhere and now you have to make a pit stop; in high heels 👠 (which for me is 2 inches high), wearing evening dresses! Imagine that… Grumbling within and not wanting to voice my discontent at this request, we headed down the high street, to find a shop on Saturday, ‘after hours,’ that would print the prized documents. Thank God! We happened upon the corner shop whose owner who was in the middle of another job and again, we had to wait.
Why does waiting seem so long when you are in a hurry?
A few debates and haggling about price of white and coloured printing followed, and I did my best to keep out of this. He was after all, running a business and wanted to take advantage of trade ‘after hours’. Could you blame him?
Price was finally agreed and I wanting to feel useful asked to hold my Cuz’s stone beaded and well designed bling purse; only to leave it in the shop as she dressed with one accessory after another asking me to choose which went better with her outfit.You will understand that Cuz, as an ‘awardee’ was planning on ‘dressing to impress’ so we had to take time with the accessories; all to the amusement of the shop owner. Cuz was not pleased! In any event, it was so timely that she looked back one last time before we exited the shop, to check if we left anything behind, or she would have dressed-less her purse.
I learned a big lesson that day 😉 always check look back when you leave a location, in case you have left something behind.
A shock was brewing…
After going up and down we were informed that the boat was going to leave in about 30 Minutes! Now you can understand my frustration when I realised that we were at least an hour away from the Wharf boat pier, not to mention that we did not know where it was. Several attempts later to talk and reason with the car navigating system revealed that we had the wrong road or postcode to our boat pier entrance. So after driving around, almost aimlessly, asking pedestrians, private parking guards and other drivers, we finally got some direction to where we could approach our setting off point.
Finding parking space proved to be the next challenge and all the time, I was thinking that there was probably no point in going further but as we were charged with bringing the award certificates so we had to pursue our goal, to catch the boat trip. Some relief came after several attempts to phone-call and text our host. They said we had missed the boat, literally! I kind of thought that they would delay the its setting out because of our crucial role in bringing the certificates. We were advised to board a river bus and meet up at another boat stop, about 6 stops away.
We had about 40 Minutes to have another go at joining the award party.
Have you ever been on a river bus?
I think I vaguely heard of their existence so you will understand why I thought it was an opportunity to ‘create a scene,’ by taking a selfie as one boat emerged out of the blue. The skipper announced he was not supposed to stop but he had done so, wow! He was not even listed on the departure display boards and he just happened to be going where we were headed.
Talk about angels in attendance…
“Hurry up” the skipper shouted at me as the River Thames proceeded to initiate a turbulent wave when a bridge was thrown across for us to walk on. I have a friend, First Lady, with whom almost every event or occasion is a celebration. I imagined that she was with me as I posed for a selfie picture at the point where the boat was connecting with the pier walk. It was always fun to see things in a humourous light and Treasure the moment. My special moment was interrupted when…
Cuz shouted at me after having jumped onto the river bus – boat or whatever it was called, “ we are leaving without you” and she was laughing at me. There was no usual paparazzi following today so you can see why the selfie had to do.The waves were back and the skipper was warning me again to board or else… I reluctantly looked at the selfie pics on my phone, mentally agreed they were OK then boarded our water transport machine. And we were off at last.
Wow! It was like stepping into my Royal sitting room. There was a flat screen TV at the front, a bar at the rear and about several rows and three aisles of dirty-comfy-white leather-looking seats! And I did not even know this service exist.
May I never go through this life without exploring the exciting sights, wonders and innovations of technology and men.
I digress…. seating on one of those comfy things came with non stop excitement as I made a video call to Stately Lady to share our evening’s adventures. It worked and my accounts of the evening’s events left her amused, wondering how I could see the funny side of missing a boat and boarding another marine vessel.That said, I felt like the world needed to know I had come aboard so I walked up and down the ‘pews’ changing seats from one end of the sitting room to another, looking through the window and chatting excitedly like a child with candy sweets. Finally it was announced that we were approaching our destination, and passengers intending to ‘deboard’, ‘deboat’ had to come to the front of the vessel. We packed up our bags, and after a layer of makeup foundation for Cuz and a refresher to my lip stick we were ready to get off to next stage in the journey.
Surely it should be easy now…. but no.
We had lost connection with our host so the only information we had so far, was to get to West pier, for a possible boarding at the ‘quarter to the hour’. No more details. Subsequent phone calls to them were hitting the voicemail. It was so cold! I almost wished I was back in my warm bed but I could not say so. It would not help the situation. At least I was wearing tights unlike Cuz. Our next project was to approach every docking boat to see if it was the right one for the award event. Several came and went and it was none of them. Almost beaten, I agreed with Cuz we would wait till quarter past the hour until we gave it up and went home. Something made me want to hold on for longer though…
Distressed and a tad jealous at seeing other people disembarking. embarking, meeting, hugging, kissing their loved ones on and off other boats felt lonely but I had an inner resolve to wait. We were becoming good at judging what boats that were going to stop and those that weren’t, that it was almost impossible what happened next. It was getting colder and we almost getting fed up with the wait. Then this boat was moving in the middle of the waters and to my surprise it drew closer to us as if it had changed it’s mind. It was coming closer. Really? Quite unusual and different to the other fancy named boats, there was nothing special about this one, except a friendly -faced man who called out, “you look lost?”
“Yes” I replied. “Are you the boat hosting the awards?” I asked hoping he would say yes. “We are the right one” he repliedSo excited as he was offering the bridge to cross aboard, I looked up thankful that we did not give up. Thank you Daddy you came through again. He confessed that no one had told him there were passengers waiting at this stop. And again he was not supposed to stop but to let off someone who had fallen sea sick. Isn’t God humorous?
That was not all. There was more…. the real moral of this story.
We were invited aboard but without much fanfare as I was too relieved to be in the warmth to bother about taking selfies or doing a show like earlier.The host was just announcing that a certain member of her team had missed the boat and the prize giving and awards would be holding after the cutting of the cake.I was shocked! Humbled. Overwhelmed. Tearful all in one. What??? Did this lady even know we were on board and had brought the award certificates, which she would be needing for that part of the ceremony?
The host was talking about how she almost cancelled the event due to some other challenges and claimed God’s faithfulness kept her going through, to holding the event after her original guests were told it was cancelled.We could not find seats together so Cuz and I separated after I asked her to let the host know the certificates were now on ‘on board’, with us, within reach. They were Here. Now.
She had no idea that her prayer had been answered. That Cuz and I had literally missed the boat but had successfully joined up the party with the required documents.
How does anyone announce that there would be certificate -giving without actually handling or seeing the documents?
I don’t know that I have that kind of faith.
Then she shouted “ God is faithful” when Cuz presented her the documents. I could understand the relief, release, the joy, the adulationWe were later to learn that our host had 2 SIM cards for her mobile and had been alternating them in her phone through out the night.
Do you ever get a sense that God is testing you sometimes, to stretch you?
Anyway the evening went well as certificates were signed and framed. Cuz was honoured with an award and she gave her Speech.
It was an unforgettable night for me.
Copyright ©Arinola 2018