Through It All

The last few days have been difficult for a lot of Nigerians. The #EndSARS protests which started as a spontaneous reaction to police brutality became a wildfire that spread across several cities of the nation. Hoodlums began to take advantage of the protests to wreak havoc, leading to a worrisome security situation. Sadly, on the same day a curfew was declared in Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria, armed security forces opened fire on peaceful protesters with an unverified number of dead people and several injured. It was indeed a traumatizing experience for many.

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Covered by Love

The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” (Jeremiah 31:3)

Here I am, lying in quiet contemplation
As you gently serenade my soul
With lyrics sung to an eternal tune.
You speak peace to my storms
And bring an end to my fears.
Your words stir my lukewarm soul
And awaken my heart to heavenly love

Love so tireless that it chases me
Down to depths of depression where I sink
Love so true that it pulls me out
From the chambers of darkness and death
As I fade away from the view of a busy world:
A world that moves on with ease
When this fragile frame I finally lay aside

Your love draws me out of myself into You
Into purpose and service and sacrifice
With fulfillment and everlasting joy
In Your presence, I find abundance of peace
Even in the midst of a troubled world.
So, once I was lost chasing shadows in the dark
But now I am found, shining brightly like a star

The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

I am loved with a love that never ceases or fails, drawn with a kindness that has no precedence. God’s love calls out to me in the day time, whispers to me in the night seasons, heals me when I am wounded and restores me when I am broken. This love, so surreal, rejoices over me with gladness, like a sheep once lost now found. He sings to me joyfully as I lay quietly in the palm of his arms, covered by His love, without care or concern in this world.

Wonder

who planted a tree
in the middle of the ocean
and nurtured it to life?

how did its roots
get a hold of the seabed
and secure to a base?

how did its shoot
survive the undercurrents
and spring above the sea?

who shall number the days
of a tree that dwells in the ocean
or chronicle its tales?

A Tale of Time

The sweet chiming of bells; slow passage of time
Cackling of chickens and chirping of crickets
Remind me of the future we once dreamt about
The story of my life: a true motion picture
Far more to tell than that which meets the eyes
Much harder to sell in cold weather than ice
Hold your thoughts: this is a commercial break

You sang me a song when I turned sweet thirteen
Told me to be brave when I clocked seventeen
Truly no one was there when it mattered the most
Jobless and homeless at vague twenty-three
Crispy fried chicken slowly turned sour on my lips
Joyful birthday song growing dour by the year
Please wake me up now: all this has to be a dream

Look here we are, still awake, grinding out reality
Little feet follow me as I make my own mistakes
I traded away my fears at the currency exchange
But held on to my greed, an implicit part of me
Surely I must write my story, as I try to find my way
Though you must be wary as you listen to my tale
Yet no better tale was told than one made up on the go


Rise

Rise
Above my fears and your misfortune
Above your failure and my weakness
Today could just become your day
But first, you will need to rise again

Rise
To the tune of your glorious anthem
And the rhythm of my solemn pledge
To the challenge of restoring the ruins
And the labour of saving your name

Rise
Above this injustice and corruption
Beyond the limits of manipulation
Rise to the status of true nationhood
In unity and peace, by faith making progress

Rise
My beloved country, my dear friends and family
Above selfish interests and personal gain
Beyond finger-pointing to solution-finding
Until a great nation on the earth we truly become

O.J. Taiwo
Oct. 1, 2014