I visited Queenie at the teaching hospital where she was still being treated for the infection she got. She still couldn’t talk. The doctors had told her parents that they could cure the wound in her mouth but she would never be able to talk properly again except a plastic surgery is done on her tongue.
Queenie’s parents had told the doctors they would want that but when the facts and figures involved in the surgery came, it was way beyond their budget. The surgery could only be done by one doctor in the United States. He was a Jewish doctor, and he worked between America and Israel. His schedule though very tight could be fixed to include them, but the cash involved ran into several millions of naira. So everyone resigned themselves to getting Queenie fully healed.
They even got a sign language tutor to help communication. Physically, she had greatly improved. She could eat, cry and even babble a few words. Emotionally, she was a complete wreck. Fear was always vivid in her eyes, you could almost pull it out with your hands.
Queenie was asleep in her private room when I got there. I sat beside her like I usually did and brought out a book on bible stories for children. I began to read softly in a sing song voice.
“Once upon a time, there was a woman named Hannah. She loved children so much but had none. She cried and cried and her husband comforted her, but she was not happy. So one day, she went to the house of God and prayed to God and promised God that she would dedicate the child back to him if He gave her.
“So Hannah went back home and became pregnant. And she bore a beautiful baby boy. She called him Samuel and she kept to her promise and gave Samuel to God. Do you know what God did for her? He opened her womb and gave her three more sons and two daughters.”
Queenie opened her eyes and smiled at me. She had done that a couple of times. Joy welled up inside me. It was fulfilling that I could get her to relax and smile. Even her mother hadn’t been able to get her to smile.
I rubbed her gaunt cheeks with my knuckles tenderly. “God wants us to pray to Him always. He answers prayers. Did you pray this morning?” I asked gently. She shook her head. I could only imagine. “We’ll pray together before I go.”
There was a short tap on the door before it opened. Emeka walked in .What did he want? I thought before wondering how he knew I would be here. He explained before greeting me.
“I saw your car outside and remembered Queenie would be here so I thought to check you out.”
He was hounding me. “What brought you to teaching hospital?”
“I came to see a colleague’s wife. Her husband sent me to her. She’s a nurse in the paediatric unit.”
“How’s she?” He nodded toward Queenie who had closed her eyes right back.
“Her emotions are still very traumatized but she’s better physically.”
“Your optimism about this whole situation radiates to her. I heard your sweet story from outside the door. I’ve been around a while.”
“I didn’t know my voice was so loud,” I said, embarrassed.
“I’m glad I heard you. Is there anything I can do to help improve Queenie’s condition?”
“I’m sure there’s none.” I stood up. “We should leave her to rest.”
He clamped his hand on my wrist and looked straight into my eyes. His were deep and sad. “I need what you have, Eno.”
Published as 52 Ways to Provoke God. Get your copy here.