Thinned Out by Augustine Susan

Sonia dragged her skirt down when she approached her street, and with the back of her Left palm, she wiped her lips to clean every lip gloss that might still be there, she Adjusted her dress using the windscreen of a car parked on the street as a mirror and pulled out a scarf from her bag and tied her hair. 

Thinned Out by Augustine Susan

"Good evening, ma." She waved at the woman selling corn and the woman waved back at her in smiles.
"See better pickin." Her eyes followed Sonia till she could no longer see her. Everyone wanted their children to be like Sonia. She had been in the choir since she was a child and had led evangelism to different streets in the community so many times.

The car parked in front of her house indicated a visitor.

"My daughter!" She heard the voice before seeing him.

"Daddy!" She jumped into his embrace. Her mentor had traveled for months and they only communicated on social media.

"I heard that you went for evangelism?"

"Er...yes..."She stammered and could not meet his eyes. She had never lied to him before.

"How was the field today?" Her mind wandered to the field she just returned from. Where he smooched and slept with her after drinking alcohol.

"It was good." She couldn't look at his face again. He had tied her with her scarf. The scarf felt like fire and she dragged it from her head. Her eyes watered.

"What is it?" He held her shoulders and looked lovingly into her eyes .His concern made the tears break free from their barriers and she wept uncontrollably.

"It started from a crush. I wanted to feel like every young girl." She started after he had comforted her.

She felt the burning need to tell him her secret. "He said I wasn't cool and I wanted to be his definition of cool." She paused to see his face but it was now looking behind her like he was in a trance. She did not miss the tears in those eyes.

"The first time he touched me, I slapped him but apologized the next day. I should not have apologized. He kept touching me till I became comfortable with it, then we progressed to smooching and kissing."

He blew his nose and it made her pause.

"I'm with you." He urged her on when she did not continue.

"I just gave him my virginity last week. He said he was going to marry me and there was nothing to lose." She did not look up but his release of breath told her a lot." I have disappointed you, daddy." She could not control the sobs.

"And God, most especially." His voice was calm but his face showed he was trying to hide his emotion. He chewed his lower lips and blinked severally. Then it dawned on her, he was trying hard not to cry. This broke her heart. If a mortal man could be affected, how would God feel? This realization broke her deeply and she allowed herself to wail. Her mentor joined her and together they cried for that which was lost.

"I don't know what made you sober but thank God for sending the Holy Spirit to minister to you. It's never too late to return to him." Together, they prayed for the restoration of Sonia.

He picked his Bible from his side. "Read Leviticus 6:12."

She stood up and picked her Bible. "Leviticus 6:12 says, And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it, and he shall burn there on the fat of the peace offerings."

"This happened because your fire thinned out and eventually went off. You concentrated on the crush you had for that boy and he was not someone that could help you add wood to increase your fire by taking your concentration back to God." 

He looked at her to be sure she was listening. Satisfied that she was, he continued, "nobody is above mistakes, but the verse said and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, that is, we pray to God, for grace to run this race. We fight against our flesh. When we let other things take our time and concentration from God, our fire starts thinning out.

The burnt offering is our work to God. He will only accept it when we are still his children, and it will burn when our concentration is still on Him. He won't accept your works and sacrifices if your concentration is elsewhere." She looked back at the text. She had always read that text but never gotten such insight.

"Thank you, sir." She appreciated his visit. Together, they prayed again and he watched her send a break-up text message to her boyfriend.

When her mentor left, she felt that peace of salvation and prayed for grace to have a burning altar. She could not afford to be in any mess again.



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