On Sunday Nov 3 2013, when I came back from church, I noticed something unusual in the weather. It wasn't as bright as it used to be; it was like the sky was shaded. First I thought it was the rain that was coming but that shade didn't resemble that of the rain. Then I said it was the Harmattan. But still, it couldn’t be, I told myself; the Harmattan made places smoky and brought an eastern dry wind with it and that’s not what I saw. Then I had it like a revelation; it must be an eclipse. This was just an intuition but when I went to look at the sun, though it was burning my eyes and I couldn't see it clearly, I knew it was an eclipse.
I hastened to my brothers and sister and asked them if they hadn't noticed anything weird in the weather. Then I revealed to them that an eclipse was surely occurring. They all ran to the balcony and they confirmed that it was an eclipse. But we weren't prepared to see an eclipse and so we didn't have any material for observation. I looked at the sun for sometime with my bare eyes and I saw it; the sun had taken the crescent shape of the moon. I jumped up for the excitement; it was my childhood dream realized at that moment. Then we went all to look for devices to look at it more keenly.
My brother went and brought out the telescope that had been packed somewhere under the bed. He installed it but still, we didn’t get a good vision of the eclipse. My other brother went to look for glasses; all types, even the ones used for swimming but we couldn't see a thing for the sun was burning our eyes. My brother gave me the idea to look for the negative of a photo and I went and searched my album but couldn't find any. We had a pair of binoculars and we watched with them. I brought my camcorder but it played the dump and wouldn't open. Then I started filming it with my unsmart phone and the pictures were not clear. You can judge by yourself; attached to this article are some of the photos. I guess if I didn’t tell you, you wouldn't see it’s an eclipse here.
Nevertheless, we continued in our observation. And the people of the neighborhood started to be curious at our excitement and they lifted their eyes to the sky. I heard some of them say it was the end of the world but others soon realized it was an eclipse. I was proud of myself because if I hadn't noticed it, no one would have known an eclipse was going on just over our heads. Maybe someone would have; but I was the first. Now, my brother brought a black plastic which was like that of a cassette and he gave it to the three of us and when we looked at the sun through it, we had the best of the eclipse. It was an infra-red material which blocked every other element except that of the sun. With it, we could see the eclipse as it was.
The sun had gone tiny like the shape of the moon on its first appearance. The eclipse was almost total and I called my sister on the phone and told her to look at the sky. We were all excited and we filmed it. We regretted we were no vigilante like Batman who knew in advance when something was preparing and mobilized his equipment to get it as it was happening. Or even the freelancer Peter Parker who got shots at impossible angles and sold the photos to the press. If we had smarter gadgets, we could have recorded it and posted it on YouTube to get one million views and become famous.
Let's leave aside probabilities and come back to our eclipse. We stayed on the balcony for about one and a half hour watching the eclipse until the moon finally crossed the sun. We put on the TV and in the news we learnt the eclipse was total in other countries. We wondered why it was never total in our country. This was the second eclipse I was witnessing; the last one was a lunar eclipse and it happened about thirteen years ago. And still it wasn't total in our country when it was in others. Maybe it’s our position of being in the centre of the world that accounts for that; I’ll need an astronomer to explain this.
After the eclipse, I waited for the transformation of my slum of a neighborhood into Hollywood. I resulted the eclipse to a prayer I made in the morning before I went to church; that the Father should send us the Alchemists Fullmetal and his brother Alphonse to transform our neighborhood and make it the best place in the world. And I received the answer to that prayer when Dr Shawn Smith preached that morning on the unconditional love of God towards man. The thing that was revolutionary in the preaching was that he defined LOVE. This is not yet the definition but my subjectivity of what he taught.
Love, which is Agape, speaks of someone who has completely given himself over to another or to something and could not be otherwise persuaded. He said God has completely given Himself over to love us and nothing we can do can annul that. He said the Father has loved the world and to prove His love for the world, which is every man, He gave us His only Son. His Son is the token of His love; the proof that He loves us. And He loves us because He loves us and there’s no other reason apart from this. We do love people; but usually, it’s inside of us and we don't often have something to show to them that we love them.
Now for parents, their children are their treasure. Imagine this one single parent, let’s say Bruce Wayne, and his son whom he found, even Steven Wayne. These are people who feature in my novel Another Dimension: The Ultimate Amalgam. Steven is just what Bruce Wayne has been looking for. Now Bruce Wayne also loves the people of his city Nootra and a villain, let's say, Megatron, is threatening the city. And for the citizens to be saved, it is the unique powers Steven Wayne possesses that can save them. Bruce Wayne has an option; he can run away from the city and he and his son could settle in peace in Aegels, another planet of their galaxy but for one thing; he loves the citizens of Nootra and would not let them perish. Though the sacrifice of his son would cause pain both to himself and to this one, yet because he loves the people, he gives Steven in exchange for the citizens - Steven's life for the citizens’.
Son Goku loves the citizens as well but Son Gohan, his son, didn't posses that power to save the Nootrans; only Steven, the miracle child, can do it. Son Goku loves the citizens but can't prove it for he has nothing to prove to them he loved them but Bruce Wayne has proven his love by giving his only son, even Steven, to avert the calamity Megatron was about to bring on them.
This is how the Father has loved us says the gospel and Dr Shawn Smith made us understand the definition of Love. Love, according to 1John 4, is this: not that we loved God but that God loved us and gave His Son so that we live through him. This love we are singing about in our songs, we are telling our siblings, our parents, children and our spouses; this love which we are presenting in our movies, in our novels, writings; this is it in its excellence, before it becomes interested by the desires of man. The true form of love; love before any man existed in the world; before any man told his wife that he loved her or any mother told her son she loved him; this is love - not that we loved God, but that He loved us and gave His Son that we may live through him.
So love does not begin with man's response to God, but God who has completely given Himself over to love us and there is no way for us to doubt it because He has proven it by giving us His Son so that we might live through Him. It is impossible to deny that fact; we can refuse to accept it but we cannot deny the love of God to us that is revealed in Jesus Christ His Son our Lord. Bruce Wayne loves Steven Wayne but Steven Wayne might reject the love of his father but he cannot remove the love his father has for him because this is love, not that Steven loves Bruce, but that Bruce loves Steven.
With this reasoning, there is only one thing that remains; the love of God towards us. What are we called to believe? In the existence of God, in that He has a son? Yea, we are but sometimes it becomes hard to fervently believe in a God we cannot see. But in a place it is written, God is love. What if we were called to believe instead in the love God has shown to us in the person of Jesus Christ? Love can only be shown by a person, not an object or force; this is how we know He is because we have known and believed in the Love He has for us. We have known it because it has been proven to us by His giving of His son and we have believed it because we have accepted it and not rejected it.
The truth is that the Father has made man to have the very life that He Himself possesses by including us in His only begotten Son so that He is the one who is our life. The Son of God is the man in whom all men are included; for all men died when He died on the cross and now all men are living in Him because He alone rose from death. He is the only name that has been given to men to be saved; He is the one mediator between God and man. This is the testimony; that the Father sent His son to be the Savior of the world. And we have known and have put our trust in what He has revealed to us in sending the firstborn into the world.
It was only a partial eclipse and places didn't get dark in the middle of the day as I wanted. It wasn't also a sign that the alchemists were coming to turn my neighborhood into Hollywood. But on the 3rd of November 2013, there was an eclipse which I saw and my brothers, sisters, mother and I were happy about that historical phenomenon. But there was an all surpassing joy that made me gladder than the eclipse on that day; to know that even in the day of crisis, of judgment, of adversity, of doubts on His existence, I do not fear any punishment whatsoever; because I have confidence that my Father loves me and I have this as proof: He has given me Jesus Christ and this life that now I live, is that of the Son of God that I am.
To know more on the unconditional love of God to man, follow the teachings of Dr Shawn Smith at www.drshawnsmith.org and read my personalization of it in the novel Another Dimension: The Ultimate Amalgam available on paperback at http://ar.gy/58tJ. On the eclipse, type eclipse 3rd Nov 2013 on Google search engines and you’ll get even better than I did.
NB: Apologies for my mixture of ideas and some untreated grammar, but hey; this is me. I’m certain you want the real me, not a counterfeit. And you know what I don’t like in this job of writing; it’s that you have to edit the things you’ve written. That’s also what discourages me from putting down the countless things that are in me; because it’s sometimes hard to communicate what’s in my mind in language form. But I trust you’ve got my point.