The Atheist – Episode Ten


Copyright © Ufuomaee

That Saturday, I took Angela and Lucy to visit with my mother in Boston.  It’s a trip we haven’t taken in many years.  I had stayed away after Lucy’s birth, unable to understand nor stand my mother’s continued faith in God.

But now, I longed to see her.  I hoped she had answers for me, as I now had lots of questions to ask her.  I also hoped to mend the broken bridges with her and my siblings, who had stayed close through the years.

“Darren!” she greeted cheerily at the door.  “What a lovely surprise!”

“Hi, Mom!” I smiled sheepishly, receiving her warm embrace.

“Angela!  Lucy!” she hugged Angela and stroked Lucy’s face affectionately, before ushering us into her home.  “God has sought to bless me today,” she began her usual thanksgiving.  Today, Angela and I simply exchanged looks and smiled.

“So, to what do I owe this honour?” Mom asked, when we’d all settled down to some tea.  She looked at me intently, and something told me she wasn’t as clueless as she was making out to be.

“It’s just been a long time overdue, Mom.  I’m sorry I stayed away for so long.  How are you?”

“I’m fine, my dear.  God has been good to me.  I can’t complain,” she beamed.  “How are you, Angela?”

“Fine, Mom.  It’s good to see you.”

Mom nods.  “And Lucy? How are things with her health?”

Angela looks at me before answering.  “She’s been stable.  Nothing of concern.  The physiotherapist still comes regularly to work on her fine motor skills.  She’s quite fascinated with art these days, so I…we’re thinking of getting her a tutor.”

“That’s wonderful!” Mom beamed.

And I smiled too.  Honestly, I haven’t taken much notice nor interest in Lucy’s development.  I was hearing this for the first time too, and that realisation made me sad.

“Mom,” I suddenly said, not able to resist the urge any longer.  “I was actually hoping we could talk about some things…”

She beamed.  “Whenever you’re ready, my dear.”

“I’m going to take Lucy out to the garden for some fresh air,” Angela said, thoughtfully.

I smiled at her and squeezed her hand as she passed.  I saw my mother’s observant eyes, and a smile she quickly tried to hide.

“Wow, there’s really something different about you, Darren,” she said when Angela and Lucy had gone out.

I looked down, before I looked up at her again.  “How do you mean?”

“There’s just something in the air.  You look happier than I’ve seen you in a very long while.  I’m guessing it has something to do with what you want to talk about…”

I nodded.  “Yes, Mom.  Angela and I are now believers.”

“Oh, praise Jesus!!!” Mom exclaimed, her eyes closed and her hands spread with joy.  I know it took everything for her to stay seated and not come across and carry me in her arms.  When she finally opened her eyes and looked at me, I, too, was beaming.  “This is just such great news, Darren!  You don’t know how I’ve been praying!”  She wiped tears from her eyes.

“I know, Mom.  Thank you.”

This time, she couldn’t stay seated.  She came across to me, and I rose from my seat and hugged her tightly.

“Oh, Darren!  You are blessed, my son!  My miracle baby!”

I swallowed and let the tears flow from my eyes.

She heaved, as we separated, before taking her seat again.  “I cried for you, Darren.  For many years that I was barren, I cried.  That if only God would give me one child.  I would love him and raise him up to know and worship Him.”  She giggled.  “I mean, I didn’t want to promise you to His service like Hannah did for the prophet Samuel, but I prayed all the same.”

The prophet Samuel?  I wasn’t familiar with that Bible story, so I asked, and she told me more about Hannah and her miracle baby.  It made me wonder about my guide, by the same name.  Surely, it was merely a coincidence.

I proceeded to ask her the first of many questions.  “Have you always believed?  I mean, in God?”

She looked at me then, in a way she’d never looked at me before.  I saw through her eyes, the young child, that became a woman, then a wife and a mother.  I saw her core, and I knew.  She nodded.

“I have.  I have always known that God is real.  Yes, there were times I questioned and doubted.  But His presence has been with me since I can remember.  I have soooo many stories.  I’ve longed to tell you, being my first, and an answer to my prayer…” she swallowed.  “I actually wrote many of my experiences in a journal and hoped to write a book one day.  I used to read them to you.  I don’t think you’d remember…”

“I do…” I said, suddenly remembering nights from my childhood.  I nodded, as if to erase any doubt.  “I remember.”

She smiled.  “When I was younger, someone told me about this wish list, how I can write a wish and put it in a box, and then take it out and put it in another box, when God had answered my prayer.”  I looked at her expectantly.  “I wrote a wish that I’d have three children.  I named the first Darren, and the second Debra and the third Dwayne.  I placed it in my box when I was 18 years old…years before I met and married your father.  And many years before you came along.  God took His time, but my hope did not disappoint.”


“I can now remove my last wish from the box.  I made that twenty years ago, when I saw you’d lost your faith.”

This time, I went to her and got on my knees.  “Thank you, Mom.  Thank you for all your prayers…  God has truly blessed your faith in Him!”

She held my hands and kissed my cheeks.  “And He will bless yours too.”

That evening, my twin sisters, twin brothers, and Debra arrived at my mom’s, and we had a mini family reunion.  It was great to have the family all together; united, not only in body, but in spirit.

To be continued...

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