There was something about this weekend. Everything was larger than life. From the pomp in church to the romp in soccer! Let’s get down to the nitty grityy.
It started normally, a chilly-morning on Saturday, scattered thunder storms around Kampala for the better part of the morning and mid-morning and later the shine graced the day. Saturday was a merry day. The Saturday night was more or less the same, nothing superficial, just sleep and dreams. Morning came and I was out and about with one thing on mind; church.
After a whooping six months without stepping into the house of God, I was determined that come rain or shine I would go and unison with other folks with whom I am bound in the universal family of faith, revere my maker. I had to do laundry first before that. It happened in a blur, nature was with me helping me to be through this task. Other days, laundry is usually not a walk in the park for me. It was different on Saturday, I did not feel the load, I wanted to get done and ready myself to go and talk to the Lord. Mass, would begin at 5pm I was at church an hour earlier, that’s how far my quest for prayer took me.
Entering church, I immediately felt the solace that comes with being in a holy place. Everything from the furniture to the cloths on the altar, to the different art pieces in church, seemed to be smiling back at me. “We are glad that you are back dear son,” they seemed to be saying. I looked on in awe, the church had something spectacular about it. Everything was suddenly more beautiful. I have been to this St. Augustin Chapel a number of times before but yesterday it looked like a new entity altogether. The décor was spotless, the aura was fresh and the vibe was merry. Everything was extremely beautiful. The choir, oh the choir!
“Stand up, stand up for Jesus
Stand in his strength alone
Put on the gospel armor
Each piece put on with prayer…”
The choir sang as God’s faithful entered piously into the house of God. Me who had already entered an hour ago, I only stood up and watched as the congregation of God’s flock found their way in. At a safe distance from each other they sat. I observed each one of them looking carefully at the seats before adjusting to a specific spot.
It’s then that I realised that actually these seats had some little instructions on them, “seat,” the instructions read. These little instructions were put to observe SOPs the government put. We are supposed to sit at least two meters away from each other. So I too followed suit and adjusted accordingly. Mass went on. Looking around, the glow on people’s faces was enough to tell that this was a moment of bliss, everyone was happy the mood was jolly. People of God were so happy to be back in his presence for the very first time since six months ago thanks COVID 19 that prompted a national lockdown on places of worship.
It was unheard of for people to worship with masks on. But today, it’s the new normal, and this is now normal. Only the priest and his one alter servant did not have a mask on, the rest of us even the choir members had our mouths and nose under. It’s the new normal and it is here. Everything seemed new but the fellowship, the companionship of God’s family praising and worshiping together is still intact.
The thanksgiving song took me into levitation. I felt myself being carried away, far away into a land of splendor. Lost myself, I allowed me to feel the sweet soothing splendor that you can only feel in the presence of a deity, and I felt that. I was so elated at last to be back in church not just because I am a Christian but because absence makes the heart grow fonder, I missed church. To keep the memory alive, after mass we got our phones our and let our phone cameras be witnesses.
The frenzy was yet to come. On my way home through the nearby city suburb, even on top of the traffic noise there was an unusual cacophony. Soccer, Arsenal was playing. The Arsenal fan in me got uneasy, I wanted to know if that noise was us or against us. I quickened my steps to get home and check on the proceedings. The anxiety to check on arsenal put on halt, the news from Old Trafford the Manchester United official turf, blurred it. Goals were raining like manna and quails from heaven to the Israelites in the desert. Tottenham was thrashing Manchester United in their own Theatre of Dreams. From the first goal to the six goal I caught the action with utter disbelief.
The champions of the English Premier League would be playing next against Aston Villa at Villa Park Aston Villa’s official turf. Aston Villa has risen to the occasion so far this season. They are clearing anything in their way but we are talking about Liverpool; the champs here. So, really we couldn’t have smelled any rats before the match. It was business unusual after the opening whistle. At Old Trafford, it was manna and quails, here at Villa Park it was rain itself falling it torrents! Its seven days of the week and it was one goal for each day at the end of the 90! Liverpool only managed a brace from their star man Mo Sala! Tell me that was not larger than life!
What a weekend!