Aki is a thirty-five year old man who lived with his parents in their two bedroom apartment. He had dropped out of school due to his involvement with cultism. He was usually seen hanging around with the likes of him, most of them much younger than he was. Sometimes too, Aki would disappear for months and the neighbors would speculate that he was dead or in prison somewhere. When he returned, he did so with much noise, living large like he had won a lottery. His good days however rarely lasted. Soon again he would be seen with his beards overgrown, and his clothes in need of a wash. He was the picture of a good for nothing parents used in reprimanding their children. “You had better come home next term with a better result than this or you end up like Aki”. He had also longed ceased to be an embarrassment to his parents, for the community could no longer fault them on how badly their son turned out. He was just a bad fruit. He womanized, he was involved in crime and he smoked anything that could be smoked.
One day, policemen were in the neighborhood to make an arrest; there had just been a robbery. The chairman of the neighborhood council got in his car on Monday morning to drive to work, he tried to start his car but it only made a click sound. With annoyance he stepped out of his car and picked a stone with which to hammer the car battery back to life. He yelped when he opened his bonnet. Starring back at him was a gaping hole where his battery had been the day before.
“It is definitely that good for nothing Aki, ooh this is the last straw and I’m having his head for it”.
That very day, the chairman went to the police station and made a report. Four policemen were dispatched to go with him and make the arrest. That was how Aki was arrested with eight other boys at that infamous joint where weed, cigarette and alcohol could be perceived half a kilometer away.
Five days after the arrest, Aki was the only one left in the cell for there was no one to bail him out. His parents were grateful for not being involved in his arrest.
There was a public holiday, and the commissioner for police visited the station and had a mind to release the inmates. “Bring the young man Aki to me” he said to one of the officers.
“Young man,” he said to Aki, “you have a lot against you, and even when there is no actual evidence that you committed the said crime, I have a mind to let you go. You however need to give me something to hold on to”
“But I have no money” Aki cried.
“You must have something.” The commissioner replied. “You are jobless, though able-bodied. Last month, there was an emergency cry to get Obokpo road cleaned and cleared. The state Governor was going to pass through the area. Did you perhaps volunteer to help out?”
Aki said no.
The commissioner thought to himself that no matter how evil one is said to be, there must be something good in him. So he asked again “When Mama Ukwu died, the eldest woman in your area, there was no one found to dig her grave. The neighborhood was deserted, it was Independence Day. It has come to my notice that if anyone could be found home on Independence Day, it was you. Did you perhaps dig the grave?”
Aki said no.
On and on the commissioner gave Instances where Aki’s help would have saved a situation but he had decided not to help. “I guess I can’t help you then.” the commissioner said.
The story of Sodom is a similar case. God had set his mind to destroy Sodom, but Abraham came in as an intercessor. He pleaded with God, not to destroy the righteous with the wicked. So God said that he would spare the city for fifty righteous souls. Alas fifty was not found. Then God said that for forty-five he would spare the city, but not even that was found. On and on Abraham negotiated with God, begging him to forgive his impudence till they got to ten. For ten righteous souls God was willing to spare Sodom, but not even ten were found in the whole city of Sodom.
Could the same be said for us?
The story of Sodom and Gomorrah often leads me to ask myself, if my life was on a balance and saving me depended on just one fateful act of love, of charity, of soul winning? Would I be found wanting or would I be numbered with the saints?
If God wanted to open the flood gates, but would only do so if a particular attribute was found in you, would the flood gates be opened or will they remain tightly shut?
Friend, if Christ comes, would he find you wanting?