The sky was dull, as dark clouds had taken over. Soft wind blew. I quickened my steps, occasionally looking up while praying the rain shouldn’t shower until I got to the classroom where we were to hold campus fellowship that evening. It was 2007. I was still at DELSU then.
The next 10 minutes found me in front of the classroom. I heaved a sigh of relief, even though the door was locked. At least, I was on the pavement, and the roof would shield me from the rain when it starts.
A few other members started to arrive. Finally, the Campus Pastor arrived. He asked his assistant for the key to the classroom. Unfortunately, the person who was supposed to drop the key didn’t do so. We had only one option. Hold service on the pavement.
As luck would have it, the classroom close by, occupied by some Theater Arts Student, had some free chairs, since most of them were outside, in groups, dancing vigorously to the tune of our traditional drums and gongs.
It was a dance rehearsal. And yes, they had a dance test to pass. I know because the dance lecturer who lectured them also was the one teaching us dance at the Music Department. Yup! I studied music.
Our dance lecturer then, Bakare, that’s what we called him, had, only some minutes ago, finished with us at the music department and scheduled an evening class with the Theater Arts Students.
Now let me tell you about our dance lecturer, Dr. Ojo Bakare:
1. He is an early bird. If he tells you class starts at 6:00 AM, you had better make yourself available latest 10 minutes to 6.
2. If you are late, you wouldn’t enter his class.
3. He teaches theory first. One class in a semester for theory, other classes for practical. (In most of those practical classes, we rehearsed the dance steps ourselves).
4. He comes to class only 4 times in a semester.
a. Day one, the whole day, starts with a 2 hours theory class. The rest of the day, practical. He wears his joggers and actually dances with us, teaching us the steps. Afterall, he is a professional dancer that travels around the world. So he knows his thing.
b. Day two, still the whole day, he watches us display what he taught us the day before. Then tells us he is travelling, we guess for his shows, and leaves instructions that we must continue to practice.
c. Day 3, he shows up unannounced one evening, after many weeks, or a month and calls our coordinator to assemble us the next morning for a test. We dance, he scores. Of course, just by watching us, he knows which group rehearsed and which did not.
d. Day 4, exam. That’s all.
5. If our dance lecturer decides to use the whole of Sunday for that first rehearsal or test, forget church service. Fear wouldn’t even let you grumble. Ask those students who were staunch Jehovah’s witnesses and even Deeper Life and Mountain of Fire, they will tell you.
6. If you get a text from the class coordinator saying, Bakare is coming, just forget everything else and go and prepare (dance rehearsal) very well to meet him.
So when I saw them dancing hard, I knew they had no choice.
Now back to those of us who came for fellowship, the men amongst us went into the classroom occupied by some of the Theater Arts students, to get a few chairs. We sat on the pavement, and service started. I forgot to add, it was a Wednesday evening.
Not long after service began, the rain started. Heavily. We were greatly inconvenienced. But we understood the situation and decided to ignore the rain, the wind it brought with it, and the cold.
The Campus Pastor noticed we were inconvenienced and pleaded with us to bear, as we were after all, attending service because we were Christians who love God.
In a bid to prove his point, he briefly turned around to look at the Theater Arts students who were still dancing vigorously under the heavy rain. Then he said, “if these people who are UNBELIEVERS can dance under the rain just for a lecturer who is a nobody, then you can stay where you are comfortably for God. You’re doing God’s will”.
I was pissed. I was so angry, the urge to get up and walk out of the service was strong. But I couldn’t, as I came to worship God, not the Pastor. But what did the Campus Pastor think he was talking about? Oh! Because the students weren’t attending Wednesday service they were now unbelievers?
I understood why they were still dancing, even under the rain. God knows, if it was my class Bakare had scheduled an evening dance presentation with, I’d have been in my department, dancing like mad under the rain. I wouldn’t even think of attending fellowship.
Heck! If the Campus Pastor happened to be in a department where he had to face that lecturer, he’d understand. And if he had to choose between dancing under the rain and holding fellowship, he’d choose the former. Bakare was that strict.
God knows the reason why we were in school.
The reason for writing this post is, we human beings tend to judge people, before we ever really get to understand the reason for their actions or in-actions We call them names. We paint them black and red. We rub their names in the mud, all because we saw them doing something we might not like. But did it ever occur that we should not pass wrong judgement based on physical appearances and actions alone?
That man, woman and child close to you, has a reason for doing certain things. Before you judge, please ask. It will reduce the level of hatred, anger and misunderstanding between the both of you.
This is a new week, let us try to understand people, without judging them.
So dear readers, over to you. Have you ever been wrongly judged? Please share your experience with us in the comment box.