A little over a month ago, I was in the hospital. I had just finished with my doctor and headed to the dispensary to pick up my prescription. When I got there it was a bit crowded so I stood close to the entrance, my back against the wall, my eyes lazily scanning the room. Then I noticed her; a young woman with a baby strapped to her back – a very sick-looking dozing baby. She had just taken her bill from the dispenser and stood staring at it for a while. It caught my interest so I decided to pay close attention. She moved to the back of the room and sat, rummaging through her bag, avoiding all eyes. After a while, she stood, went back to the dispenser and asked if she could have the prescription back cos all she had left was enough money to get a car home. The dispenser asked if she was sure she’d get the drugs from a pharmacy near home when she got there and she nodded, but there was something about that gesture that just slightly broke my heart. She took the prescription, by which time I had already reached into my purse.
Now, I am a National Service Personnel – so close your eyes and imagine the state of my purse at any given time. And I was yet to settle my own bills, though part was sorted thankfully by insurance, so I could only give the little I could. I folded the 20 cedi note in my hands, waiting for her to come pass. I let her walk past me before I followed, caught up and stopped her. I asked if she did not think the drugs will be cheaper there than in the pharmacies outside, and she said it was the other way around. “Saa? Ok, Ɛnneɛ wodeɛ gye wei, woduru fie a na wode atᴐ,” I said, pushing the folded note into her hand. I was a little startled when she grabbed my hand suddenly and whispered a string of blessings and thanks for over a minute! All I thinking was, “Okaayyyy, okayyy, it’s okay now, it is just 20 cedis.” I smiled and went back to the dispensary.
This is not so much the focus of my account, but what happened after.
I walked out of the hospital some 15 minutes later, and there the woman was, seated on the dwarf wall right there at the entrance. The moment she saw me, she shot up and walked briskly to me. “Me kunu se mengye wo number mma no,” she said. I was surprised. Apparently she had called her husband and told him what had happened and he had requested for my name and contact and that was why she was waiting. I gave it to her, still surprised at the drama, wished her well and went my way.
Two weeks later, I got a call… He spoke in English so I will just replay the entire conversation as it happened…
Man : Please is this Amma?
Me: Yes please, who is this?
Man: The man you help his wife at hospital the other time.
Me: Ooooh helloooo, how is the baby now?
Man: Oh Madam, He is well.
Me: We thank God.
Man: Hmmm, Madam you see, it’s not that I did not want to call you o! But the thing that you do for my boy, you no do it for the boy o. You do it for me. [By this time his voice sounded like he was fighting tears] You see that morning eh, we wake up and me and my wife we see that the boy is very sick, but even the money is not there. But I look at the boy and I know the boy must go to hospital. E no easy, madam. So i tell my wife to take him. I have no money but I tell the woman it doesn’t matter, go. So when she call me that this is what happen, I said O God have done it! So I said let me collect your number, and let me call and say God bless you. But anytime I pick the number I say No, let me pray for this woman. Then today I say let me call….
Then he went on to bless me, blessed the husband and children I don’t have yet…added that he will never stop praying for me, that someday I will know that it is because of what I did for his boy…. I could only say ‘Amens’ to all that and nothing more. I wished him well and ended the call. But sitting dumbstruck immediately after, all I kept thinking of was….
IT WAS JUST 20 CEDIS!!!!!
But then after I processed everything I was amazed at the man’s faith and thought to learn greatly from it. Also, one other thing I noted was that…the vessel through which God operates is very important, because I did debate within me what exactly it was I was doing. “Ei, has she told you she needs money?” “What if she rejects it and embarrasses you?” “What if you end up embarrassing her?”
After this had all happened I acknowledged also the fact that, there were so many people in that room but it was her I noticed. The impulse to do what I did was too strong to ignore. I had no idea there was a story this remarkable behind it all, but then yes, it happened, and it was just 20 cedis, but it taught me a great deal on faith and how it works, and I believe it taught this young man and his wife too.
May His name be praised!