“Genevieve, kindly offer her a Bible and let us look at a scripture that is on my mind.” Rev canon said in a voice that showed a lot of restraint. Turn with me to 2nd Samuel Chapter 11. Pat, if you are there, read it for us.
“Second Samuel Chapter eleven” she started reading with a pleasant English accent
And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.
 
And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.
 
And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bath-sheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
 
And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.
 
And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.
“It is alright. Let’s end it there. We thank God for His word. I am sure we all know this story of David and Bath-Sheba by rote, so I won’t bother introducing it. I want us to hit the nail right on the head. I just want to use scripture, not my own understanding, to see if you took the right steps or not and if your actions can be considered acceptable in any way through the pages of scriptures.” The old priest said.
From the passage we heard that it was the time of the year that Kings went to war. David, however, stayed back in Jerusalem and made his commander lead his army into battle. The passage makes it clear; it was the time that kings went forth to battle; not captains or commanders – kings. So without any difficulty we realise that the king had shirk his responsibility. The bible never said he was sick nor had other engagements. That is the first point – Shirking his God giving responsibility. It was not delegation of Authority; he shirked it.
“This scripture might have saved you a lot of grieve if we had had this meeting earlier on, but to us it still relevant so you know what steps lead to such tragedy. After here, I am very certain you will be more than equipped in making right choices in the future, and more importantly, help others make the right choices away from such ensnarement.” The Priest digressed a bit to emphasize the need for Pattie to take whatever he is about to tell her as fool-proof advice.
“Genny can you read the verse two of the passage for us please?” He asked his wife while putting his old-but-I-won’t-change specs on.
 
“And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. Amen”
“Amen.” The Reverend Canon said “Now what readily comes to mind are these three: Idleness, indulgence, [curiosity] and lack of self-restraint. Now let me attempt to link them to you.
“The king was idle because there was nothing for him to do; after all, the battle was going well under the leadership of a trusted General and a Nephew – Joab. Joab was the Son of Zeruiah, David’s older sister.”  He divagated into biblical history just for the sake of building authority for whatever he was saying.
“The king could afford to sleep and wake up when he wanted and virtually do nothing. But we all know the devil finds work for the idle hands. He could have been praying or worshipping or attending to some other domestic issues; not just roof strolling.
However, I will be over generalizing to conclude that you could have also been praying or getting busy with something else other than church. You two met at church right?”
“Yes”
“And as an ordained priest, anything done for God is preferable. So if for nothing at all, you were being busy for God. But where I have a problem with you is when you made time for him; time you could have made for your husband, time you could have made for your child, time you could have made for anything but for him.  There were a lot of other things the king could have been busy with other than just focusing on something that was out of his call.
By the very fact that you are bonded with another man makes it imperative that you watch who you are giving attention to, no matter how justified that need for attention may be. And remember, I did not say you were bonded to; I said you were bonded with another man. I don’t want any feminist group running after me. Both of you are equally bonded to each other in marriage.”
They all lightened up with the latter comment. Mother Genevieve, felt the Reverend Canon had realised there was an uncomfortable miasma in the room hence his attempt to lighten things up. Pattie only smiled sadly.
“Maybe he was thinking about national issues.” Mother Genevieve said, trying to look at the other side of the entire David-Bath-sheba affair, which the bible is silent on – the symbolic interactionist’s side –David why did you do what you did? Why were you not at the battle front when the Ark Of Covenant was there? What were you doing up there staring at the nudity of another man’s wife? 
“You know some people like to think at the most unusual places you can think of”
“Oh come on, Genny, a focused mind is not easily distracted. If he was that much in thought, then the woman wouldn’t have held any sway over him; besides, I try to see the bible as a very detailed book that does not leave out what is material to the subject being discussed. Anyway, let’s not deviate from what we are discussing.”
“And Pat you also said that your husband was busy setting up himself here and until you spoke with this young man you did not realised there was something missing in your marriage, if I can recall, right?”
“Yes”
“Good. You know what you could have done? You could have prompted your husband concerning the gradual disappearance of the so called ‘stimulating conversation.’ By not prompting him, you two missed an opportunity to take immediate steps to fixing the drought that was setting in in your marriage. By your silence, you aided him in excusing it with the business he was setting up.”
Pattie exhaled heavily; a mixture of, I-agree-with-you-Daa, stop-talking-and-stop-tormenting-me, what-have-I-gotten-myself-into, didn’t-I-see-this-coming…. It was mix bag of many things; good and bad.
“As you go on in life, you must understand and accept and live with the fact that there is no time as the right time to get a crucial thing done.” The elderly Canon said with a patriarchal swagger.
“There is a time for everything, but some things cannot wait; the opportunity cost of such delays far outweighs the cost of taking it head on. So in a sense, taking a pre-emptive step ultimately becomes the right time to do that thing that cannot wait.
The second point which vividly reflects your case was the king’s indulgence. The Bible reflects David’s impression of the woman – She was very beautiful [For David] to look upon. If I remember you said the first time you met this young man, you had a very stimulating conversation with him. Soon you couldn’t wait to go for midweek service and then Choir rehearsals.
You indulged him and he messed up your mind with his smooth talk; he said the nicest things, some of them reminded you of your husband. Do you think it is a very light thing for another man to remind you of the man you are married to and who still lives? You suddenly develop a prejudiced impression of the person. You are likely to treat him just like you treat your husband.  And you bond with him better than you might bond with any other man.
I hear a lot of people say, ‘he behaves like my son; all his mannerism is just like that of my son.’ Then what happens afterwards? They develop a kind of likeness for this other person and take him as their son and treat him to some extent as such.
You behave so much like my husband. Sometimes they even call their husbands and tell them of their new found look-alike. The scary part is where and when this husband we are talking about is not around. You quickly realise that this other person, who looks and behave like your husband, gradually start assuming certain positions in your mind, no matter how subtle. Soon it starts to reflect on how you treat the person in reality.
And anytime two different people of similar attribute occupy the same space, whether it is Mr A who is there today or Mr. B, the feeling is much the same. So it easy to mess up with such a person and not even see it coming; and around such men you easily say or do things, which only come up when your husband is around.
You loved what he told you in the phone calls, all the visits, all the attention, all the care and all of that! You indulged it; you indulged him. You allowed yourself to flow with it and you had a lot of good reasons to; plausible reasons really. Yet the reasons did not change anything. The only thing that would have changed a lot of things would have been closing your eyes and ears to him, if not completely fled.
“The verse three says he sent and enquire, or? Pat read it for us please”
And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bath-sheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
“Good. That is curiosity. He sent and enquired. As if seeing was not enough, he stopped and looked to the point where he was convinced this was a beautiful lady. He then went further to inquire who she was.
You see, as a king, he was entitled to as many women as he wanted and the Laws of those days were not frowning upon it; so enquiring in itself was not wrong; however, you see the same verse makes it expressly clear the findings of those enquiries. Was that not enough?
My child, there is no folly or sin that over takes a man without warning; they always show signs. They may not be big bright hazard lights or big red flags, but they show signs and if you are willing to look out for them, you will find them.
You got curious with this man: Who is this young man? What else could he bring out of the magic hat? You looked forward to meeting or seeing him every day; you always wanted to have a feel of one of his many sides. I am sure you thought about him from time to time. It happens.
But there is always a time to stop. Is not this Bath-sheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
Now listen to this; the Bible was specific with the people who were in the life of this woman. Somehow the king knew the father and the husband. If the king did not know them, they might have been referred to as a ‘certain this or that’ or ‘a man from… by the name of’ or ‘a Hittite by the name…’ But you see how the person told the king; ‘Is not this Bath-sheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? So the king was expected to know them; that made his subsequent action indefensible.
“Again, it was possible the Bath-sheba was living in the king’s court, which explains why the king could see her from where she was bathing. The distance was not that much.”
Both ladies sat quietly listening as he spoke, choosing his words carefully and with a priestly deliberation. A moment silence passed when he paused.
“When this young man took interest in you, he knew you were married and with a child; except you told him your child was illegitimate.
“No Daa!” Pattie run to her own defence not understanding the context in which that bitter statement was coming from.
“Sure I know you didn’t say that. I have listened to you all too well for me to think you could have said that.” He quickly dismissed the fear of the emotionally wreck 31 year old threatened with divorce. “You couldn’t have said that. I am sure you spoke with him about your husband and I am sure you all agreed that you were individually happy with your lives.
You need to know from today, that a man who loves you, loves you; a man who is after you in lust will jump at you anytime he gets the opportunity, even if you are nursing a baby. Forget the deception that he will change his mind.
But you see, unlike David and Beth-Sheba which happened out of the blue, leaving the poor girl with no time to consider and rethink her options, you had days, weeks and months to deal with it. Every day you indulged him and got more curious; every day he played along your indulgence and teased your curiosity, the weaker your ability to resist him grew, the stronger your attachment to him became and it was a matter of time before the inevitable happened.
“When did he make it known to you he was interested in you? After what length of time into your friendship did he make it clear to you?” Mother Genevieve chipped in.
“After we had been friends for about 4 months” Pattie gave the date, not too sure and didn’t care.
“That was when he gathered courage to tell you.” The priest stated, imperceptibly suppressing a build-up of laughter while recalling his own youthful days. He was the type who painted the city red on weekends. “My dear, he loved you from the very first time he met. You were his taste and spec. He was either a coward or was looking for the right time to say it. It could even be that he was trying to convince himself you were the right person for him. So giving him the “NO” was not supposed to suddenly undo how he felt towards you.
You have no idea how much effort went into him coming out to tell you how he felt; you have no idea. Did he just disappear after you turned him down? No? Yes, he did not. And every time you two spent together afterwards said two things; either you were eventually going to consider it or maybe you were just bluffing. A third possibility which is as virtually impossible as a camel going through the eye of a needle, was that he has accepted your opinion and had decided to stick around just as a friend.
Hadn’t he been your friend long enough to know how you are likely to react in any given situation? Did you think he was trying his luck by proposing; that he considered the fact that you could say no? No. he did not. And it was not in his plan either to stick around after you had turned him down. He was sticking around to win not to waste his time.
If I can get to his mind, I can say that the first two options was what he was banking his hopes on; either you would bluff and say no just to tease him, after which you will accept him or you will say no at first and then give it a deeper thought later; in the most acceptable possibility, you could say yes there and then.
He was bidding his time to strike again when he decided to stick around even after you had turned him down. And that reflected what happened next; you two started kissing. And as far as he was concerned, kissing him was evident that you were bluffing when you first turned down his proposition; or you only needed time to think deeply about it.
As I said earlier, until Christ comes, the Lion and the Lamb can never stay together in peace; it is my firm conviction. If a man expresses interest in you when he has no business doing so; either because he is committed elsewhere or you are committed elsewhere, trust me after years he will still harbour that feelings for you and whether it is a genuine feeling or lustful feeling, it will never go until he gets what he wants. Flee from such a person. If you do not flee the consequence of such indulgence will be more than the consequence of fleeing. You can tell me if I am lying. You are the latest graduate of that school.
The Silence in the room was almost textural. Both Ladies sat motionlessly.
Another thing I want us to consider is this: there is always something that can weaken your position and your ability to fight temptations of such nature; the circumstances surrounding you and how it contrasts the circumstances surrounding the person you are dealing with.
“I don’t know if Mother can attempt an explanation of this in reference to the scripture read.” The Canon threw the question to Mother Genny.
“Uurm this is how I understand it, “Mother Genny attempted an explanation. “Bath-Sheba was dealing with the king; a man with a lot of authority, even over her own life; a man with glory and all you can think of. Her husband was far away in the battle fields of Rabbah; she had her own sexual, emotional and family needs that could be met and exceeded by the king.
Her husband was a mere Military Officer or even a Mercenary who could be killed in battle. He was a Hittite not an Israelite so definitely a second class citizen. So if the king summoned her, who was she not to appear before him?
But as Daddy said earlier, she did not have the time to clear her head when the king called; I am certain it was one thing leading to the other in rapid succession.”
“Exactly. I couldn’t have said it any better.” The Canon said in agreement with his wife’s precise and concise interpretation of the scripture and its relevance to the issue in question.
“You said this young man had his own company right?”
“Yes Daa”
“You also said his family was there and he was born there and raised there, correct?”
“Yes Daa”
“You did not have your papers intact and therefore restricted in many areas; he had all the benefit of a citizen. He was young and had his own company he was managing. I am sure the company was already up and going so he had all the time on his hands; others were working for him.
When you met him, he had a stable company while your husband was busily setting up his; so it was obvious they didn’t have the same time allotment therefore relationship with them wasn’t going to be the same.
I am certain you had questions. They might not have been questions that existed before you met Sam but they found themselves in your head. Was George even going to succeed? Would he be able, in the end, to provide you with all the luxuries of life? This guy bought you a car on your birthday. You might not have consciously thought about these things, but they subtly influenced your thinking.
Mother Genny felt a mild jolt and realised Pattie was silently sobbing. And it was obvious; the scenes of her mistakes being played back in such graphic manner, was just too much to bear. For close to a year she had attempted to bury it and done everything to trick her mind into accepting it did not happen, and even if it did, it was not that bad. Now her father, a man with a falcon’s perception, is leading the trail into her life; picking and piecing together the fragments and replaying it in the most vivid way possible. It was tearing her heart apart.
The irony of it; as the pieces of her folly was being put together, her heart was tearing apart. She couldn’t help it; she could only sob her heart crumbs out.
“Then we had the child whose upkeep, not financially per se, but in totality, required that you had some help,” Rev. Canon Ofori continued his analysis without a pause. “You had your own intimate, emotional and social needs; something the man far away in the battlefields of life could not provide. Your position my dear, was weak if not prejudiced in the reality of the situation.”
Mother Genny comforted Pattie whose sobbing was becoming audible. She kept rubbing her hand around the frail shoulders childishly buried in her bosom.
The Rev Canon would not be silenced.
“The only two differences between you and Bath-Sheba, was that: firstly, she was dealing with the king whereas you were dealing with just one of the boys; secondly, you have a child while the bible is silent on Bath-Sheba’s motherhood position prior to her affair with David. And you recall what your mother said about the kind of man she was married to; you would realize that it was possible she had a weaker bond with her husband, whereas your ties with George was stronger.
“Hmm Daddy, if I may sound a little controversial,”
Of course, Genny lets hear your controversy”
“Ok Daddy, I am looking at all these circumstances that she found herself in and I am sure she might be asking herself what she could have done differently. She might not be able to ask you or anyone for that matter but what could she have done if I may ask? I could have been 30 years and in her situation; what could I have done”
I have two questions to ask you, He said visibly getting angry, ‘What would she have done if this young man never came her way? What are other Africans without that kind of opportunity doing to survive? Except you are telling me that is the opportunity every married African woman living in UK with their husbands elsewhere are getting. Or that, young African ladies in UK who work and are married to men who are taking care of them cannot survive unless they get further support from somewhere else.
I am not saying you should have waited for your husband to complain that taking care of Carol was weighing him down; but taking steps to ease his burden were not to be steps that were to lead you into folly. In any case, is Carol not his Daughter? So on what basis was he ever going to tell you he could not take care of her? I don’t even want to consider it as an issue.
He drives a car in Ghana, has bought a house and is setting up a company; my friend, don’t ask me what you could have done. People go through more difficult challenges than this and still keep their vows intact. Come on Genny; don’t walk that path with me.
 The Priest was beside himself with rage. Pattie sat sobbing quietly. Mother Genevieve sat next to her wearing a grin on her face, not knowing whether to press for an argument or not. That was the worst moment to play the devil’s advocate. They needed a united front in this instance. Besides, all arguments she could come up with would be just for the sake of argument and not any tenable argument worthy of postulation by a wife of a priest and a woman of God in the face of adultery.
“It is simple; It is a question of Moral Rightness as opposed to Convenience. Most people will easily grab Convenience, but remember what the Apostle Paul said ‘everything is permissible to me, but not all things are beneficial to me.'”
“Pat, don’t think I am being overly harsh on you” Canon Ofori decided to tone down on his foster daughter; a girl he had loved as his own since their mother died.  “Please bear with me; I am a man who is paying bitterly for my indulgence. If I had listened to your mother and not excused any behaviour of Maadwoa, I wouldn’t have been in the position I found myself in a few years ago.
I realised, after your sister’s issue, that there was no time in life when certain things could be excused. I was so strict on you children whilst growing up; especially your brothers, but I thought I could be soft on the ladies, especially you and Maadwoa; this is where I now stand. What do you think your brothers will say when they hear this? I am a very broken man and I am not in the mood to indulge you. In any case, my priestly office does not permit me to indulge infidelity; whether I have personal experience or not. I am sorry.”
The elderly priest said bitterly, taking off his spectacles and wiping the tears that had finally and boldly broken their bounds. Mother Genevieve did not attempt to wipe her own tears as they fell freely down her cheeks. She was busily consoling Pattie who was completely broken by the knowledge that her actions have really crushed her father’s spirit.
Watch out for Part 5
You can follow the author on his blog at www.pidgiepaedia.blogspot.com to read more from him.

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