Vanuatu stifled a yawn and looked at her watch. It was already quarter to two and the pastor was still preaching excitedly. “Every Christian must demonstrate spiritual maturity by speaking in tongues. Scripture is clear that every christian that is filled of the Holy Spirit speaks in tongues. On the day of Pentecost…” Vanuatu’s momentary concentration was lost again. She was not in a hurry to go anywhere in particular, she was just bored stiff of the prolonged sermon.

Vanuatu is a young christian and a recent graduate of a local university. She had been brought up in a christian family, her parents being Presbyterian. Whereas she believed in the infallibility of scripture, she was quick to question some of the interpretations of the Bible. As the sermon began, she had quickly searched scripture on her phone looking for verses on tongue speaking. She believed that tongues were a gift of the Holy Spirit and not given to everyone. However, the preacher had made some persuasive remarks about all Christians in the early church speaking in tongues. She did not want to appear rude scrolling on her phone while the pastor was speaking, so she made a mental note to look it up in her quiet time before she slept.

She was however struggling to concentrate now. The pastor had preached for almost two hours. After the one hour mark she had started getting restless. Her moments of concentration were sandwiched between stifled yawns and daydreams. It was a sunny Sunday afternoon. Vanuatu was wearing a pair of blue jeans, a brown woolen top and brown boots. she did not have any ornaments but was wearing a small wrist watch with leather straps. On one hand she had her phone and the other a bunch of keys.

Concentration lost, she started planning her afternoon. She would go straight to her house after the service. She did not feel particularly hungry so fruits would suffice for lunch. Then she would watch a movie. Okay, movies. Sunday afternoons she would watch up to three movies.

Someone touch your neighbor and tell them I will be filled today! The pastor returned Vanuatu to the present with a sudden change in intonation. She knew that was a signal that the sermon was drawing to a close but it was not good news. For it was also a cue for the altar call. The young man seated next to her did not dare touch her but he repeated the words with fervor. She felt a pang of guilt. Why am I not excited about this Holy Spirit altar call? But then again, don’t I have the Holy Spirit already? Oh well… She managed to favor the young man with a weak smile in response.

Vanuatu did not intend to stick around for the next two hours so she plotted her escape. Frankly, she found it a dramatic exercise that did not appeal to her. She had questions about its biblical foundation but that would wait until her quiet time. Right now the priority was to escape. She put her phone in one side pockets of her jeans. She retrieved a hundred bob from the other side pocket. Her fare.

She waited until the pastor invited people to the front so that she could escape. As soon as soon as people started to move towards the altar, she sneaked out. There is a reason she loved the aisle seats. She was already thinking about the fruits she would buy on her way home. Apples and bananas? Maybe a melon instead of apples? Is there a way I can mix them all? “Sister Vanuatu please help us in front because people might be falling.” A male voice broke her reverie. The youth leader. Oh Lord, why now?

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