It was a Vigil and the pastor asked everyone to stand up and pray. While some closed their eyes for full attention on their heart desires and to avoid distractions; some prayed with their eyes open. The prayers were going on for a few minutes when suddenly noise emanated from outside the church auditorium. Many who had their eyes closed opened their eyes to find out the source of the distraction.
A woman was carrying a baby, who was about six months old. The baby was sleeping peacefully, unaware of the commotion around her. A young girl who would probably pass for an eight year old was standing beside the woman. Another woman, clearly agitated held on to the woman carrying the baby. She was screaming at the top of her voice as she refused to let the woman go.
“Give me my baby.” She cried.
Her screams attracted stares from the congregation who sat at the far end of the hall and the church security operatives swung into action. Prayers were still ongoing; so they moved both women, the young girl and the baby away from the prying eyes of the congregation.
“Give me my baby. She’s a thief.” The woman kept shouting at the top of her voice as she attracted more stares.
“Madam, is this your child?” The security operatives asked the woman carrying the baby.
“No, she is not. I saw this girl carrying her and I was wondering where she was taking the baby to; so I accosted her and collected the baby from her. I was going to meet the security when this woman started calling me a thief.”
“It is a lie.” The second woman shouted as tears rolled down her cheeks. “I put my baby on the floor beside me while I was praying. By the time I opened my eyes, my baby was no longer there. I searched everywhere to know maybe she woke up and crawled away. It was when I looked outside the hall that I saw this woman with my baby. She stole my baby.”
“I did not steal your baby.” The first woman said.
The security operatives looked from one woman to the other; unsure of the true situation of things. “Do you know this girl?” One of the men asked the second woman.
“No, I don’t know her. I have never seen her before.”
The security operatives turned to the first woman. “We are just outside the auditorium. Which other security operatives were you going to meet?” They asked her.
While they questioned her, one of the security operatives took the young girl aside to interrogate her. He knew that if she worked with the woman, she would probably refuse to say anything while the woman was beside her.
A few minutes later, the mother walked into the church auditorium holding tightly to her baby. She knelt down; her baby on her left shoulder and her right hand lifted up in thanksgiving. Members of the congregation who had witnessed a bit of the drama tried to stretch their necks to see how the security operatives would handle the woman and the young girl; but they had been taken away from prying eyes.
The incident gave the biblical injunction “Watch and Pray” another meaning.