Prayers are usually our ways of expressing our heart feeling to the creator in times of appreciation or need. And so it was some years ago on a cold windy Saturday night. I joined the youths for a rally within the small sleepy town called Mereje. It was time to go home and we all walked home happily after a successful rally. In the company was my best friend Tonia. An amazing friend she was to me. Black, beautiful and gracious in beauty and character.

As we made our way home, she called me aside and slipped a small parcel into my hands. It was a touch of class and love. I could barely resist the temptation of opening the parcel before I got home, but I had to stop myself from doing that knowing the fact that others were watching. It was the longest 30 minutes of my entire life.

Finally got home and as soon as I got into my room, I tore the parcel open and wrapped within the parcel was a beautifully designed wristwatch and an envelope. I gently tore the envelope and folded inside was a pink hand-made card. It was so beautiful that my heart raced a degree high as I opened it.

Written in the most elegant handwriting were the loving thoughts of my friend Tonia. I sat on my bed and read line after line. It was like she was sitting next to me. The message within the card echoed through my small room.

‘Hi Clement

Treasures are hard to find

But they are worth the pain

True friends are rare to come across

They not only bring joy, happiness, and fulfillment

But also inspire us to greatness

More than a treasure you are to me, and like a true friend, you have been one of the reasons why I wake up daily.

Added sunshine to my life and have shown me through your simple, humble, and loving affection that there are still good people out there.

I love your warm and gentle spirit

Tonia.

It took me a while to get myself together, before looking at the beautiful wristwatch she wrapped inside the package. It was a silver wristwatch that came with a unique alarm system. The alarm sound was that of a rooster crowing.

The following weekend, we had a camp meeting and I took my precious wristwatch along with me. Unfortunately, I set the alarm wrongly. Rather than set it at 6 am, I mistakenly set it at 1 am. We had all fallen asleep when suddenly in the middle of the night, a mysterious sound pierced the serene atmosphere. It was the sound of a rooster crowing, and the sound was coming from a bag in one of the tents.

Rachel, one of the most pious sisters in our midst burst in prayers. She prayed with all her strength against any evil attack and demonic powers. I had woken up and listened quietly to the prayers. I knew what the sound was all about because it was coming from my wristwatch.

Two minutes after Rachel prayers had gathered momentum, the rooster stopped crowing. She started thanking God for answers to her prayers and others around joined her. I was engrossed in secret laughter, as I was wondering how it would sound telling them it was not Rachel’s prayers that stopped the rooster from crowing. It would be a blow to her inspired spirit if I had told her it was my wristwatch alarm system that triggered the strange sound.

All I could remember was that she was happy to see her prayers answered, and I happy to see her funny prayers receive instant answers. It was a lesson I’ll never forget in a hurry. We all look at life differently, depending on which side of the divide we stand. There are things we take for granted, but others hold on to them because their dreams and goals depend largely on them