If you know something of basic medical sciences don’t think of today’s PDA as Patent Ductus Arteriousus or the culture medium, Potato Dextrose Agar, the PDA we are talking of today is Public Display of Affection. Yeah, that.
“I should have known better” Bola said pulling snug her school bag. “It’s not as if I didn’t know everything that would have earned me the full mark o, I just didn’t want to over-write, if I-”
“Abeg na, Bola let’s hear word. The test has passed let’s focus on other things” Mercy scrunched up her nose at her friend. They were walking home from school under the sweltering sun and the last thing Mercy wanted was for someone to keep drawing her back to a government test she failed.
They reached a BRT bus station where a woman in a silky flowery gown stood by and chatted away with a friend until a man came to join her. Mercy could tell by their rings and the mushy smile they shared that they were a couple. The man hugged his wife, firmly holding her by the waist and pulling her to himself, he kissed her fully on the mouth; a move so intimate that her friend didn’t just look away, she had to move a few steps away.
The woman pulled away, self-conscious. “We are in the public, silly” She mumbled pushing his chest.
“So?” He queried testily before leaning in for a prolonged kiss.
Bola averted her eyes, but she could still hear their whispers and the slurps they made. She pulled her bag snug and paced up, her sandals slapping her disgust on the asphalt road.
“Did they really need to that there?” Bola spat once they were out of earshot.
“Awww, they are so cute” Mercy purred, her neck still turned to the couple behind her and until she almost tripped she couldn’t take her eyes off them.
“The least they could do is have the decency to not make us watch them do that, they have a bedroom for a reason.”
Mercy chuckled. “See, this is the kind of thing I need in my life. I need to get married to man that romantic. A man who would be ready to express his love without holding back anywhere, at any time.”
“So you would like for your man to kiss you in public?”
“Of course! It’s called being crazy in love. I would not even mind being-” She stopped herself and tittered. “You know what, never mind”
Bola shook her head, she could imagine the likely thing her silly friend wanted to say. “You really need to get your head out of all those sappy novels you’ve been reading”
Mercy waved her off. “Abeg jare, be doing as if you will not like it if your husband did same to you”
“Well,” Bola tried to hide a smile, “It might be cool to be at the receiving end of that, but viewing people get all sloppy is just not nice. How can you even enjoy watching that? Are you a voyeur?”
Mercy rolled her eyes. “Not all of us take vocabulary development seriously, which one is voyeur again?”
“Why don’t you just seize the moment to develop your vocab? Make a mental note to look up the word when you get home.”
Mercy hissed and pulled out her smart phone from the side of her pinafore. “Oya, spell the word”
Bola snorted, “The day Aunty Margret catches you with your phone in school would be my gloating day. While you are cutting all the elephant grass in the school premise I would be by your side singing ‘I told you so’.”
Mercy laughed and she stopped. “It’s you and your ancestors that will be voyeurs” She hissed. Bola laughed “Back to sender o”
“But my xender is not even on”
Bola gave Mercy a stern look. “You really need to work on your joke quality”
They reached a street that opened to the main road and on the street was a young man who donned a yellow shirt and a pair of jeans. Bola thought he had the most sharply shaped hairline she had seen, he was walking towards the road.
“At least I try, you na only big, big grammar you sabi”
“I think you should try something else. You’re probably not just cut out for jokes”
The man on yellow shirt chuckled and uttered “Lord, I love you” loud enough for Bola and Mercy to hear.
“Nawa o. Some people sha like to overdo. Who no like God? Why must this one now shout it on the road? Why so extra?”
“I think he’s just crazy in love, remember?”
“No one is saying he should not be crazy in love with God, but he could save the expression of his love for church now”
“Why? If a man not saving his expression of love for his wife till they reach their room is considered being romantic, why should it be tagged being extra that this man is loving up on his father?”
“It’s just weird na.”
“Do you know what God has done for that man? Do you know how ‘extra’” she dropped finger quotes around the word, “It was for him to send his only son to die for him? Didn’t he do much more to express his love for us regardless of whatever?”
“Arrrgh!” Mercy was exasperated already, trying to argue with Bola was fighting a lost battle. “Oya I’ve heard. Let’s all start shouting “Jesus I love you oh, You do well I thank you, You don make my life better… on the road”
Bola smiled, “If that’s your own way of breaking your Alabaster box and lavishing the perfume of your worship on him, I’m sure he would accept it. That woman who washed Jesus feet with her hair, kissed it and poured out her annual salary in a box of perfume upon Jesus was seen as weird, extra, doing too much. But he that has been forgiven much, loves much. Mary understood that her worship was between her and God, alone, whatever anyone had to say did not matter.”
Mercy nodded thoughtfully. “You actually do have a point. Jesus did much for me for the sake of love,”
“The least we can do is love him back, without caring about what anyone thinks.”
Mercy sighed, she knew she needed to worship God first with her life, her heart and lips, for he first loved her. A song came to her mind, she smiled as she voiced it.
“No one knows,
Like I know
What you’ve done for me
That’s why I praise you the way I do,”
Bola took her hand and joined her friend.
“No one knows,
Like I know
What you’ve done for me
That’s why I lift up my hands in praise”
Jesus dying publicly, being beaten, stripped butt naked, going through all that for the sake of me was the height of PDA. And in a world that appreciates every form of affection except the one directed at God, I need you to know that no one deserves all your love like God, for no one has ever or can in fact ever, pour out to you as much love as Christ has.
So feel free to publicly, privately, anywhere display your affection to God.
This fictional piece was inspired by the second part of Michael Todd’s sermon series ‘24ever, How To Worship The King’, titled, ‘Worship is Love Expressed’, it’s on YouTube, you might want to check it out.