Chapter 13 – The Guests
Jason appeared happy to see us and introduced us to his company, two of which were his sisters, Chanice and Charisma. Nicky and I presented Jason with his gifts and he responded with warm hugs and a haughty thank you. We hanged with Jason for a while as the other guests, whom he was entertaining on our arrival, moved inside the main building.
As we stood there, we chatted a bit about the accident. Jason told us that he did some digging and found out that the Driver succumbed to his injuries, but the little boy was o.k.; he suffered a broken arm and a few broken ribs. We found out that the man behind the wheel was his Father. I was saddened to hear that the little boy lost his Dad.
We were so engrossed in our conversation that we didn’t notice the middle-aged couple walking towards us until they were a couple feet away trying to get Jason’s attention. Jason burst with excitement when he noticed them and fondly greeted them apologising for being distracted. He eagerly drew them closer to Nicky and I and Introduced them as his Pastor and First Lady, Mr. and Mrs. Jefferson. Nicky looked extremely happy to meet them; I assumed she heard about them before I did. I extended a hand of greeting to the Jefferson’s, with a smile, not too sure how friendly I should act. After all I barely knew Jason and I was just meeting them for the first time.
There was a few seconds of awkward silence as the Jefferson’s seem to be waiting to find out who we were. Jason picked up on the unasked question and explained that Nicky was his co-worker, and I was Nicky’s friend. He informed that it was at my home the accident took place. Both Mr and Mrs. Jefferson nodded their heads as if to be putting previously received information together. They impressed me as warm and caring. Pastor Jefferson looked at us and said, “I heard all about it, we all should be grateful, it could’ve been much worse.” We all nodded our heads in agreement.
Jason looked at his watch and said it was time to start. We walked into the building which was nicely decorated. I must’ve counted about twelve (12) tables, each catering for three to five guests. As we sat at the table reserved for us, the Jefferson’s sat next to us. Mrs Jefferson smiled and said, “It seems like you guys are stuck with us tonight.” “Not a problem at all!” I said, as Nicky and I looked at each other and smiled.
I could see that the evening was shaping up to be a great one. I sat there with great expectations as a group of young ladies began singing beautifully. The harmonizing of the voices was heavenly. I found myself listening closely to the words; I noticed they were singing about God’s love. Interesting, I thought, a birthday celebration with a difference. For some reason, I felt my self relaxing; there was a strange stillness in the room, I felt at peace and honoured to be invited. As the great singing continued I anticipated the unfolding of Jason Emery’s Birthday Celebration.
Chapter 14 – The Story
The conversation at our table was light and relaxing; the Jefferson’s told us about their full-time jobs as Pastors. Nicky and I were curious about what pastors do all day and all week when they were pastoring full-time. Listening to them share about a typical day of a Pastor’s life was eye opening. I always thought of Pastors living a boring life of prayer, counselling and preaching. On that day I began having more respect for Pastors. The Jefferson’s were relatable, very connected with society and fun to be around. I could tell they were also persons of integrity by observing how they were greeted by others.
The young ladies finished their rendition then led everyone in a special birthday song written by one of Jason’s sisters. It was catchy and easy to learn, a song I will never forget. ” Today we celebrate. Today we lift our hands in praise. It’s his birthday! Come rejoice with us and sing. Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday! To you. To you. Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday! To you! To you! To you!” I instantly fell in love with the melody.
Jason was beaming and walked up to the small platform at the front and started to speak. “Today, is a very special day for me because it represents continued hopes and dreams. Every time I celebrate a birthday, I feel blessed with another year of opportunities, opportunities to grow, to learn and to make new friends. As this birthday drew closer, I found myself becoming anxious about how I should spend it. I shared my thoughts with Pastor Jefferson, and he suggested that maybe I can just call some friends together and share my story. So that’s what I did.” As Jason continued to speak, I noticed a couple coming out of a backroom which seemed to be the kitchen area and right away I knew they were his parents; Jason was the split image of his Dad. As they entered the room, Jason paused and smiled at them, introducing them as his Mom and Dad and the chefs for the night. He then continued his story.
“January 2nd, 1991, I left my home on my bicycle not knowing what I was about to encounter. I was riding freely down Sendal Street about to ride up the incline taking me to the junction when a large boulder came charging towards me. I was riding fast and didn’t know how to escape it. All I could think was God please save me. What I saw next was unbelievable. Please understand that this boulder was massive and must have fallen from the cliff above; it was not moving slowly. The moment I uttered those words, I saw the boulder come to a sudden stop. Now let me tell you, this boulder was charging down an incline towards me and was about eight feet in height and maybe seven feet wide. I froze in my tracks afraid to move a muscle. I couldn’t believe that such a large boulder travelling at such speed could suddenly stood moving. I knew that everything that I just saw defied the law of gravity.”
I looked across the room and noticed how everyone was completely locked on to Jason’s story. As Jason continued the intensity of his story deepened. I felt myself drifting away mentally from the present moment. I could no longer hear Jason’s voice. Before me flashed scenes of my dream, then the embarrassing moment at the Hash when Jason was first introduced to me, then I saw the little boy at the scene of the accident pleading with his eyes for help. I then remembered my prayer for God to spear the young boy’s life. I thought to myself, Jason’s prayer and my prayer were both cries of desperation that were probably answered by God. I felt myself whispering. “God! Who are you? Are you real? Or are incidences just mere coincidences?”
Chapter 15 – The Mystery
Jason Emery shared much with us. All his stories ended with a miraculous save. It was as if it was all planned out to get his attention. That evening was certainly one with a difference. This young man who looked exactly as the man in my dreams was turning twenty-five and chose to celebrate it with gospel music and the sharing of what he called “his testimony,” and I was invited to take it all in.
Before he left the platform Jason shared a final story with us which left the strongest impression on my mind. “At the age of twenty-one, I met Mr. Glen Jefferson at Riley’s Airport preparing to spend my summer with my grand parents in the U.S. Mr Jefferson was sitting directly opposite from me, reading. The title of the book caught my attention. It read “Man’s greatest folly”. I kept asking myself, “what is man’s greatest folly? Not making enough money?”. Several possible answers stormed my mind. Mr. Jefferson looked like a descent man, so I decided to go ask him about the contents of his book. I was that brave. I did just that and our conversation led to places I did not imagine.
Mr. Jefferson patiently showed me that man’s folly was to believe that he can enjoy good success without the intervention of Almighty God, the Creator of this World. Mr. Jefferson showed me that men in history have chased popularity, riches and power but have grossly taken for granted the wisdom of God which is available to all. Amid all their fame and fortune they never knew true peace or lasting joy.”
I listened carefully and observed Jason’s facial expressions as he shared the details of what he described as the beginning of his transformation. Jason’s excitement seemed to real to be true. He shared every bit of that conversation with Mr. Jefferson who he later began referring to as Pastor Jefferson. I couldn’t understand his excitement. Why was this encounter so big a deal to a young guy like Jason who was so strikingly handsome and sexy? I felt as if I was missing something. I didn’t get it.
Here we were sitting around listening to stories when we could be dancing to some great music. I wondered, was Jason one of those serious Christian freaks who believed in heaven and hell? Those who seemed not to be able to relate to this world. But, no, couldn’t be, I thought, Jason has been mingling quite well and been able to connect with every one while being very respectful and focused.
Jason credited Jesus, the Son of God, for his transformation. For changing his perspective on life, for setting him on the path of wisdom and good success. Everything about Jason’s encounter sounded unreal but worth coveting after. I wondered what others were thinking.Most of the guest that evening were young adults like me who all seemed to adore Jason. I looked across to Maxine who also seemed to be dazzled by what I chose to see as a performance. For some reason I doubted Jason’s story and felt he was pretending.
How could I know for sure that he is real? I leaned over to Nicky and whispered in her ear. “Is he for real?” Nicky, looked a bit startled then looked at me and said, “Why would you ask that?” I felt a bit ashamed of myself to ask that question. Oh God, I thought. Why do I not believe? I was so consumed with my thoughts that I didn’t realise the beautiful singing started again and Jason was right in front of our table. Pastor Jefferson commended him for sharing his story. I must have been staring at the table while entwined in my doubt.
As I looked up, I made eye contact with Jason and for four seconds we stared at each other. I felt as if he saw right through me sensing my doubts. I looked away and asked Maxine if she was ready to leave. Maxine looked surprised. “Nope, I am having fun.” I realized, I was on my own and decided to try to enjoy the rest of the evening doing my best not to make further eye contact with Jason Emery whose life now seemed a mystery.
We wish to advise all our readers that our Story will continue to develop. The “Love Dream” will return on February 1st, 2021, with Part 11.