Life is a mist, appears for a little time and then vanishes
By Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba
I woke up on fire!
Literally on fire.
There was smoke! The pungent smoke was suffocating me. I was coughing and chocking!
The smoke must have been smoldering for sometime before the flames came on.
As I was trying to figure out what was happening, the smoke was rising! My pillow was on fire and so was the accompanying bed sheets underneath.
I got the pillow and began to put out the escalating fire.
The mattress, bedsheets and part of the head board were on flames.
The source of the fire appeared to be the phone charger and the phones attached to it. One of my phones was on fire too.
I kept on dowsing the flames, suffocating the fire with the pillow and later with a blanket.
Like it started, the fire went out.
I was left with a smoldering pillow, sheets and a big black hole on my mattress and my bedroom was filled with pungent dark smoke, smelling of burning cotton and rubber.
As I picked the phone to probably make a call, the casing was burnt and the phone was hot!
If that smoke had gotten much into me, I probably would have chocked to death even before the flames touched me.
I am a deep sleeper, I don’t know how I woke up to literally help myself to put out the raging fire.
I knelt down and said a prayer. I thanked God for clearly saving my life.
I then called my wife in Lusaka, switched to a video call to let her see the crisis that I had just gone through.
“Open your windows, open your doors” she screamed as she could see I was still in a smoke-filled room, still in a dangerous scenario.
“Drink some water and if possible some milk, and call the workers from the workers compound, let them check if everything is okey” She said, clearly panicking but providing a solution.
After switching all the gadgets including the TV, I felt I couldn’t sleep in the smoked room.
I checked the time it was 01;30hrs.
THE WEIRDEST DREAM – DEATH
I walked downstairs, to my tv room, and carried a blanket with me.
I settled in the recliner chair and decided to spend the rest of the night in the TV room.
At this stage, I can only refer what followed to be a vivid but lived dream.
In my sleep, I dreamt that I was struggling to breath, and was constantly chocking. I was gasping for air.
I picked my phone but I couldn’t locate the number of my driver who was among the workers in the compound.
I was struggling to breath and my life was clearly ebbing away. I panicked more.
I picked the second phone and went straight to my last dialed numbers.
My driver’s name was not there either!
I kept on struggling to seek help and searching for the number for my driver.
I heard a knock at the door! What a relief, I struggled and lifted myself and rushed to the door.
The door was barricaded by a grill door and I was panicking looking for the keys.
Finally I opened the door.
It was three strange ladies I have never seen before.
“We have come to pick you, to escort you!”, They announced in a business-like manner as we walked back to my TV room.
I saw the strangest scene that I have never seen before. I saw myself slumped in the chair, in my pyjamas in a sick and clearly fatal posture.
“Yes you have just died!” said one of the women breaking the shocking news.
She walked me upstairs and we visited some of the rooms of the house.
“There is no one here!”, the women expressed disappointment.
“My family is in Zambia”. I said.
I saw my driver and the guards now rushing to the TV room downstairs.
We came back downstairs and saw the workers crying before the slumped body in the recliner chair and they were frantically trying to help.
The women walked me out of the yard. I protested but somehow I couldn’t stop following them.
I cried out to the Lord Jesus Christ. I was complaining that I couldnt die now, that my family was in Lusaka, my graduation for my Master Degree was coming soon and I had a lot of goals I had lined up to achieve!
Somehow, my prayers or cries were not being answered and the women just ignored me.
I remembered my children, my wife, and my mother and I was pleading that I should be given a chance to see them again.
But these women were determined to walk me and take me away.
We walked further and further away from my home.
I kept on crying, and crying to the Lord, but the crowd was becoming bigger and my voice fainter and buried in the mayhem of the bustling crowd!
After passing through what appeared to be a densely populated compound, the three women said they had another “person” to quickly go and collect!
They handed me to this strangely dressed man, a tall man.
“He will take you. It’s not far”, the women said as they left.
He was mean, talked roughly, with disrespectful and walked in pompous way.
I am not used to being addressed in this manner but clearly I was powerless here!
He walked briskly and I was struggling to catch up with him. He said he needed to take me to his boss quickly.
Soon we entered what appeared to be a dingy, dark place with eerie lightning and a few workers around.
But he said something strange; “Since you like reading newspapers (which I truly do), wait here, catch up on the news on that table, I will fetch you soon.”
He disappeared in the dark pathway going further downstairs.
I decided to walk away. To walk back, to run away!
As I was running away, a man walked up-to me;
” Listen to me, there are many distractions along the way, but walk back where you came from right ahead”.
And this is what I did. I saw people selling trinkets, gifts, gold and other attractive wares.
And there were a lot of beautiful women asking to be accompanied as it appeared that some kind of a street party was going on.
I kept on asking strangers: ” Do you know the Zambian Embassy Residence?” “Where can I find a Christian church?”
I kept on walking and running, fearing that the strange man could be looking for me and would come to fetch me.
I reached at this house along the road and it had three women doing some chores outside their house.
I repeated my question to them.
An elderly woman among them said; ” I know where the Residence is and I know where you can find Jesus Christ!”
“Take me there, please take me there” I pleaded!
They listened to me!
They abandoned what they were doing and began to lead me.
Along the way I saw, among the strange looking crowd a woman that appeared “holy and blameless” walking happily to her destination.
She starkly stood out of the crowd. It was someone I know and we have called her names and have given her bad labels!
I knelt down and apologised to her, for what I have called her in the past, for where we were, I was far dirtier and soiled than her!
We kept on walking and we saw these wide open gates!
It was my residence! I rushed in with so much relief.
I found myself waking up.
But I was extremely cold, my head had slumped in a crooked way on the right side and I noticed it was giving me excruciating neck pain.
My throat was dry, my eyes felt totally dry and both my feet and hands were colder than the rest of my body!
Yet I was covered in a thick blanket and the heater was on.
I stood up to ensure that this new waking up was not part of the dream!
I realized I probably died in that Chair, how would I know?
And my pyjamas had a funny smell! The smell from the smoke from the fire in my bedroom earlier in the night…but the smell of smoke was stronger as if to remind me that the fire, like the dream was also real!
I knelt down, thanked God for sparing my life, for the gift of life and wondering why and how he had given me back the chance at life twice in one night!
When I looked at the time, it was 04;30hrs.
I decided to write this before facts, especially those that came as a “dream” could escape me.
Few have an opportunity to have their lives saved once or twice in one night!
If I had died today where would I have gone to? If you died suddenly today, where will you go?
And I realized that when you think you have so much to achieve, life can be taken away so easily.
“For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” James 4;14
And please pray that in this season of death knocking at our doors, that it does not touch you, or your loved ones or your household.
Let the blood of Jesus Christ be on your door post so that the angel of death passes over your household. Exodus 12; 13-28.
It’s now 05;30hrs, I am going to take a long walk outside the compound, I am not going back to sleep!
I am not even changing these pyjamas smelling of smoke.