God is next door
Publish Date: Jul 01, 2014
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By Deo K Tumusiime

After watching the Brazil vs Chile game on a rather hot afternoon, I passed by a roadside stall to buy some mangoes.  I bought 4 pieces of healthy, good sized mangoes, all costing an equivalent of Uganda Shillings 2000.

As I returned to my abode, I decided to branch off to a nearby supermarket to buy some other items; but as customers are not allowed to enter the shopping area with external items, I had to leave my mangoes at the till. Incidentally after my shopping, I used a different till and walked out, forgetting my precious mangoes.  

I didn’t realize my mangoes were missing until the next morning when I looked for them to prepare my breakfast. I had lavishly eaten the last mango in my fridge the previous night, comfortable that I had 4 more mangoes to spare. I checked all over the place and my mangoes were nowhere to be seen. Then I remembered how I had placed the mangoes at the counter in the supermarket. Gosh, that’s where I left them!

I quickly dressed up and rushed to the supermarket to claim my mangoes. On arrival, one of the till attendants, recognized me. She could vividly recollect seeing me place my mangoes by the till, and said the same to her bosses of Indian origin. I spoke to the guys politely about my mangoes, and for a moment I thought it was obvious I would have no trouble getting them. One of them could recall seeing a black bag with mangoes, but appeared uncertain where exactly they were.

He seemingly appeared sympathetic and looked like he was about to take responsibility since the attendants are duty bound to protect customers’ property within their premises-they even have CCTV cameras! “Were the mangoes costly?” the Indian guy asked. I said, “Yes, I bought them Shs. 2000”. Now, our brothers are known to be so stringent with money and it would have been a miracle to get compensation for my loss. After consulting with his colleague, they decided they would do nothing, and I walked away empty handed. I could have bought other mangoes, but I decided to hold on till it evening.

Along the way, I came across a not-so-decent-looking guy with shabby hair. I asked him to direct me to the Barber’s shop. He volunteered to take me there. He picked his bike and rode along as I walked at his pace. The Barber’s shop was closed, so we ‘walked’ back almost immediately, chatting along.

 Then I came across a large mango tree with branches drooping into the road. One ripe mango had freshly fallen on the ground. I picked it. My newfound friend Musa was watching. He asked me, “So you like mangoes?” I replied, “Of course”. He invited me to his home and I waited right outside the gate.

Five minutes later, Musa returned with mangoes folded in his T-shirt. He picked them from the mango tree in his compound. Big and fresh mangoes they were, I must say. I packed them in my back pack and with a wide smile said, “Thank you very much”. Reaching my abode, I unpacked my mangoes and counted them.

Seven mangoes are what Musa had given me; plus the one I picked on the road, makes eight. Aw, what a miracle this was!  My lost mangoes had been indirectly returned to me and in double figures. I said, “Blessed be the name of the Lord, for he’s done wonders in my life. He returned my mangoes in double figures and at no extra pay!

Yes, yet again I believe that God is always not so far from us, and he manifests himself in ways quite unfathomable. This was just one of them and unbelievable as it might be, it is a true life experience.

 The writer is a communications consultant

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