Outside the prison Ama Boatemaa is bent low on the ground, wailing, and then she suddenly feels a tap on her shoulder.
She looks up, and she recognizes the tall, bearded stranger.
Ama Boatemaa flies into his arms and holds him tight as her tears fall in torrents.
Oh, sir, sir, sir! They killed him! Dear Lord, they killed Zac! They killed my heart!
Hush, little woman, hush! I’m coming from Camp Golgotha. They’ve arrested the real murderer. Now, stop crying this instant. I’m going inside, and I’m bringing your man.
He is just a man, girl, not your heart!
And then he steps away from her and approaches the huge gates of the prison.
He speaks to the guards for a moment.
One of them goes inside and makes a call, and a moment later theyallow the tall man to go inside.
The tall man is taken to a nice building a little bit off the main prisons administration block.
There are cars parked here, and a lot of people are milling around, most of them obviously distressed.
Elder Senanu sees the tall stranger, and he runs to meet him.
The Elder is in great anguish.
I was there, sir! I saw it all! They killed an innocent man! Oh, sir! This is the most terrible day of my life!
No, he’s not dead, my friend. Do you still have that church building ready?
Good. Pastor Zac Larbi is going to need it. He is going to be the founder of a new church, and you’re going to give him all the assistance he will need, do you understand?
Aaaaaah! Did you hear a word of what I said? He is dead! The Pastor is dead!
Without another word the tall stranger leaves him and enters the glass doors of the building.
The people are in the reception area now.
The Member of Parliament, the District Chief Executive, Judge Atinga Awedega, the Chaplain, Apostle Aboah, Prophet Bio, the doctors and high-ranking police and prison officials are all here.
The stranger pauses and looks around at them.
For the very first time he removes the huge brown sunshades and glares at them through eyes filled with fury.
The Member of Parliament looks down with great remorse.
Where is the pastor?
The room is silent.
Nobody can look straight at him.
Fear is great in the atmosphere.
Where is the pastor? Don’t let me ask you again!
They start jabbering, but the Member of Parliament stands up and opens a door with trembling hands.
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
In here, sir, please!
The stranger enters the room.
He sees the bed, and sees that Zac’s body has been covered with white sheets.
A junior nurse, weeping, is packing some medical equipment into a box.
You. Out. Now!
The nurse quickly turns and, bellowing with distress, rushes out.
The stranger removes the key from the door on the outside, enters again, shuts the door, inserts the key, and locks it.
The stranger walks forward and draws the curtains even closer together so that they were completely flushed, and no one in the observation room can see inside.
He walks to the bed and gently draws the white cloth off theface of the pastor.
They have removed the clasps from his body.
He is lying peacefully, and his face is serene.
But he is definitely dead.
The stranger stands looking at this man of God for a long time, and then he slowly puts his right hand on Pastor Zac’s shoulder, and his left hand on Pastor Zac’s wrist.
And it is written, in the Book of Mark, the eighteenth verse of the sixteenth chapter, that those that are empowered by the Lord shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them! They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover! It is also written, in the Acts of the Apostles, that they laid their hands on the dead, and they raised them, and the dead became living.
If I be a true servant of the Most High God, I so command any poison that has so entered this host of the Lord to come out, for he is needed in the Lord’s vineyard, because the harvest is huge, but the workers few. He has been injected with something deadly, but I stand on the Word of God, and decree, that it shall not harm him. If I be a man of God, then by the power embedded in me by the Holy Spirit, and with my faith bigger than a pea, and in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I cast out the poison crippling your body, and I say you shall rise, Pastor Zac Larbi!
And instantly the vein in Zac’s arm through which the deadly drug had been delivered swells, and the deadly drug that had entered Pastor Zac Larbi begins to ooze out slowly through the vein!
It spills on the floor, every little drop of it!
The stranger then takes the Pastor’s hand and raises it.
Because the work is great, and the harvesters few, because the Lord wants you in His vineyard, I take your hand today, Pastor Zac Larbi, and what I have, I give you… in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise and walk!
Pastor Zac Larbi, formerly the late Zac Larbi, begins to cough, and then the stranger pulls him up, and he sits up in the bed.
He coughs a bit more, and then he looks around him slowly until his eyes rest on the stranger standing beside the bed.
Me what? Show some respect, you puny pastor.
(with tears in his eyes)
You… you resurrected me, didn’t you?
Who am I to resurrect the dead? I’m but flesh and bone, an ordinary man like you, with no power whatsoever in my body.
(nodding, lips trembling)
Of course, of course! In the name of Jesus have I been resurrected, defeating the jaws of death so that I can continue to work in the Vineyard of the Most High!
And that is as straight as the truth can be.
Oh, thank you, thank you, brother!
You should really watch your utterances, boy. Another blaspheming word from you and I swear-
(cutting him off)
You’ll cover me from head to toe with leprosy!
Zac begins to laugh, but tears streamed down his cheeks at the same time.
Blindly he reaches out and hugs the stranger tightly.
After a while the stranger stands back.
The real murderer has been captured. He was a doppelganger, a man who looked exactly like you in every way. You’re a free man. There’s a young lady outside these walls who will die in the next few minutes if you don’t see her.
Ama Boatemaa! Oh, my love! My treasure!
Your what? Nonsense!
Zac bursts into laughter again as the stranger unlocks the door and goes out.
The people in the living-room stare at him, and then the doctor cautiously cranes his neck, looks into the room, sees Zac walking towards him, and he utters a strangled cry and collapses on the floor.
Zac Larbi appears in the doorway.
He turns and flees desperately from the room.
Everybody is trembling uncontrollably as Zac stares at them.
Do not be afraid! I didn’t die. I was just sleeping. I’m not a ghost… I am God’s servant, and He didn’t allow my toe to stumble! He is a mighty, faithful God! He is my Lord, and I present Him to you all!
To be continued