He was still explaining himself to pastor Damian who was listening with rapt attention while Jennifer kept mum, staring into space. She was all ears from the beginning of the session but slid into oblivion when Michael’s utterances began to baffle her. She was totally unaware that Pastor Damian was trying to get her attention until she was jolted out of her wandering state by Michael’s touch.
“Sister Jennifer, are you sure you really want to do this?” Pastor Damian inquired all smiles.
“Yes sir,” Jennifer replied, adjusting her seat, clearly ready to be drilled.
“Do you still love Michael after all you’ve both been through?” he further probed.
“I still do with the whole of my heart but I doubt he feels the same way. I think you should direct this same question at him,” she stated matter-of-factly.
Jennifer’s response shocked Michael who stared at her bewilderingly.
“I never thought it necessary since he made mention of the fact that he loves you dearly or is there something you feel I should know about?” he asked looking from Jennifer to Michael and back to Jennifer.
“Pastor, I heard him say it is normal for couples to have issues but left out the part of him constantly venting his anger on me with his fists,” Jennifer said near tears.
The clergy couldn’t hide his surprise and turned to Michael for answers. “Michael is this true?” Pastor Damian probed.
“Pastor how can I do that? I mean I love my wife so much,” Michael replied, placing his hands on her thighs as a way of pleading with her in order to save his face.
“Love?” she asked contorting her face as if the word tasted sour on her tongue. She looked him in the face and screamed, “Liar! Pastor he is lying. He beats me at the slightest provocation. In fact, I’ve had three miscarriages as a result of that. He has hurt me physically, emotionally and psychologically. I now live in constant fear of him not knowing what the next minute holds in store for me,” she said amidst sobs.
Pastor Damian was speechless as he stared endlessly at Michael who bowed his head. He was at loss of what to say. He had handled several cases among couples from the pew but nothing of this sort before. He was aware that domestic violence was a serious problem that rocked some Christian homes and was not to be treated with kid gloves. He looked at Jennifer with pity and silently asked God for wisdom in handling their case. Having exhausted his options, he decided to try something out of the ordinary.
“Sister Jennifer, please pull yourself together. I honestly think we should reschedule this meeting because we are not making headway. I would not want to apportion blames on anyone just yet. I need both of you to go home and have a rethink about this whole thing. This counseling cannot yield positive results if you employ deceit and place a barricade around your ego,” he stated looking in Michael’s direction. With that he stood to his feet, an indication that the meeting was over.