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The Journey of a Corpse

Updated on January 25, 2019

What is life?

I asked the Lord to direct my steps this morning and I went out with the intention of introducing Jesus to someone today. Instead, I met a corpse and I received a sermon I will never forget.

The stench hit me before I saw it. Someone (or something) who once was a man.

Go with me on a journey: sometime ago, a family (probably) received the best news at that time - they had a male child who had just been born into the family. In Nigeria (until just recently) male children are considered the wealth of a family while the female children were not deemed as important as the male children. In the Eastern part of the Country, the people believe that any wife who cannot give birth to a male child is useless and not worth keeping in the home. Woe betide her if she becomes a widow without a male child! Her husband's brothers turn into wolves and confiscate their dead brother's property turning the wife into a destitute. I know of a woman who had five daughters for her husband (the husband loved his daughters immeasurably) and unfortunately, he died and his brothers took everything from the wife and drove her and her children away. In another case, the man always embarrassed his wife from the hospital if the baby she gave birth to was female (the couple are still living today) and after 3 daughters, she finally gave birth to a son and her husband turned the hospital into a party scene and gave his wife a royal treatment (because she had a son).

Now, you understand what a male child meant to the people in this Country! And this corpse was a male.

As I walked past the corpse lying at the bus stop, I realised he probably might have been sent to a school and had friends growing up; he might have been brilliant and touted as one for the future. He might also have fallen in love in his teens (as young people sometimes do) and he might have had little trysts with girls his age.

I took another look at the bloated body that someone sometime ago once held to her breast to suckle, to rock and to put to sleep. Someone loved the person lying there and probably someone was missing him.

I noticed the bulging eyes and the rubbery skin which had broken somewhere and the putrid liquid was flowing from the body. I wondered where the authorities responsible for cleanliness were because from the looks of him, he had been dead for days. For him, time on earth had stopped but around him, activities were going on as usual and except for the reaction of passers-by to the stench, one would not know that the corpse ever lived as a man deserving of attention.

I wondered at the complexities and vicissitudes of life! And it was as though I heard the Lord in my spirit telling me how the world and some of its people stink to high heavens! Some people are already corpses that stink because they have turned their backs on the Way, the Truth and THE LIFE! When one turns away from life, it means one has chosen death because death is the opposite of life and in matters that deal with destiny and life, there is no sitting on the fence.

Let me continue my tale: Maybe, this middle aged man once had a family, maybe he married a wife and time and chance happened to him and maybe he lost everything. He did not look like someone who committed suicide. Neither did he look like someone who was murdered. He was a destitute and in my Country, nobody looks twice at a destitute or a lunatic - they roam the streets at will and sometimes are victims of circumstances beyond their control. He looked like he just laid down and died.

Many Christians today do not feel the pains of the wandering lost souls around them. Some of us Christians are quick to judge and condemn, while we live in our spiritual cocoons, waiting for rapture for ourselves and our loved ones.

What about them? What about those who come from broken homes and are already broken personalities with broken psyches and all they need is a little love from those who claim to know the Saviour of ALL MANKIND.

If He is the Savioiur of ALL MANKIND as we Christians claim, why are we not out there helping the rest of mankind to know Him and His finished work on their behalf? I grieve deeply for the souls already lost - like my dear rotting corpse. I weep that the harvest truly is ripe but the LABOURERS are few. We have many people claiming to work in the Vineyard yet the labourers are few. Where are the labourers?

Where is hope?


I sincerely want us to look again at those for whom Christ died and pity the soul that is headed for doom. There before you is a potential corpse - will he have the dignity of a coffin, surrounded by loving family and a Priest offering prayer because you cared enough?

Or will he suffer the ignominy of dying in a place where he would rot before his loved one would have the opportunity of giving him the honour he deserves?




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    • minakay profile imageAUTHOR

      The Rev. Kelechi Timothy Francis 

      10 years ago from Rivers State, Nigeria

      Thank you, Druid Dude. I was shocked into action knowing it could have been me out there. Thanks again.

    • profile image

      Druid Dude 

      10 years ago

      Your corpse may have been a divine allegory to stimulate you with inspiration, to tell us this tale. Bless you, Minakay, in all you do. Peace

    • minakay profile imageAUTHOR

      The Rev. Kelechi Timothy Francis 

      10 years ago from Rivers State, Nigeria

      Thanks, Ashantina. Life is strange but people are stranger because we choose to be. I do not know you, but I love you. My love for you has nothing to do with knowing you but just knowing that you are another human being I share this place called earth with.

    • Ashantina profile image


      10 years ago

      As I was reading this I too was wondering about this human being... his life, his dreams, his thoughts prior... what was his name? did he have a wife waiting for him to bring the milk home? what were his plans for the day?

      Its sad that anyone should end like this.

      A thought provoking post.

    • minakay profile imageAUTHOR

      The Rev. Kelechi Timothy Francis 

      10 years ago from Rivers State, Nigeria

      Thank you, Hassann. Your comments set me thinking more about life. And you too, MartieCoetser. Although I take exception to some pictures of my country shown on CNN, I admit we still have a long way to go in our treatment of women. Thank you both.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      10 years ago from South Africa

      It is so sad that women in Nigeria are still treated with disdain. My heart goes out to all of them and their daughters. And it is so-so sad to know a man on this earth died all alone in a street and nobody bothers to bury him. Christians are supposed to be God’s representatives on Earth, but the majority of them are everything except a human image of Him. I am in awe of your deep, Christ-like thoughts, and I pray that your fellowman follow your example and grow nearer to God. My wish for you and your loved-ones is out of my heart a blessed and peaceful Christmas and God’s blessings in abundance for 2011.

    • hassann profile image


      10 years ago

      Yet another very piquant hub from Mikanay. This should make every one think for a moment about life and why we are where we are while others aren't. And it also gives us a vivid picture of life in another part of the world and once more makes us realize how ignorant we are of the bitter stories that pervade our planet, while we indulge in our fancy widgets and trivial chatter.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      We are so much in a hurry and we forget to show love, concern and care.


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