The Unplanned Meeting
I closed from work one day and decided to go to a fast food restaurant to grab a snack so that when I got home, I would not have any need to cook. I got there, made an order and paid for it. I took the snacks and sat right next to a glass window which was close to the glass door. From where I sat, I could see anyone coming into the restaurant or leaving. I sat there for a while thinking about a lot of things. Among the things running through my mind was a character in a novel I was writing. Before I was deep in thought, I heard someone saying, “Mind if I join you?”
I began to wonder at the question, seeing that I was obviously alone and there were a lot of seats scattered all over. I took a look at him and noticed that he was decently dressed and wore a smile. But he had not ordered anything yet and though I was uncomfortable, I answered in the affirmative. He sat and began to stare at me, refusing my invitation to join me to eat the snack. My discomfiture increased and I decided to eat the snacks quickly and leave. As if he read my heart, he cleared his throat and said, “I have always wanted to have a word with you in person.”
“I don’t understand,” I said, looking rather confused.
“I know you and I have always wanted to have a meeting with you so that I can let you know a little about myself,” he replied.
“Who are you?” I asked.
“I am the devil,” he replied.
I began to laugh uncontrollably to the point that I began to cough. I began to think that I sat with a lunatic, but when I noticed that he neither moved a muscle, nor changed the expression on his face, I stopped laughing.
“Is it funny?” he asked.
“Well,” I said, “If today was April Fool’s Day, I would not have laughed as I did.”
“You do not have to believe me,” he said, “I had to get permission from you know who before I was allowed to come here, and I was not given much time.”
“How do you mean?” I asked.
“It’s simple,” he said, “I am here to meet with you and I am giving you the opportunity to ask me three questions.”
I kept silent for a while and thought. I did not believe he was actually the devil, but I decided to play along. I then thought about the questions I had always wanted to ask the devil if ever I got the chance to meet him. Sadly, I could not remember any of the questions any-more. With his permission, I called up a few friends and they gave me the three questions to ask and so I began.
“Question number one,” I said, “Why did you rebel against God and betray the trust he had in you?”
“That is common knowledge,” he replied, “God is weak! Why won’t I rebel against Him? How can He have so much love for you little maggots? I can crush all of you with a wave of my hand and instead of all of you serving us, He kept you all close to his heart. How would you feel if you enjoyed the love of your earthly father only for him to stop paying attention to you and care more about an earthworm?”
“God has so much love in His heart for all of us, men and angels alike,” I replied, taking the conversation seriously now.
“You do not know the true nature of God,” he said, “I will tell you His true nature. The same way He stopped loving me, is the same way ,He will stop loving you as well, and then you will rebel, just as I did.”
“It isn’t true,” I interjected, “God never stops loving anyone. You are lying!”
“You do not have to believe me. Ask your next question.”
“Why are you so wicked as to cause so much suffering and death in this beautiful world?”
He paused for a while and then said, “I am not the cause of the wickedness that exists in this world. All I did was to introduce sin, but it was man who watered it, making sure that sin spread all over the world. Man fell in love with sin and multiplied it several times over. In fact, man has found new ways to legalise sin and make it part of common culture. Every human being in the world commits sin every minute. No one cares any more about God and his commandments. Do not think that because a lot of people go to church everyday, it means that their hearts and minds are with God? A lot of them commit sin before getting to the church and continue to commit sin even while listening to the sermon. The early church fathers were the true Christians. They were the ones who built the church and gave their lives to spread the gospel. If they were like you modern-day Christians, the church would have been nothing more than a page in the history books. If only the supposed Christians of today have a little zeal for Christ, as the early church fathers had, or rather, if you had zeal as little as a mustard seed, I would have been restless in my abode. But since all of you are the way you are, I have a lot of rest knowing that my angels and I do not have much work to do any more. The earth has become another hell and men are its demons to plunder and to destroy. That’s all that man knows. Destruction! God is fighting a lost battle. I receive more souls per second than he does per month.”
“But God still receives souls, even if it’s per month,” I interrupted.
“It makes no difference to me,” he replied, “As far as numbers count, I am winning and God has a lot of catching up to do. I am ahead of Him, with billions of souls, since the creation of the world. If the world continues to exist for more centuries to come and the population continues to grow, I would have trillions of souls sooner than anticipated.”
He then leaned forward and asked, “Are you scared?”
I shook my head slowly. I was really not scared, but surprised that he knew so much about the devil. I decided that he was either possessed by the devil or maybe he is actually the devil as he claimed. I then asked him the third and final question.
“What are your regrets?”
He laughed once again.
“You know,” he said, “I have been living with my regrets for a long time now, but since you have asked, I regret letting Christ die. If only I had known that the plan was that His death would bring salvation to mankind, I would not have let Him die. It was an oversight. It just did not cross our minds that He would truly rise up from the dead and cause us so much trouble over the years. I tell you the truth, if we had known that this would happen, we would have allowed Him to continue roaming about, healing the sick and feeding the hungry and then die a natural death.”
He paused for a while.
“That’s the only regret I am willing to let out for now,” he said, “Maybe when we meet again, I will tell you more .But for now, that’s all I will say.”
“When will the next time be?” I asked.
“Soon,” he replied, “Maybe sooner than you think.”
He then stood up.
“Is that all?” I asked.
“Yes, but there is one more thing,” he said, “I know you are writing a book and I would like my story to be part of it. You may think that this may turn people back to God, but it won’t. Do you remember the parable about Lazarus and the Rich Man? Do you remember that they both died and the Rich Man was in hell pleading to be allowed to talk to his brothers so that they would change their ways? Can you remember the answer he was given? It’s the same for you modern-day Christians. Most of you have got spiritual pride and are unwilling to accept the teachings of Christ because you feel it is an old teaching which would change with time. Some false and lying preachers have risen with a refined gospel of prosperity, without sadness, pain and suffering and you are quick to embrace it. What you fail to realise is that some of the preachers answer to me. You all comfort yourself with questions like ‘Where is it in the bible?’ forgetting that even the early years of Christ were not recorded in the Bible. Thirty good years were not recorded in the Bible but does it mean that the thirty years did not exist? I am sick of all of you. Have you not observed that there is a lot of noise in this world? Have you not observed that radio sets and music players have become so portable that you could carry five and no one would know? Have you not noticed that there are blaring sirens here, a man shouting there, cars revving here, and music blasting from speakers there? When the world is filled with noise, how will you hear the still and quiet voice of God speaking to you? Even your churches are filled with noise. Everyone wants to outdo the next person by shouting all in the name of praying and speaking in tongues! We see all of these and we laugh and will continue to laugh. Anyway, enjoy God’s love while you all still can, but know that creation is getting old and creation will die!”
He then turned and walked away but I remained seated waiting to see where he would go; if he would stop a taxi or fly or disappear because I had started to believe that the man has an affiliation with the devil. He opened the door and to my surprise vanished just as he stepped out. He vanished right before my eyes. It was only then that I became truly convinced of his claim.
From The Book: ” Three Men and a Bottle,” by Anthony Onugba
Anthony is a prolific writer. He has written hundreds of stories and is currently working on T.V series. He is also the author of “Reflections”.
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