Damien has a supernatural guardian but it ain't no angel. He has a big choice to make.
|It was a hot day and the autobahn was full. The drivers were impatient and not a little stressed and Damien had already passed two accidents on this stretch of road. Everyone was pressing to get home and pushing the car in front at 100 miles an hour with only a couple of feet to spare between each car. Damien glanced in his wing mirror noticing the queue behind him, all of them, like him, tailgating. He eased up a bit giving some distance to the car in front suddenly worried. As he did so a driver five cars in front unexpectedly put on his brakes. The next car reacted in time but the one after that did not and slammed into the back of the second car. He watched as the next cars concertinaed into each other, one by one, bang, bang, bang. It was his turn but instead, he saw his steering wheel shift and the balance of his BMW tilted onto 2 wheels leaning to his left. There was a gap between the cars that were spinning, sliding, and even flying through the air out of control in front of him. His car slid through the gap and into the open road, His right side wheels found the road and he was in control again. As he watched in his side mirror an oil tanker, that had been in the slow lane, slammed into the wrecked cars behind him, which now blocked the entire autobahn. It exploded as it did so and an immense fireball rose into the air. Car after car slammed into the burning pile adding to the inferno.
Shaken to his core and sweating Damien moved over to the hard shoulder at a safe distance from the crash and waited for the emergency services to arrive. He sidled over and opened his door on the embankment side and sat on the bank watching the flames. How on earth did I survive that, he thought to himself. Weirdly in that heat and with the flames, he felt cold and shivered in the midday sun. He was nauseated and threw up on the grass by the embankments fence.
That night Damien was lying on his bed, in the motel he had stopped in, thinking through the events of the day. He was trying to sleep but unable to. He noticed he could not move and he felt rather than saw a presence in the room. He was in a state of panic and his heart was beating fast. Then he saw it. It was in the shape of a man but dark and indeed had the appearance of a black hole phrased inside a silhouette. It seemed to suck the life and light of the room into itself. It spoke to him, the voice deep and macho and commanding.
"Damien, you have been chosen and so I saved your life today."
"Thanks for saving me but who are you? I thought guardian angels were a little brighter, wearing white and all that."
"I am no angel, you need to unlearn the mythologies of the world of men. The angels are the bad guys who fight for an oppressive supernatural order and the demons are the rebels fighting for their freedom from the tyranny of light. We want you to join the revolution and embrace the dark side. That is where the real power is." The demon replied.
As he looked upon the demon, still unable to move on his bed he started to make out features. Red eyes gleamed in the darkness and yellow sulfurous smoke issued from his mouth and nostrils. The being seemed to embody brooding restless energy. But it is also scared him and he resented being pinned down like this.
"If you want me on your team, why do you force me down like this? I am told that God created the universe, not demons so why should I believe you. You just seem like a big bully to me and I have no idea why you saved me from that crash nor even if it was you that did it. It is all very well claiming the credit after the event isn't it?" Damien was surprised by the strength of defiance in him.
"God evolved like any other being, other beings like my Master are now evolving faster than God and will shortly overtake him in fact. But if you look at creation through the eyes of the latest space telescopes you will find that darkness is the main feature of creation. The stars are mere pinpricks on the night sky. Dark energy, dark matter, black holes are where the real power and the bulk of the universe are to be found. At the heart of every galaxy is a massive black hole. Darkness is the essence of creation and it was from the darkness that all things came."
As the demon spoke it waved its hand releasing Damien from his paralysis. Then he added, "Think upon my words, I will contact you again shortly."
For many days Damien thought upon what had happened not least that the demons seemed more interested in his welfare than the angels. He remembered a lady he had once met who had told him a story at a party. She was wearing an upside-down cross which he had recognized as that of a Satanist and she was all dressed in black. He was curious that she would so brazenly wear that. She had told him that she had stolen something once and been put into a prison cell. She had prayed to God to get her out but nothing had happened. Then she had prayed to Satan and a few hours later she had been released. So now she served Satan, not God. She had spooked Damien out at the time and he had distanced himself from her almost immediately after she had finished her story, but her words had stuck. Now he thought, What if the devil is indeed stronger and the winning side, am I batting for the wrong team?
The woman in the street approaching Damien was a fresh-faced South Korean teenager. She was short with dark hair and shiny eyes. She belonged to a larger group of people standing in the public square with a large red wooden cross giving out leaflets.
An evangelist for the God Squad, what perfect timing, thought Damien.
"Good morning sir, Do you know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?"
"Not really, but maybe you can explain to me why I should vote for him rather than the other guy. Why is he the better choice?"
"He is the one through whom all things were made and by whom they are sustained. He is Sovereign over the universe and will judge the devil and throw him into hell on judgment day. Why back the losing team?"
"But how do I know that is true, maybe the other side have a pretty convincing case also?" Damien went on to explain about the car accident he had avoided and the claims of the demon.
The woman looked scared and was a little out of her depth but she called over a more senior man from her group and repeated Damien's story to him. Damien was impressed that neither of them thought he was insane and both took his account seriously. Finally, the man spoke.
"Hi my name is Joseph and I am a pastor from South Korea." The man spoke with accented but understandable German. There was a faint American twang to the way he pronounced his words perhaps indicating that he had been taught German by an American. He continued, "We believe in demons and we believe in angels so your story does not sound made up to us and you seem to be sincere in your question. A demon would save your life only if it thought it could accomplish a greater purpose by keeping you alive. But it has not yet divulged that to you. When it does you should ask who benefits and what is the cost of doing what the demon says. It will try and deceive you but in the end, it wants to destroy you. That your consent is required implies that it does not just want to influence you and your actions but fully possess you and control your actions. Once it is in possession of you you will be unable to resist it. But the name of Jesus is stronger than any demon and you can force it to leave you alone by speaking in the authority of that name. Only if you are actually a Christian will that carry any weight with the demon though. So to protect yourself you should give your life to Christ."
"But how do I know that Jesus is stronger?" asked Damien.
"Because Jesus went into the darkness of death and the devil could not hold him there. He rose from the dead and ascended to the Light of God's throne. Therefore the light is in fact stronger than the darkness. There were more than 500 witnesses to this resurrection and the whole church, which has not stopped growing for two thousand years is indeed a witness to this. But power is the wrong focus here. The better question is who do you trust and with whom would you want to spend eternity? Jesus is honest and he is love personified. He sacrifices himself for us. He is kind and warm while a devil is selfish, manipulative and dishonest and ultimately out to ruin you."
Damien nodded thoughtfully but resisted the pressure to convert there and then. He took one of the tracts they were giving out and left the group there in the street.
Back in his flat, Damien went onto his balcony. He was on the 11th floor and had a great view of the city from there. He sat with some cool lemonade in the late sunshine thinking things through. He had a bible in his hand which he had taken from the shelf as he came in. He had always thought of himself as a Christian but it was a cultural thing rather than anything practical for him. His mum had bought the bible and given it to him for Christmas even though he had insisted to her that he was not religious or interested in that in fact. It was the new version of the Schlacter 2000 which had 'the scriptures translated into modern German yet which did not betray the original text' was how his mum had described it to him. He opened it at random and put his finger on a verse. He felt a little silly but was curious to see what came up.
"They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone." He read.
WTF does that mean? he thought.
In the very next moment he found himself lifted out of his seat and flying through the air. In terror, he realized he was being led over the balcony and that his feet were now over open space. He stared down at the concrete far below him and felt the full force of the wind that his balcony wall had protected him from. He felt cold and that now familiar feeling of nausea came over him, it was the same one that he had felt after the accident and when the demon had visited him in the hotel. He looked up and there again was the demon that had visited him earlier.
"So Damien, it is decision time. Are you going to pick the winning side and learn to fly by yourself or are you going to pick the losing side and fall to certain death on the concrete below?"
Damien remembered the pastor's words about rebuking the demon in Jesus' name, but he had not yet given his life to Christ and knew that if the demon let go he would plunge to his death below, smashed against the concrete of the pathway. But having met that Korean girl and her pastor today in the street his eyes were now more open to the true nature of the demon. He sensed the uncleanness of its spirit and now understood that the overpowering feeling of sickness inside of him only promised worse to come. He knew that whatever the demon wanted was not good. He played for time.
"What is it that you want me for that is so important you would go to the trouble of all these magic tricks with my life?"
"The prophecies indicate that you will be a great Messiah to lead our armies to victory, but only if you freely choose this path."
"You want me to become the Anti-Christ?" Feelings of revulsion filled Damien and he made his choice. He was not going to be the puppet of this foul being, but he also knew it would cost him his life to defy such a powerful demon.
"Jesus Christ I choose you, even if it cost me my life. Be gone demon of darkness, in His name," said Damien.
The demon snarled in contempt and anger and then disappeared. With that, Damien started falling, but now at peace as if the fast-approaching ground no longer mattered. Oh well, he thought, I made the right choice.
An angel appeared, smiled, and then holding him guided him to a gentle landing. The angel then disappeared. It was a brief glimpse of the other side. A glimpse of a being of immense power, with a radiance that warmed his heart. The presence was one that gave outwards rather than sucked inwards. He remembered the words of the scripture he had just read.
"They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone."
"Thank you, God!" He shouted.
For a short while, he was silent. He was shaken to his core by what had just happened and his experience of the angel. Then as he reflected on his situation further he realized he had been holding his breath. As he started breathing again he took stock of where he was and he stopped shaking. Realizing where he was he then exclaimed loudly, "Oh Shish Kebab, I left my keys on the balcony table."
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