Out of uncontrollable curiosity, I’ve hung out with Old Testament Boys Boys, Genesis Lovers, the most notorious OT King I even chatted up David & Joesph on SEX and women! Of them all, meeting with the Bible’s baddest man filled me with the greatest anxiety.
This was a guy who lived in a cemetery. He lived, in a place I drive past at full speed at night. I mean even cemetery jokes are scary. Like the one of the taxi driver who stepped on the accelerator when he noticed that the lady he was about to pick up around the Osu cemetery had an unusual sheen about her. 500 yards off when his heartbeat was returning to normal, he heard someone panting in the car, looked in the rear-view and saw the shiny lady out of breath. She smiled and gasped “Herh, driver, if I hadn’t been fast you’ll have gone and left me o!”
Of all residences, that’s where this guy lived for a long time. In those days, he was the strongest human in Gerasenes. There was no one else who was strong enough to subdue him. So you can understand why I had mixed feelings. But at the same time he had such a powerful story, so I had a mutual friend set up a meet.
Since becoming normal, he’d set up a very successful practice. He was a busy man so if I wanted to talk, I had to go to his office. The man I saw, was anything but the man I was expecting to see. He was clean-shaven, very well dressed, athletic build, intense hazel eyes, calm demeanor, carefully-chosen words and an unusual chilly smile.
Ex-Bad: You look stunned.
Me: Uh-uhmmn, a little. I’m sorry.
Ex-Bad: Don’t worry, I get that a lot.
I sighed and sat across from him, unsure of where to start.
Me: How many were they (I blurted) The demons.
Ex-Bad: (snickered) you don’t do niceties I see.
Me: I’m sorry, I’ve been too curious for too long.
Ex-Bad: Hmm hooww mannyyy? They were a legion. I watch TB Joshua these days and hear people being delivered speak and say they’re a legion and only a couple of demons come out. My legion needed 2000 pigs Ben. Do the maths.
Me: Wow! But how come they didn’t kill you? How could you live with that much evil in you?
Ex-Bad: I dunno, I guess because they couldn’t? I realize that most people die a million times before they die. Fear kills them. A black thread, a plantain’s shadow at night, a nightmare, a threat. I think we’re afraid because we don’t know how much we’re loved. We can’t see the protection at our disposal and we feel we need to work for God’s protection, we don’t get GRACE, so our minds are fertile for fear to grow. But there was me with a legion INSIDE of me Ben. They got me to cut myself, but they couldn’t kill me. One second out though, and see what they did to those pigs, drove them all over a cliff. Our God is bigger.
Me: (gulp) Amen to that? I mean that’s a sermon right there.
Ex-Bad: Funny, I’m just sharing what I know.
Me: So let’s back-track a little, you were in the cemetery when Jesus and his squad were getting out of the boat. Then you ran and came to meet him, then you called him by name. Had you seen him before? Were you like friends on Facebook or something?
Ex-Bad: It’s funny you ask Ben, even I find the whole thing very strange. I didn’t know the guy from anywhere, he’d just started his ministry you know and apparently he’d just finished a revival at the other side of the lake. I didn’t know him, but the evil in me did. Darkness knows light.
Me: So it was the demons who worshiped Jesus?
Ex-Bad: No, that was me. Demons by nature cant worship Jesus because worship is a willful act you know. It’s willfully paying allegiance to something greater. They identified him, but I did the worship. Then they panicked and unwittingly confessed his lordship when they said “Jesus, son of the most high, what do you want with us?”
(5 seconds passed in total silence. I had just been blinking.)
Me: I’m sorry, I’m just, ummn, a little speechless?
Me: What I’m getting though, is that in your case, God’s grace, that act of worship was greater than the force of a whole legion?
Ex-Bad: Not just in my case Ben, in all cases! I think it’s sad when people play down worship as a mandatory part of a church service. It’s so much more! It’s the only thing God cant do. The only thing! Because by definition, worship is giving reverence to a higher being, and God’s right there at the top, so that’s a bit of an issue for Him.
Me: You know, I would never have imagined, that a man possessed by a legion of demons would even be capable of worship, much more one that will trigger a deliverance.
Ex-Bad: Tell me about it! So when I hear you young people of this age say stuff like “I’m too bad. You have no idea the kind of bad things I’ve done. I’m too far gone to be saved, I’m just evil, yada yada yada,” I just get soo frustrated. Do you know what too far gone is? Can you fathom how being possessed by a dozen world class demons feel like, and I had enough to fill 2000 pigs, and even I wasn’t too far gone! So puh-lease tell ‘em to find another excuse to continue fooling around.
Me: Easy easy former mad guy.
Ex-Bad: (sigh) sorry Ben. It just tears me up you know. Something so good is so available for so free and we just keep making so funny excuses.
Me: Even I am guilty of that in a way, so…Anyways, tell me about Jesus. What did you find most profound about him?
Ex-Bad: His addiction to answering prayers. I mean here’s the Son of God towering over a legion of demons. He had power to do anything at all, yet when they prayed him to not torture them, He didn’t. When they prayed him to not send them out of the area, He didn’t. When they prayed him to send them into the pigs nearby, He did so. He granted demons their request. He answered their prayers, so why do most people doubt that He will hear when they call? You’re only limited by what you believe Ben, tell ‘em!
Me: Wow, I never thought of it like that.
Ex-Bad: It’s something, isn’t it?
Me: You bet. So well, you’d lived in Gerserenes a long time, the people in the town knew you well. How’d they take your deliverance?
Ex-Bad: Hmmn, they were angry about the pigs. My deliverance was insignificant in comparison to the pigs.
Ex-Bad: Yeah it hurt. It really did. You’d think they’d be overjoyed, but people are like that. Some people are just happy to see you perpetually remain in a bad place. Your bondage makes them feel good about themselves.
Ex-Bad: Big time. That’s why we need to be careful who we surround ourselves with. Some people are quicker to put us deeper in bondage than to see us get out of it.
Me: See, I seriously cant remember the last time I got so much nuggets in one conversation. Pity I have to leave
Ex-Bad: Issokay Ben, we can always do this another time.
Me: Yes yes. But tell me one thing you think I should leave with. One thing.
Ex-Bad: Let NOTHING hold you back from worshiping God. Memories of sins committed, voices saying discouraging things in your head, pride, depression or self-doubt, let NOTHING hold you back from worshiping God. That’s where sweetness is.
Me: Gbam! No closing remarks from me po!
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