“I want it to look like a Bible,” I tell the man at the religious book printing company.
“What’s the name of your book?”
I repeat the title. It is seductive and spiritual, two disharmonious words that together form an oxymoron that begs more questions. Or discomfort.
He mutters and stammers. “I think with a provocative title like that…” he explains, gently trailing off into the reasons why his firm will not be printing my work.
Nevertheless, the almost $10,000 loan I’ve set aside for this project is burning a hole from my 401(k) to my checking account — and I know there exists an imprinter who will take my filthy lucre — scandalous title and explicit sexual content be damned. Eventually, I find one.
Satan Smiles at Me
Resurrection day: Saturday, April 22, 2000.
I am floating into a sunken space in a line of women. One woman says another is in trouble. I step out of line and take the lead, beckoning the females to follow me. We arrive at a hallway. Beyond us is a black woman stretched out peacefully still inside an ajar casket.
I move to the right. It is anything but peaceful from that POV, wherein the woman is alive and sitting up at the waist in her death box, struggling and wrestling with an unseen force.
The fighting pauses. The Wrestling Woman stares straight at me. I know this woman is purely a face that Satan is using at the moment.
As he looks directly at me, I prepare myself for the most horrific scowl ever seen by a human. Instead, the enemy does something even more terrifying: He twists the woman’s lips upwards into a warm and loving smile, as if he is greeting one of his children.
I am more stunned and horrified than if old Beelzebub would’ve bared ugly fangs in my face. I am doing his work for him, I realize.
Blood pumps so increasingly loudly and quickly and forcefully through my heart’s chambers, I hear it in my ears as I open my eyes to decipher the digits in red on the digital clock. It is after 2 a.m.
Happy 31st Birthday to Me
I am now 31, and I am saved. It’s like I am playing by different rules now. Like I goofed around for 30 years, and God is telling me it’s time to grow up and get serious. There are certain things I can’t take into the next phase of life — not with his blessing.
I know what I must do.
Easter Monday: Freedom Day
Driving to a Dumpster, I throw the first box into the abyss of the empty container.
Within seconds, nearly $10,000 worth of books have been tossed, ready to be taken to the city dump and burned to high heaven, a sweet-smelling sacrifice in the Lord’s nostrils.
The natural world may think it ridiculous that I’ve disposed of $10,000 worth of an item that could’ve made me a millionaire. My salacious writing could’ve rivaled “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Yet God told me no, not like that. I was to use my writing gift in a way that will still draw millions, but beyond the baser crud of us Homo sapiens.
I may be out nearly 10 grand on the surface, but this Easter Monday, with the brightness of daylight and Jesus applauding me, I know that I only feel delight at no longer selling my soul.