THE DEVIL ON THE ALTAR 13
Written by: Grace Olayemi
Patricia stayed up all night, praying and ruminating over Paul’s proposal and she felt uneasiness building up in her just like she felt the night he raped her and she just could not place why she was feeling that way. Maybe it was God’s way of telling her that Paul was not who He wanted for her and when she was about to make the decision of turning down his proposal, she remembered the promise she made to God and just burst into tears.
When Patricia completed her secondary school education, most of her friends and colleagues then started having boyfriends and men friends and were messing up themselves all in the bid of gaining admission and sponsorship through the university and the pressure was so much on her then because her parents were not buoyant enough to train her through the university but she stood her ground not to defile herself.
On a particular night, she had a revelation and saw herself sitting and talking with a man who introduced himself to her as Jesus. He told her to hold on to herself and that he would see her through and give her the power to keep herself undefiled. Then she made a promise that she would never have anything to do with any man outside wedlock and that it was only her husband she would give herself to, then, she sealed the promise in the dream and she woke up.
Remembering it brought tears to her eyes. “I have failed God and myself. I have disappointed my maker.” She kept on saying as she cried. She prayed for mercy and decided to give Paul ‘a yes’ even though she didn’t hear anything from God but her promise to God was that she would only give her body to her husband so she would marry Paul in order to fulfill the promise she made to God.
She called Paul the following morning to give him her answer and he was so delighted to hear it. He told her to keep their relationship a secret to avoid gossips and jealousies and she obliged not knowing that that would be the greatest mistake of her life.
Paul and Patricia had been seeing each other for close to three weeks and their relationship was heaven on earth. Everything Patricia could ever wish for in a man was embedded in Paul and he never ceased to amaze her daily with various things. He was empathetic, loving and kind to Patricia. He listened to her, they prayed together, studied the bible together and even went for evangelism outreaches together.
Patricia enjoyed every bit of the relationship just that she didn’t like the secrecy. They had to always meet in secret places that were far from the student’s environment where no one would recognize them and when they saw each other in public or in church they would just relate like normal brother and sister in Christ. Patricia was not comfortable with that arrangement she wanted everyone to know about them, she wanted to tell her roommate, her friends and even her parents and she also wanted their senior pastor to be aware of their relationship but Paul felt it was not the right time to make their relationship known to the public and wanted them to take things slowly.
Patricia and Paul were out together on a particular day and they were really having a nice time.
“I’m so happy to have met an angel like you,” Paul said, looking at Patricia straight in the eyes, which made her face turn pink and she had to look away.
“I’m also grateful to God that our paths crossed and even though the enemy wanted to hinder us, God’s plan still prevailed.”
“Alleluia, glory to God, tell me more about it, prophetess,” Paul said jokingly.
“You are not serious,” Patricia replied and they both laughed.
“But, seriously tell me what do you mean by the enemy wanted to hinder us?” Paul asked in a more serious tone.
“Please, don’t start, don’t go there again. We have prayed and asked God for mercy and He has sanctified our relationship already so I don’t know why you keep on digging up old things. Even the bible says old things have passed away, behold all things have become new. So, my dear, let Christ take away this old thing and stop bringing it before us.”
“I’m sorry, if you see it that way but actually I was driving at something else so you should just listen to me.”
“Alright, I’m sorry I went ahead of you. Tell me, ma’am, what exactly were you driving at?” Paul spoke with less tension that time around and they both laughed at his courteous gesture.
“Shortly after I finished secondary school, I had an encounter with Jesus and I made a promise to Him that I would not defile myself before marriage and that I would have something to do with just one man in my life and that man would be my husband. So after what happened, I prayed to God and renewed the covenant with God and I would have said no to your proposal out of anger from the devil but I remembered my vow and that is why we are what we are today.”
“Wow! This is incredible! God really brought His plan to fulfillment in our lives through the ugly incidence. May His holy name alone be praised forever!”
They chatted on and on until they both departed to their various hostels and Paul could not stop ruminating over what Patricia said.
Written by: Grace Olayemi
Patricia always avoided anything that would take her to Paul’s room. Even though she had forgiven him, she was always careful to avoid a repetition of the ugly incident. Paul on the other hand felt it was not necessary and instead of them going to far places to pray for secrecy, they could always pray in his room but Patricia thought otherwise. It became obvious that Patricia was avoiding Paul’s room and he was beginning to question her and feel bad about it. He even went to the extent of saying that she had not forgiven him for what happened between them and that if she had forgiven him, she wouldn’t dread his place so much. Patricia was fed up with his constant nagging about her not coming to his place and decided to pay him a visit.
She went to his house one Saturday morning and helped him with chores like general cleaning and washing. She also cooked and they both ate happily together. He was very happy to have her around and he was just beaming with smiles but Patricia was careful, not wanting a repetition of what had happened before. The day went well and they both went to the church together in the evening. Since then Patricia paid him visits more often and spent more time in his room conveniently.
On a particular day, Patricia had gone to his room as usual to help him with domestic stuff and also for them to pray and spend time together. Around 7pm, Patricia took her bag to leave but Paul stopped her requesting that she spent the night. She was flabbergasted at his request and didn’t even know what to say. She just pretended like she didn’t hear what he said and made to leave.
“If you step out of that door, don’t even bother coming back!”
Patricia quietly shut the door and went back to the chair where Paul was seated. She never expected such a thing from him so she was dumbfounded.
“We are engaged to be married and I don’t think there is anything wrong with you spending the night in my room.” Paul said, looking at Patricia who was just staring at the wall like a lost goat. “And in case you are afraid, I don’t want you to be,” he added.
“Where is that recorded in the bible?” Paul said in defiance.
“That should be in the book of Hebrews chapter 13 verse 4,” Patricia replied and reached for the bible on the table to confirm if she was right.
“Hahaha!” Paul laughed hysterically and Patricia felt embarrassed since she didn’t know why he was laughing. She opened the bible and read the verse before she looked up at Paul to know why he was laughing.
“So did I ask you to defile our marriage bed?” Paul asked.
“I only requested you spend the night and what has spending the night got to do with fornication?” He asked again.
“The bible admonishes believers to abstain from all appearance of evil and spending the night here might actually lead to fornication so it is best we avoid anything that can lead us to sinning against God,” Patricia said convincingly hoping she was able to persuade Paul to let her go home.
“I’m sure you are only looking for an excuse to go but I won’t allow you to leave. It’s either you stay or go and don’t bother coming back. Besides, you claim to love me and yet you don’t spend time with me, you don’t listen to what I say, in fact, I’m beginning to doubt your love for me,” Paul said, stood up and walked towards the door. “You can leave if you want to,” he added and went back to sit on the bed.
Patricia was confused. She couldn’t understand what spending the night has got to do with the authenticity of her love for him. She tried to speak but couldn’t gather her words then she began to cry. He moved nearer to console her, begging her that he didn’t mean all he said and that he was sorry. He went closer to console her and he pulled her closer to himself. She kept on crying as he held her in a tight embrace and then he finally had his way with her.
“Not again! Oh God! This can’t be happening, Patricia kept on screaming as she rose up to put on her clothes. I can’t believe I did this again! Lord, I’m sorry,” she said breaking down in tears.
“Lord, have mercy on us,” Paul said and Patricia gave him a disgusting look. She could feel hatred and anger building up in her and she just resisted the urge to give him a dirty slap or even stab him to death.
“I now know that this is not ordinary. It’s clear you are using charm on me.” She was still looking at him with eyes full of hatred and disgust.
“I also don’t know why all this kept on happening. It’s not like I planned it or I’m also happy with it. We have both sinned against God and instead of you to allow us to ask for forgiveness from God you are here putting the blame on me. Do you know why Adam was also punished for the sin Eve convinced him to commit? It was because he didn’t take the blame, he was busy accusing Eve for his error.” Paul kept on talking.
“Will you just keep quiet? I don’t even want to hear anything from you. So you know the bible and yet you are doing contrary to the teachings of the bible,” Patricia shouted at him in anger.
“I won’t take any insult from you, Pat and I’m letting this slide because of the love I have for you. The next time you try this with me you won’t like what I would do to you.” He was also angry. “And by the way, did I force you? You could have said no but you didn’t. So please stop pretending as if you didn’t enjoy it and as if this is not what you wanted.”
“I can’t believe this is coming from you. Pastor Paul, fellowship president! You didn’t even feel any remorse for your sin. You are worse than the devil and you disgust me.” Patricia walked out in anger banging the door so hard that it made a hell of a noise.
To be continued…