When I was a little boy of eight or nine, I was tormented by the devil daily. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a devil until the nuns taught me about him. They not only taught me about the devil but related many gruesome stories about how powerful the devil was and all the evil things the devil made people too.
These teaching set me up, yes set me up, to enter into a battle with the devil that made me wish I was dead. Once the idea of the devil became part of my thinking, my mind became a battleground between good and evil.
Always wanting to please God, I felt the devil tempted me at every turn to think and do bad things. I disobeyed my parents, lied (fibs), stole (little things), and cheated (in class)… I was so focused on what I didn’t want, the devil, that thoughts of the devil overran my mind. The more I tried to be a good little boy who pleased God, the worse I became.
I lived a fearful life that no adult understood. When I tried to share my fears with my parents they blew my fears off as nothing to worry about. However, for me, my fears were a big worry. My fears scared me, caused me pain. So much so, that when I felt tempted by the devil, I would lay on the floor and pretend I was stabbing imaginary knives into my body as a way to kill the devil and have the devil quit tormenting me. Sometimes I would do it for an hour without stopping.
The act of pretending I was killing the devil gave me temporary relief but the devil in all of his hated ugliness would always return to haunt and torment me some more. Sometimes thoughts of the devil would return to me an hour later and sometimes a day later but thoughts of the devil always returned.
The fear of the devil continued until the age of twelve when one day the temptations of the devil got so bad I wanted to kill myself as my way of getting rid of the evil thoughts that lived inside of me….. The problem was, I was also taught by the nuns that if I killed myself, I would go to hell and live with the devil for all eternity…. The thought of being stuck with the devil for all eternity both paralyzed me and caused me more pain than any child should ever have to endure.
I was now caught between a rock and a hard place. You see, whatever ‘thoughts I thought’ only attracted more thoughts of the devil into my mind.The devil was winning, causing me emotional pain I cannot describe…. Pretending I was stabbing him with imaginary knives no longer gave me any relief….
In the privacy of my clubhouse in the woods, away from my parents, I began crying and screaming hysterically…. I was pleading, begging God for help. My hysteria got so strong I felt myself losing control of my mind…… Suddenly, like a bright neon sign, the words LOVE THE DEVIL showed up in my mind from out of nowhere. I thought this was another trick of the devil.
Love the devil, what insanity was that??? The devil was my enemy and loving the devil did not make sense to me.
The light from the neon sign suddenly went out and in its place was the devil, the size of BIG FOOT, approaching me. He was getting larger and larger every step he took towards me.
I could see the devil’s intent was to take my soul. To own me, to make me his prisoner for all eternity. I stood directly in front of him staring directly into his red eyes, not because I wanted to, but because my eyes were paralyzed with fear.
At this point in time, fear pushed me completely out of my body. I was now looking down at myself when I heard the following words LOUDLY spoken to me:
LOVE THE DEVIL NOW, HUG HIM NOW….
The last thing I wanted to do was love the devil let alone hug him… As the devil got closer to me, the words ‘love the devil’ got louder and louder and until the words got so loud that they began scaring me more the the devil himself…
In a moment of absolute panic and sheer desperation I reach out, as if I was pushed, and hugged the devil. As I hugged him, I said I LOVE YOU…… and instead of feeling more fear, the devil began dissolving right before my eyes. His physical form melted away and POOF the devil was no more…In its place was a BLINDING LIGHT that made me feel more loved than I ever felt before…….
The experience I had of the BLINDING LIGHT will be with me forever. The BLINDING LIGHT felt like warm ocean waves washing over me on a hot summer’s day. I never felt more loved than I did that day. All because I had the courage (although I do feel I was pushed) to embrace the darkness of my soul with God’s LIGHT. It is from that experience that I learned that when I shine the LIGHT of my ‘conscious awareness’ on anything I fear, it goes POOF