I am the devil’s advocate. In broad daylight, I brazenly approach my victims. Excuse me, not victims, but potential clients. The Oppressive One says it’s all about the phrasing and he prefers that the term, victim, be avoided.
There’s nothing fancy about my technique, but I am good at what I do. The Sinister One has said so. Once I’ve assessed a potential client and identified his or her weaknesses, I zero in on his or her buttons and push them repeatedly. Over time, this repetition drives a wedge between my potential client and his or her trust in the Holy One.
Take Sarah, for example, who is one of my favorite potential clients. When I found Sarah, she was sitting in a fancy restaurant, trying to enjoy a romantic dinner with her husband. I had nearly passed her by, but when the sound of a crying baby filled the restaurant, Sarah’s nose wrinkled. Her brows dropped and her upper lip stretched back. She appeared to be disgusted! An inexperienced observer, like so many of the wannabe devil’s advocates you see flitting around these days, would have wondered why on earth a women would get disgusted at the sound of a crying baby. But I was sure I knew the answer.
I made the same baby cry again, and I laughed as Sarah’s upper lip stretched back and her fists clenched tight. That’s when I knew Sarah would be an easy target, so I followed and observed her. I learned that Sarah was a middle-aged woman who was a devout follower of Christ, active in children’s ministry, and desperately barren. Every day, I watched Sarah try to convince herself that she had overcome her empty womb. And every day, I saw that she had not. I saw that the mere sound of a crying baby was a trigger for her. It was an incessant reminder of her infertility.
So I made babies cry, repeatedly, and everywhere Sarah went. At first, Sarah prayed fervently, but not once did she ask for protection. Not once did she try to hand her pain over to God. Instead, she prayed for God to make the crying stop. It wasn’t long before Sarah started losing trust in her God.
Last week, I made a baby cry while Sarah was at the library. You should have seen Sarah snap, yelling at the young mother, insisting on silence. The baby cried harder and the poor mother shook as she clutched a copy of Crying Baby, Sleepless Nights.
It won’t be long before Sarah falls into my claws. Like I said, repetition is the key. Whether I’m dealing with a chronic illness, recurring temptation, or unresolved past hurt; once I’ve found the hot-button, I simply hit it over and again, until my potential client crumbles.
Of course, repetition can also be my enemy. Take Hannah for example, a flaxen-haired beauty with a model grade frame. When I found Hannah, she was honeymooning in Hawaii, while simultaneously sending flirtatious text messages to the Best Man back home.
As soon as the newlyweds returned, I fed Hannah’s temptations by making the Best Man available as often as possible. I repeatedly put Hannah in precarious situations. To my dismay, Hannah did not bite. Instead, she confessed to a friend.
“Satan wants to steal your heart,” replied this friend. “Show him where your heart belongs.”
At the crack of dawn on the following day, Hannah’s knees hit the floor, her palms lifted high.
Taking a deep breath in, she whispered, “ABBA, I belong to you.”
I nearly fell through the floor!
When Hannah prayed a second time, a divine force swept me from the room. Hannah prayed again and again until her house was filled with the Holy Spirit and there was no more room left for me. Still, I held out hope. If Hannah were to cease praying long enough to me for reach her again, I could cause some damage.
But Hannah never ceased praying. She repeated the same irritating prayer, first thing in the morning, at breakfast, in the car, at work, at dinner, and before she went to bed. She did this day after stinking day.
I remained vigilant as long as I could, but by the thirtieth day of Hannah’s repetition of her stupid prayer, the layers of protection surrounding this woman suffocated me to the point of disgust.
So I wrote her off as a lost cause, and moved on to someone else.
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