Floorboards creaked as I crept toward the door. The light from the kitchen was blinding and it took a moment for my eyes to adjust from the dimness of the hallway. Sounds still echoed from the table. A cackling laugh and a gentle murmur.
"Just a few more moves and it'll be checkmate!" the obnoxious one said.
The reply was too low to hear.
I stared at the figures. The cackling one hopped from place to place in an almost flea-like manner. His eyes were squinty and dark and his lips cracked as he licked them. He was wirey, thin with almost no neck for his shoulders rose up to his cheeks in his obvious glee. His long fingers held a pawn that he caressed with much enthusiasm. The other had his back to me so I could hardly make out who he was. His shoulders were broad and strong. His head straight and dignified. His hair was short but well-groomed. He seemed very comfortable in his manner.
"I know she'll turn here, as long as I set up a few more temptations!" His voice set me on edge.
"No, she will follow Me and listen to all I obey!"
"Has she ever done that?" He sneered, "She's fallen so many times what makes you think she won't fall right into my hands?"
"Because I have the ability to walk her through all your temptations without her falling into one."
"But my temptations are alluring," he licked his lips, "Besides, who can resist me?"
"She is my daughter. She will come to Me." His voice was assuring.
"I think not, but we'll see."
"We must be going, dawn is about to break."
With that both men vanished into the night.
I tiptoed toward the table where the chessboard still lay. I was anxious to see the piece the man was holding. To my shock and horror it read, "Time with God." The piece that had replaced it was "Time watching tv." I scanned the rest of the pieces to see what had been taken. "Call to encourage friend" lay sideways in the stash. So had "Peace of God" and "Blessing of God." I studied the board. I saw "Too Many Cookies" advancing on "Fasting and Prayer." "Gossip" stood alone, presumably where "Encourage Friend" had been. I began to realize that some of these as moments in my own week. The tv was right before bed when I had watched "Deal or No Deal" telling God I'd meet Him in the morning. The friend had been someone struggling with her marriage. I'd gossiped twice on that. First to her about another friend who was struggling and again about her to a couple we'd had over for dinner.
As I began to rethink all that had occured I was overwhelmed by grief. I took to my knees on the hard linoleum floor and begged God's forgiveness. The morning light was just beginning to peek through the window and as soon as it hit the board, it vanished. I couldn't help but notice one more move before the daylight came. "Blood of Christ" and taken "Sin and Shame" and now "Self" was in check.
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