By Debbonnaire Kovacs, Jan. 28, 2015

Most of the time, I can be in control.

Well. Scratch that. Most of the time I can look like I’m in control. Maybe there are some people who don’t even know anything is wrong; otherwise, I’d be banned from synagogue.

I keep waiting for it to happen. If they could hear what I hear, they would know.

I am quite, quite mad.

——–Voices…hissing…anger…do it do it…you’re bad you’re so bad…DO IT!!

It’s been going on for a while now. Since I was a young man, actually. I used to foolishly put my fingers in my ears to try to shut them out. But they’re inside. They’re me, really. I know the truth. I am evil. I don’t deserve to live.

——–Screaming…a cacophony…DO IT DO IT DO IT…kill—attack—attack—

So far, I haven’t given in. I haven’t killed any of the people they—I—want to. I DON’T want to!!

——–You do…you really do…you are BAD BAD BAD…the rising shriek…my ears are torn…it feels as if they should bleed…

I don’t think I have killed yet, anyway. But sometimes I have hours, or whole days I don’t remember. Once, it was a week. I am so terrified I can’t eat much. I look like I’m dead already. If I kill anybody, it will be myself. They would like that almost as well.

But—can’t God help me? Will God help me? I know I’m evil, but I don’t want to be. Doesn’t that count? I’ll go synagogue again. Just this once. Maybe after that I’ll just go ahead

——–do it do it do it evil evil evil DO IT!!!!

Oh, dear God! He’s here—that man—somehow I know—maybe HE will—I’ve heard he can—

Against my will, no matter how I try to stop them, the words snarl out. The shriek from my mouth sounds like the shrieks in my mind. “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?” I spit the words with fury. And deep inside I let go all hope. I won’t have to kill myself now. They’ll stone me. The words still writhe their way out of my mouth. “Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God!”

The Holy One. I know it’s true. And I am evil. So evil…He’s looking at me. He looks angry. Soon it will begin. He’ll cast me out and then…I try not to cringe as he snaps, “Be silent!” I can’t look away. He raises a finger that looks as if it could split lightning and the next words are the thunder. “Come out of him!”

I feel a convulsion and hear a scream, but I think maybe I have one of those blackouts.

But only for a minute, apparently. I am on the floor and faces are staring down at me. His is the one that draws my eye. The anger is gone as if it never existed. His eyes look at me and into me and all the way through me and, incredibly, they smile. He reaches that lightning hand, which now looks perfectly ordinary, to help me up. Somehow, my hand joins with his, and I am on my feet.

For a second, I don’t realize—I just stare at this Man and cling to his hand, faintly aware that there is a buzz of commotion around me. Some people are backing away. Others come closer. Some look joyful, some angry.

And then my breath stops. They’re gone.

They’re gone!

They’re GONE!!!

I fall to the floor again, weeping and clinging to both the Man’s hands.


Based on Mark 1:21-28