Archive for the ‘Fighting my Demons’ Category

Almost a week went by until I stepped foot into St. Andrews. I felt so out of control of my life, and from the looks of my son, Malcom couldn’t be happier. 

Today service was a funeral for a young child from the neighborhood that our church was located in. The boys mother Margeret was a member of the church her whole life, and her mother was a sunday school teacher. The boys name was Aaron. He was 16 and went to school with Malcom. 

The crowd was full of young thugs, and tshirts with little Aarons face all over them. Little Aaron was shot twice, once in the face once in the chest, so Alfords funeral home did what they could to accommodate the body, but the make up made me tear up. 

“Deuteronomy 31:13 says,” I said quoting the word. this message was for the youth and no matter if only one of the 2000 kids attending can hear the word I did my job. No one was paying me attention, so I spoke up. “And that their children, which have not know any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as ye live in the land whiter ye go over Jordan to posses it.” 

All faces where on me, mostly the older people and none of the t-shirts. They wanted revenge, and I could feel it. Malcom, must have to because he jumped to his feet, causing me to instantly slide away. Malcom, slammed his hand on the podium and yelled, “Vengance is the Lords!”

Hearing my son yelling into the crowd stopped everyone of the young gangsters in they tracks. They all looked at each other then to my son. He had their attention. They felt him. He was one of them. 

What was so crazy is that I believed my son. I had been reading the word for years and of all the lessons I learned constantly was don’t follow the woman. A man must  be the head of his household. When my son blamed it on my wife I looked at her and she walked away. I stood over my son long enough to let him know who was the head of the house and then left him to live in his sorrow.

“What are you doing?” I asked Jameela.

“I am packing a bag!” She said with my mother yelling over Curt Franklin playing on the stero.

“Your not going anywhere,” I demanded with a strong jerk on the arm she was picking random items out of the drawers with.

There was nothing I could do to stop her. Her minds was made up. So I said, “Please don’t take my son?”

With a chuckle, her and my son was plowing her range rover out the drive way.

I hadn’t come home that night after church. Maria understood me, and even after 17 years, a few extra pounds and crows feet, she is still my loyal friend and confidant. The fact that she doesn’t list to or want to hear anything about my church, made it easier to be myself around her. I always regular slacks and sneakers even at times when around her; I also keep a change of clothes in her townhouse up state so that after the 2.5 hour drive, I could kick back into my doubled life.

“Where have you been?” Jameela screamed at me visible shaken. “I want him out of this house!”

“Shhh!” I said trying to embrace her.

She jerked away, and said, “Your son got into the bed with me naked, Micheal.”

“What do you mean?” I asked but didn’t hear my words coming out. Before she could answer me I took the spiral stair case up to his room. The door was locked. “Open up this door, Malcom”

“Micheal! Wait!” Jameela screamed in my wake.

The door opened up, and no sooner did it, did I cross my now 15 year old in the face. Another right to the stomach, which folded him into  two, then I finished him off with a uppercut. “Boy I will kill you in this house!” I yelled standing over my son, my wife behind me, pulling at me, causing the normal reaction of a hostile man. I pushed her back and she hit her head on the door fame and fell out cold.

“Dad!” he crawled back from me with eyes squinting. “Don’t  kill me!” Malcom, yelled through his muffled cries and grunts. “She is evil! I am your son! I am Gods son!”

The words pierced my ears like a loud m80 going off inside a car. I had done that once and thought death would follow. These words sounded the same. too be continued…

Terrence LeRoy Baker 3-24-14

I wanted to stand up for myself, but the moment my special illegitimate son stood up, the entire congregation stood up and clapped. The smirk on his face wasn’t one I had seen before, maybe because I never seen myself preach before.

Malcom used his hands to calm the crowd like a pro, then said, “Today, we will speak from the book of Ephesians 6:1-4. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” He held the crowds gaze after speaking these words then followed they eyes as they reached me.

My chest was hollow, my palms sweating and visibly shaken up, but not by my son it was the word of man the was coming out of my son naturally.

He continued, “This is the first commandment with promise.”

The crowd was screaming, my body went limp. My mother was in the front row, and even with dementia, she knows her unwelcome grandson was special. She had a look in her eyes that matched mines. I didn’t want to but I stood up. She did too! Her hands high in the sky screaming the name of God.

“That it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth,” he finished with a look into my eyes that reached deep into my soul. He opened his arms and held the mic up to me. The crowd muffled the words that perched his lips, “See what you started?”

“Thank you!” I mumbled into the mic with a chuckle to clear my throat. Then after taking a sip of my ready water, I finished where my son left off, “And you, fathers, do not provide your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” to be continued… 

It’s now been seven years since the day my “illegitimate” son took over my congregation. I say took over because that is literally what he did. Malcom had true natural talent. He was my son and my direct descendant. Lil Anthony was now 7 and Jameela also came to church with us every Sunday. Everyone seemed to come to church not for me, but for that last 15-20 minutes that my son, now a deacon would preach.

“Malcom,” I asked my son who now lives with Jameela and myself. His mother couldn’t take another one of us, she saw it coming. “Where is my diamond cuff links?”

“I’m wearing them today!”

“Excuse me!” I asked him. His back was to me as he used my dressing closer to get dressed in one of the many suits if mines that he claims as his own.

“I said I am wearing them rev.”

“Don’t you with me, Malcom,” I snapped firmly. “This is my house and you will respect me!”

Malcom slowly faced me, silent for the most part, then out of nowhere, he brung his hand up to my face, causing me to flench. With a chuckle her turned and left the room with my cuff links on.
The ride to church was different, hearing the choir through the open stained windows made me want to run my c300 into the side of St. Andrews, the church I was raised in, the church my family was raised in, and the church that enabled me.

“Rev,” Malcom said standing up and getting a standing ovation. “I think I can take over first then you can have the few minutes at the end that you been pacifying me with.”

“You!” To be continued..

CHAPTER 1

“FIGHTING MY DEMONS”

This Sunday was like no other. For 11 years I pastored this church, and for 11 years I have done everything but been good to my congregation. They don’t know the half of the mess I’ve created. Its like every time I sit across the pool pit and look over my followers, its hard to stay focused on the word: I have an illegitimate son, a mistress, and crooked politicians looking me in the eyes for answers.

My wife, Jameela, doesn’t even come to church with me anymore, because she is too ashamed. I don’t blame her either.

“Holla Luya, salvation and glory,” the choir sang. “Honor and power unto the Lord our God. The Lord our God, he is wonderful.”

As always I let the choir die down before I spoke, “May we all bow are heads.”

The crowd always seems to wait in silence with me, but half the heads in the crowd aren’t bowed.

“You may all be seated,” I say as always. It’s the same every Sunday week after week after week.”

My father was a pastor and so was his, back before it was ok for a black man to have a church. My blood line of preachers dates back to the 1800’s, but I doubt that any other one of the great men I came from was as crooked as me, or more anointed at that.

I had a very huge following in the beginning, but lately, almost all the original families that I grew up with, left the congregation because of all the talks of scandals, money laundering, and, supposedly use of whores. Nothing ever proved, might I add, except for my 7-year-old son, Malcolm, that the church seems to forgive me for.

After speaking from the book of Job 9:10 I ask the crowd to bow again.

“You see the Lord does great things that are unsearchable and miracles that cannot be numbered,” I read again this time slow enough for the crowd to take in what it was that I was saying. I continued, “ You see every 7 years or so the Lord will make a great man. A man like no other man. This man will be given more talents, more skills, more strength than any other man he knows. This great man will be tested time and time again, and these tests will only make him stronger because he will have been told already by God himself that he is great.

No one seemed to be really catching the word. As a preacher and a toastmaster certified speaker, I know when and how to engage my crowd. It was my gift, my calling, to preach.

“Is there any great men here today?” I asked knowing that this humble crowd would never put themselves on a pedestal. I knew that most of my congregation was laborers and employees within this blue-collar community.

“Before we cut to tides and offerings I would….” I started.

“I am!” a familiar voice called out from the crowd. “I am great.”

I looked at him and then my secretary/his mother, then slowly said, “Malcom, you are great. Would you like to come up to the pool pit and tell the crowd what makes you special?”

He looked at his mother who nodded. The whole church was on their feet clapping as he made his way up to the pool pit, looking just like me might I add. After taking the microphone out of my hand he first bowed his head ever so slightly, as if he had studied me for his whole life. He held the mic in his hand to adjust it to his face with so much ease, a tear came to my eyes… to be continued…

Terrence LeRoy Baker 3-17-14

The smell of disinfectant and blood was almost as loud as the sound of wheels rolling. I could tell there was a cart heading my way, and from the chain on my bloody ankle and my dislocated arm, I also knew that there wasn’t going to be some nice nurse who cared about my health waiting to take care of my wounds. The fact stands that this wasn’t the regular hospital: No, what this was was the basement of a castle… These walls carry so many years of decay it was hard to breathe and not just for me; you could tell no life form of my type had ever lived here.

The handles of the doors was different, and they held a bluish pink light, a color that i had never seen combined in my world, a material that didn’t exist or make any sense. I could also tell the by the way everyone protected themselves with tube like masks, similar to a space suit. I knew it would take a miracle; and, lord  knows I didn’t have time for a prayer

“Where am I?” I screamed although I couldn’t hear my own voice… It was as if my throat didn’t work in this climate or as if my tongue didn’t exist. All I could think about is was this my after life? Is this Hell. Or am I abducted by aliens. None of it made any sense.

The aroma of fried chicken ignited my nose like it was right there in the room with me, and the constant sight of all the people from my beloved pass that I barely could make out from the tears dripping, the things they stuffed in my coat and something cold and steel that my brother, who was the only one not crying, put inside my jacket…

“Stay strapped, bro” he said. “God I will miss him!”

“Do you know why you are here, Reil?” a trembling shook the ground as the voice echoed through the air.

This was no normal tremble, this was worst then the minute earth quakes that annually took my fair market value down, but didn’t cause any damage and the robotic nurses didn’t break stride.

“No” I yell. still not audible to my ear but obviously to the voice, as if he was talking directly to my brain, but robotic like a GPS, or a voice mail… Even without, It only took seconds to comprehend that I no longer owned myself, I just wanted to turn off the lights and couldn’t because of the nurse blaring the small pointed flashlight down my eyes.

Once I realized where I was my skin crawled down to my toes, which curled so hard that my eyes seemed to be leveled with them. The simple sight of my old feet made me panic. I shook the bed as hard as I could, and screamed at the top of my lungs! Nothing else would emerge except the strain after a sound; it was still ringing in my ears.

“Do you know what must proceed hear Riel?” The sound of the voice made the old brick chips crumble from the corroded walls the nurses injected me with a thick slim solution before I could answer.  My body jerked as someone just hit my chest with a defibrillator trying to bring shot wound.

“Whats going on?” I ask the voice.

“You have a choice!” The voice screamed making it hard to breathe. “I gave you life, I gave you gift, and I will take you from this life. You just seen Hell!”

“I don’t want Hell!” I screamed.

“Give your life to me.”

“I am yours. You are my God My Lord My Salvation. I live for you and through your son Jesus Christ I am able to live in Sin. Forgive me Lord. I give up. I can’t win this battle.”

“Then you are saved!” The voice said just as I woke up in my 1million dollar home next to my beautiful wife Jameela, our baby boy in-between us…

“Baby are you ok?” Jameela asked me. “You were tossing and turning in your sleep.” to be continued.

 

Sunday Morning!

Posted: March 9, 2014 in Fighting my Demons

I remember the Sunday morning that I woke up to my dog passed away. Then, only twelve years old, I couldn’t understand the blank expression
in his eyes: dead yet so full of life. Picking up his stiff body with the shovel to reveal the form of maggots between his wet fur and concrete caused a vile to form.
“How could a body create maggots over night,” I ask?
My older sister rolled her eyes at me and said, “I don’t know stupid!”
My sister sure had a way with words. Then the dog was named “shorty”after her nickname. Maybe that is why she didn’t seem hurt about the lost. Maybe that’s why the dog seemed to have a puncture under his neck…
“Time for church,” she told me after patting her dirty hands on her apron as if she had just finished the dishes.
I knew something was up, so instead if going to my hut to put my bests on, I snuck around the shed to where the trail of dried up blood I noticed stopped near a stump.
There it was plain a day, the handle to the wood ax. I picked it up, walk wordless into the main hut where sister was changing her younger and before she saw it coming…

Should I finish?