The following Sunday after church Devon went to the pastor’s office to make an appointment. When he entered the office, the secretary looked up from her computer and gave him a wide smile.
“Can I help you?”
Devon had never been in the pastor’s office before, and when he’d come up with this idea he’d thought it would be so simple, but now just standing at the secretary’s desk made him uneasy; he didn’t know why.
“Excuse me, Sir, was there something that you wanted?”
“Yes …” Devon began reluctantly. “I would like to make an appointment with the uh … uh …” Devon paused. What’s wrong with me? I can pick up any honey but I can’t make an appointment with a stupid pastor! “I’d like to make an appointment please.”
“With whom, Sir?”
“The pastor,” the secretary said, finishing Devon’s sentence for him.
“That’s right, the pastor.”
“What is this regarding?”
“I wanna talk to him about something.” Don’t make this so hard to do, lady! Devon yelled inwardly.
“Are you wanting counseling?”
“Yeah, I think that’s what it’s called.”
“Well, the pastor is busy for the next two weeks, but if you’d like I could put you in touch with one of our other counselors.”
Devon thought for a second about how that would mess up his plan; he needed Jessica to believe that he was really saved. While other counselors would help his case, Devon thought it wouldn’t be as believable to Jessica as it would be if he’d convinced the pastor.
“No, thank you, I’ll wait until he can see me.”
“Okay then,” said the secretary as she opened her appointment book and flipped through the pages. “How about two weeks from Friday at 2:30 p.m.?”
“I can deal with that,” Devon said point blank, and then he left the office in a hurry without saying goodbye to the secretary; something about that place made Devon want to run. There was something kind of spooky about it but Devon didn’t know what it was; all he knew was that he was terrified to go back in that office.
Over the next two weeks Devon watched as many evangelical ministers on TV as he could. On the day of his appointment he waited outside until Pastor Benson called him in.
“Yo, Pastor B, thanks a lot for seeing me.” Devon put his hand forward in a fist to do props and expected the pastor to do the same, but instead of doing so Pastor Benson said, “Son, let me remind you of two things: you are not outside so there’s no need for sunglasses in here, and secondly, I am not one of your homeboys hanging with you. Therefore, you will never again address me as Pastor B -- is that clear?”
“Uh … yeah, I guess … ”
“Good. My name is Pastor Benson. You can call me that or you may call me Sir, whichever you prefer. What a blessing that you caught me on one of my good days or else I would have made you go back outside to come in again properly.”
“I’m sorry, Pastor Benson, that will not happen again.”
“Good, I’m glad. Now Mr. Morris, or do you prefer Devon … ”
“Devon will be fine.”
“Well then, Devon, what’s on your mind?”
“Well, Pastor, I want to receive Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. You see, since my father left I’ve been the only man in my life. Sometimes I feel lonely like I need something else in my life. I feel you so strongly when you’re up there preaching a sermon, and I came here to get redeemed, so please tell me how I can do this -- I beg you – you’re my last hope.”
“Son, you should be an actor, because that performance deserves an academy award.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about … ”
“I wasn’t born yesterday, and I know when someone is trying to play games with God and with me. So let’s be real with each other -- tell me what’s really going on.”
“Well, Sir, I … uh … I don’t really know … ”
“Well, Devon, since you don’t know, may I hazard a guess?” Before Devon could answer the pastor continued. “My church may be quite large but I still know what goes on in it, and I’ve heard about you and the young ladies in my congregation and how you treat them like play things and then toss them away like yesterday’s mail. I figure that some extremely wise young lady finally dismissed you and now you’re coming to me for help.”
Devon bolted up out of his seat and shouted, “I don’t need this crap! I’m gone!” And then he stomped out, slamming the office door behind him, but not before he heard the pastor call out, “Goodbye, Devon,” through the door.
As Devon drove home he couldn’t control the fury of his thoughts. Who does that stupid preacher think he is? Forget Jessica, forget church … forget everything.
That night Devon decided to go to a club with Kevin and have the time of his life; he didn’t need any of them at church and he could prove it.
“Man, the honeys are out tonight!” Kevin said as he looked around eagerly.
Over the blaring R&B tracks Devon shouted, “Yup, and I plan to get mine!” After giving each other a slap on the back, the two of them separated. About ten minutes later Devon saw a female form that he recognized only too well. He went over to where Megan Landers was sitting and gave her a tap on the shoulder. Megan Landers was another one of Devon’s girlfriends; she was not as fine as Jessica or Michele, but she still knew how to have a good time, and that was all that mattered to Devon tonight.
“Woooo, girl, you lookin’ fine tonight!” Devon said as he got up close to Megan.
“You’re not lookin’ too shabby yourself, Mr. Morris,” Megan replied with a flirtatious little smile.
Devon gave a low, seductive chuckle and asked, “How ’bout a dance?”
Megan put out her hand and Devon took it and led her to the dance floor. After dancing through two tracks the couple decided to sit down. They ordered drinks and talked at the bar for awhile before deciding to leave.
As usual Devon had no remorse when he left Megan the next morning; in fact, he was feeling pretty proud of himself indeed. He was totally fine with what he had done … until he saw Jessica on Sunday morning. As soon as he saw her he felt ashamed and guilty. What’s wrong with you, man? Megan is so fine -- why are you still trippin’ over this nobody? he said to himself when he saw Jessica walking up the aisle. When the service was over Devon found that despite himself his feet were headed in the direction of the pastor’s office. Before Devon knew what he was doing he had made a second appointment to see the pastor.