IT IS NOT ABOUT ME – Ch01-part 2

A Quadriplegic’s Autobiography by JQuisumbing

Click here to read Chapter 1 Part 1

Chapter 1 – He is Real

One question that was always asked of me was, ‘Can I prove that God is real?’

Common sense tells us that no human being could ever give a satisfying answer. But yet, the apostle Peter wrote that we should always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope that we have. And that we do this with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15)

Keeping the last part of verse 15 in mind, let me say that I do not consider it my place to make you believe that God is real. I don’t think I could anyway, just like the same way you could not convince me that He is not real. So, how does one get through this enigmatic situation? For myself, it’s again simple. I don’t have to. The Scriptures say that you already know that He is… deep down.

For what can be known about God is plain to mankind, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So that mankind is without excuse. (Romans 1:19,20 ESV)

Somehow, I always knew HE was there. Of course, I could not really explain how I knew until the words of the Bible were made clear in my latter days. For instance, the passage above said that God’s divine nature is clearly seen in the things that have been made… that is, in creation… in nature.

Back in the 1960s, my family took a weekend excursion to the Redwood forest. This was my first time in any forest. Being among those tall trees was fantastic, until our old station wagon drove right through a giant Redwood. I was blown away. I thought that tree was big, until I saw what my dad claimed was the grandfather of trees. It was so humongous… so colossal that I could not believe that it was real. To give you an idea how big that tree was, National Geographic featured a photo of it with 20 or so people encircling the base holding onto out-stretched hands. My eyes tried to follow the giant trunk up to its very top but I comically ended up falling backward. It’s a good thing my dad was close enough to catch me.

Trees are wonderous organisms. Wherever they are in the world, people have visited them from great distances. They cherish, revere and even celebrate them. The tree’s beauty and longevity have sparked inspiration in drawings, paintings, stories, and poetry. One of my favorite poems was written by an early-20th century American poet and a believer named Joyce Kilmer (1886–1918) who wrote a classic about trees.

Trees by Joyce Kilmer
published in 1914

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Only GOD can make a tree!

To be continued…

Click here to read Chapter 1 Part 3 (not yet posted)

IT IS NOT ABOUT ME – Ch01-part 1

A Quadriplegic’s Autobiography by JQuisumbing

Click here to read PREFACE

Chapter 1 – He is Real

In the beginning, GOD… (Genesis 1:1a)

At around 5:45 AM or so, I am awake. As usual my vision is blurred. I try to bring my hand up to my face to rub the sleep away but it would not budge an inch from its resting place. My first thought, again as usual, was ‘Oh, how I miss splashing cold water on my face’. So, I do the next best thing and squint a number of times to produce tears to clear it up. Now, as it clears, the scene that comes to focus is the turned-off TV mounted on the far wall. Nothing far-out there except that I am lying flat in bed. I should be looking up at the ceiling. Of course, now I remember. I sleep wearing specialized prism spectacles that I ordered from Amazon. I use them so that when I awaken I will not be staring helplessly at the ceiling which gives me vertigo. This dizzying condition was an after effect of being laid-up in a hospital bed, with my neck immobilized by a very stiff collar for 2 long months. This was not one of my favorite memories.

At 6:45 AM, my wife tiredly gets up from her bed. Her routine is to first give me my early morning pill that stimulates my intestine for… ahem… obvious reasons. Then, she would roll me to my side and inspect my posterior for bedsores. This is a real danger for every quadriplegic if not regularly monitored. After which, she disconnects my breathing tube from my respirator. This routine is for me to exercise my lungs to breathe on its own. I can stay off it for about 3 hours until my lung muscles tire. From there, my wife does other nursing chores until it’s about 8-8:30 AM. Before long, she is cranking my bed to about 30 degrees, not exactly to a sitting position, but just high enough for me to be fed.

This is just a taste of my reality as a quadriplegic, that is, being paralyzed from the neck down. This is not a condition that is temporary. This is for the rest of my life. No more backpacking in California’s Sierra Mountains. No more playing laser tag and ping pong. Even my dream to stroll the quaint country lanes of England, climb the highlands of Scotland as well touring the sites of Europe will remain a dream. My world is mostly limited to a 3 foot by 7 foot bed in a studio apartment. By every right, I should be bitter and in desperate despair. I have seen that look of despair before in the faces of quadriplegic patients, abandoned to live their lives in a poorly ventilated ward of a state run hospital. What I remember most was their eyes which reflected no HOPE at all. Today, I share the same predicament except that my spirit is not imprisoned in a useless shell. In fact, instead of misery, self pity and depression, I am incredibly filled with a joy that is by the world’s perspective beyond comprehension. When asked, how can this be? My answer is simple.

GOD IS REAL!

To be continued…

Click here to read Chapter 1 Part 2

IT IS NOT ABOUT ME – Preface

A Quadriplegic’s Autobiography by JQuisumbing

I have a Catch-22 situation. You see…

I’M A NATURAL SHOW OFF!

It is a habit that I make a point of curbing whenever the set up involves me being in front of people. I am afraid that a lot of my exaggerated outward show has raised a fair number of eyebrows.

One particular memory that haunts me was when I was part of a singing worship group at my church. I have been told many times that I had a good singing voice. Well, on one Sunday worship, when my best friend was song-leading, we were singing a song that when he sang the chorus, there was a part where a good voice could echo the song leader’s. Well, uninvited, I jumped in enthusiastically. I wish I could say that I did well, but by my best friend’s sidelong glance, I was bad… I mean, really bad.

I wish that was the only thing that haunts me but nope. There are a lot more. Even though I have reached an age where I have a little more self control, that bad habit does pop out of its rabbit hole. Just the other day, I asked a friend and a fellow thespian whether I exhibited any such swagger lately. Her response was with a slight derogatory chuckle.

Anyway, let me swing back to the Catch-22 part. As a discipline, I try not to show off, that is, I avoid being the center of attention. I liked it way too much. For years, I have managed to keep myself for the limelight. Then I was ‘convicted’ to write an autobiography. My best friend, who is a published author, had been hounding me to write my story. I hesitate… for obvious reasons. I almost decided not to when this passage came to mind.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.” Matthew 5:14-15

I have extolled in my Bible study groups (many times) that for the sake of those who still wander this world of spiritual darkness, that they are the only source of light. Of course, when I refer to ‘light’, I speak of truth. When I speak of truth, I really mean Christ Jesus who is the Truth (John 14:6). Then when they ask ‘how’, I am quick to tell them that one of the ways is for them to tell their story… a testimony of what the Lord had done for them. I frequently remind my brothers and sisters of this passage as both a reminder and encouragement. Now, this passage speaks to me. It is my turn! As a quadriplegic with an unusual jovial personality, many have felt that I have much to share. But I must be careful of my old nature rearing its head.

You see, I am no stranger in giving testimonies. In my early years, I was always quick to go up on stage, stand before an entire congregation and give a great story. At first, I thought I was bringing glory to His name by telling all the things that the Lord had done for me. But then I found myself tweaking the story to make it sound better, mostly to get the expected reaction from my audience. I confess that I had even added embellishments, justifying that creativity is okay for as long as… again… that the Lord was praised. In hindsight, I unknowingly and knowingly loved the attention of the audience especially when I was personally hailed. That habit had even permeated in how I vocally pray before others.

These days I avoid getting on any stage and I prefer praying quietly. But writing an autobiography can easily yield into those same temptations. So, should I do this? Should I be safe and avoid the lure of recognition and fame? You would think that that would be the right course. But the conviction I got from Matthew 5:14-15 told me that if I did not, it would be like I was putting a basket cover on the very light that my Lord had lit in me. God’s intention was always for all of us to shine bright in this spiritually dark world. For myself, I just have to avoid certain pitfalls that can so easily entangle me. What are these pitfalls? Well, let us take a look at verse 16 of Matthew 5. Take note of the bold underlined part. The pitfalls for me is that my intent is opposite of what should happen below.

Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. vs16

So, the task for me is to write about me and tell a story that is hopefully a page turner, but yet not tickle my ego. This is not so easy, but I’m going for it. I think the first place I will start will be the title of this book.

Some friends and I tossed around a number of working titles. Keep in mind that we followed the rules of publishable Christian literature. Here are our top three titles:

THE LORD IN ONE NOT SO SPECIAL
THE SPIRIT FILLED LIFE OF A QUADRIPLEGIC
MY MIDDLE NAME IS ALSO JESUS

I don’t know. These titles seem good, however, I could not help but feel that they were still a little ‘amour-propre’. That is French for self-conceited, more or less anyway. No, I don’t think these titles will work out. My goal is to put out a book that must ‘shine’ for those who don’t really know the Lord. Secular folks tend to shy away from obvious ‘religious’ titles. So, strategically, I decided to use…

IT IS NOT ABOUT ME
A Quadriplegic’s Autobiography

I hope to show how the Lord has moved in my entire life; from when I became a polio victim on my first birthday to how I became paralyzed from the neck down 60 years later. You will get to know the Jesus that I know; the Jesus who taught and mentored me; the Jesus that I trust and believed; the Jesus that I willingly follow regardless how hard life is; and the Jesus who continues to save me. I pray you would discover how truly sweet salvation really is for us who are so undeserving.

So, shall we start?

To be continued…

Click here to read – Chapter 1 Part 1

ARE YOU READY TO DIE?

Salvation Series by JQuisumbing

Death is a reality that we all have to face sooner or later. But the way folks live their lives, death seems so far away. Dying is not really forefront in most people’s minds, especially for the young. However, time does not stop and the young will soon become older.

Now, according to the United Nations, they have estimated that the global average life expectancy is around 70-80 years. For myself, I have already passed the halfway mark. If you asked me, ‘Am I ready to die?’, what would I say? I can truly and humbly say “YES!” In fact, at the tail end of 2015, I did face death. What I faced was an extremely risky surgery in my neck; specifically my cervical spine. My wife tearfully related to me that it would be a touch and go procedure where the outcome could easily go very bad.* Incredibly enough, I had no fear. You see, as a believer of Christ, I knew then and know now what awaits me after I cast off this mortal shell. I am ready but I know of others that are not.

(* This story, ‘Becoming Paralyzed’, can be found in my blog. Please use links below.)

I have relatives and friends who are literally at the doorsteps of death. I would love to share with them what the Lord had done for me, but yet they would not let me. So, I hope and pray that they would listen to the voice of one who had already crossed over, Billy Graham.

Billy Graham was an American evangelist and according to the Oxford University Press, he was “among the most influential Christian leaders” of the 20th century. In his final days, he had a deep desire to preach one more time. This is his last message—recorded in his North Carolina, mountaintop home. It is titled: Are you ready to die? I pray that you will be inspired and live with the Lord in eternal life.


Becoming Paralyzed” by JQuisumbing – links: Parts 1   2   3   4   5   6

The GERASENE DEMONIAC of LUKE 8 [part 7]

A Biblical short story by JQuisumbing

Click here to read – Part 6

continued…

Then, the glowing one approached even closer. He spoke again in a language that he did not know. It was the language of the Jews but yet older. Though he did not know what he said, the effect on the voices sounded like they were being tortured.

Then he spoke but it was not his voice. “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Please, I beg you, don’t torture me!” [Luke 8:28]

Then, Demacli’s vision clears. The man standing before him was no longer glowing. He was of average height. He had dark hair that was about shoulder length and short beard and mustache. His appearance was plain and ordinary. To Demacli, he would not look twice at him, but yet the voice was clearly afraid of him and he called him the Son of the Most High God. Then, there were his eyes, which were deeply penetrating. He looked at Demacli for some time.

“What is your name?” he commanded with such authority and in Greek.

Then all the voices in him spoke out in a desperate shriek, “Legion!” The sound was so ominous that the man’s companions stepped back.

But the man, Jesus, stood his ground and said, “Legion, I command you to come out of this man!”

Demacli inadvertently doubled over in intense pain and screamed, “It hurts!” But this time it was in his own voice. Then again, the voices took over and pleaded, “Lord! We beseech Thee! Do not cast us into the bottomless pit.”

Demacli painfully got up on his haunches and gestured to the distant herd of pigs feeding on the hill. He cried out, “Let us, instead, enter into those pigs on the hill.”

“Go!” Jesus said.

Demacli convulsed one more time, then it stopped. For the first time in six years, there was peaceful silence in his head. It was so quiet, it was deafening. He stood up blinking in surprise. Then everybody’s attention was riveted to a commotion on the nearby hill. When he turned to look, he saw the swineherds chasing the large herd of pigs racing uncontrollably into the lake. They all watched in fascination as everyone of the pigs went into the lake and under water. Soon, there are hundreds of floating carcasses being washed ashore.

“I… ah… I am free,” Demacli said, almost not believing. “You have healed me. Are you a God?”

The man Jesus smiled and said, “Come, let us get you all cleaned up.”

Demacli was helped to the water where some of Jesus’ companions washed the grime away. After which they clothed and fed him.

When Jesus approached him, Demacli bowed to the ground. Jesus reached down and helped him to get up. Then, they started to walk along the shore and talk. Demacli filled with emotion, was telling him all that he experienced. The more he told his story, the more his heart lightened and felt more free. By that time they both returned to the camp there was a gathering of people that came from the city. Apparently, the men who were herding the drowned pigs panicked, fled to the city and reported the strange event to the city magistrate. They made such a ruckus that a lot more people came along with the city guard to see what was happening.

When the magistrate saw Demacli walking calmly with Jesus, he asked in amazement, “Is that you, Demacli? You look calm and sane! What has happened here?”

Demacli told him how Jesus commanded the demons in him to come out and they went into the pigs that drowned. The town people started to mumble among themselves and referred to Jesus as being some kind of sorcerer. They started to back away in fear.

Seeing his people backing away, the magistrate said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen or heard of. I know not how this really happened, but you have powers that we do not want around here! We beg you, sorcerer, take your magic elsewhere and leave us in peace.”

The magistrate and the people backed away and fled back to the city. Only a few stayed and watched from a distance. Jesus looked at his companion and nodded. They proceeded to break camp and load up the boats.

“Lord, may I come with you?” Asked Demacli. “I have so much to ask and to learn. The voices that were in me said you are the ‘Son of the Most High God’. For years, as a Greek I always believed in the many gods of our beliefs. Now, standing here before you, I have serious doubts. Please Lord.”

“No, Demacli, go back to your family,” Jesus said smiling. “And tell them everything God has done for you.”

Jesus then led him away from the disciples as they continued to load the boats. He quietly said, “I will come this way again and I shall speak of my Father on High. Look for me in a year’s time.”

Demacli watched Jesus climb into the boat and sail away. He climbed up the hill and watched for a long while as both boats faded in the distance. He sighed deeply. Then, he walked back to the city of Hippus; back to his father’s house and told a most fascinating story.


Author’s note:

Though this short story is basically fiction, the character of Demacli is based on an actual unnamed personality described in Luke 8.

There are many such characters in the Bible, many of them were not named at all, but yet there are worthy stories to tell about them. With the help of some sanctified imagination and some artistic license, I felt their stories should be told especially of their faithful encounters with Jesus Christ.

The story of the Gerasene demoniac may not have ended in Luke 8. In Luke 7 & 8, Jesus returned to the same area near the Decapolis city by the Sea of Galilee where the demoniac was freed by Jesus many months before. Here Jesus healed a blind mute and supposedly many more. After which Jesus fed 4000 men. What made this event different from when Jesus fed the 5000. The 4000 men were gentiles and it could have been that the Gerasene man who was a gentile himself may have been instrumental in spreading the word about Jesus.

The GERASENE DEMONIAC of LUKE 8 [part 6]

A Biblical short story by JQuisumbing

Click here to read – Part 5

continued…

For the past five years, Demacli had lived a nightmarish existence. For a time, he was blissfully unaware of those periods when his body was taken over by some entity and did things that were unspeakable. Lately though, the demon or demons in him, have kept him aware but helpless to act when his body is taken over and over. His father who was overwrought with worry have searched the land high and low for a cure. He even went to the Jews as Elpida the prophetess had advised. But a priest of their temple had said that his son must become a proselyte, a convert into their religion. Then, there might be the possibility of healing, though the priest did not sound convincing. So, they gave up and returned to Hippus, their home city by the Sea of Galilee, where they had to contend with Demacli’s erratic behavior.

“Aaaargh!” Demacli snarled at the bright light of the torch.

“Look… it is the maniac again!” It was the voice of a city watchman who patrolled the streets after dark.

“He is naked again,” said another guard.

“He must be the one that assaulted that merchant a block away. Go get the chain.”

Demacli can see them clearly. There were three of them. After a couple of minutes, a fourth came up carrying a long chain. Demacli looked at his surroundings. He was in an alley and they blocked his way. To the city watch, he looked like a scared dog looking left and right. But from his perspective, he was pretending to be scared. He wanted to talk to them but he was not in control. One of the watchmen grabbed his arms to pin him down. Demacli started to yelp and whine like a panicked animal. The other men fastened iron cufflinks on his wrists. Then they dragged him out of the alley unto the street.

“Let’s bring him to the square and chain him to the post. His father can claim him in the morning.”

When they dragged him to a waiting cart, his body went limp like he fainted. But Demacli was very much aware and knew what was going to happen. It took two men to pick him up and was about to cast him in the cart when he suddenly grasped the ankle of one of the watchmen and flipped him. His legs wrapped around the other man’s neck and toppled him over as well. He quickly got on his feet and with superhuman strength, he grasped the chain and broke it. The other watchman was stunned and slowly backed away. Demacli started to run with dangling chains, laughing out maniacally. The rest, he did not remember.

Demacli heard birds chirping. He peeked his eyes open to find a bright blue sky. When he sat up, he was in the midst of several burial cairns, one of which was freshly dug up. He cringed at the thought that he was hiding in it. He heard sea gulls in the distance and looked out at the lake. Two fishing boats can be seen heading to this shoreline. He turned to his right attracted by the sounds of snorting and squealing. A large sow and some piglets were nuzzling and feeding around the stone mounds of the dead. He stood and saw a larger herd of pigs higher up on the nearby hill being watched by a couple of swineherds.

He hungrily eyed a piglet that was nearby. Voices in his head were teasing him to catch it and tear into its flesh. Then, he saw that both boats had already made landfall and the people of the boats were setting up camp. Demacli suddenly felt both anger and fear deep down. For a brief instance, he almost had control of his faculties but then, he could not help but stare intensely at the people on the beach. His vision darkened, like the sun went behind a dense cloud cover, but the sky was clear. There was something odd with his perception of the people at the beach. Most of them were quite dim but one. That one person was glowing brighter than the others.

Demacli abruptly shouted a language that was unrecognizable to him. He started to dash down the slope, insanely screaming, towards the glowing person. As he came closer, the glowing one and the others turned toward him when they heard his maniacal tirade. Some of them were about to protect the glowing one, but he held them off. He took two steps forward and in a commanding voice, Demacli was commanded to stop. It was so commanding that he stopped like he was thunderstruck and fell to ground. The voices in his head were screaming in excruciating pain so much so, he was screaming out loud.

To be continued…

Click here to read – Part 7


Author’s note:

Though this short story is basically fiction, the character of Demacli is based on an actual unnamed personality described in Luke 8.

There are many such characters in the Bible, many of them were not named at all, but yet there are worthy stories to tell about them. With the help of some sanctified imagination and some artistic license, I felt their stories should be told especially of their faithful encounters with Jesus Christ.

The GERASENE DEMONIAC of LUKE 8 [part 5]

A Biblical short story by JQuisumbing

Click here to read – Part 4

continued…

“Can this hovel be the place?” The father asked their guide. The house was no more than a dilapidated shack in the edge of a forest miles from the nearest village. Though it was in shambles, there were signs of habitation.

“Oh yes, witch be there! But me no go near. You go… you go.”

Demacli was feeling a little better. The voices were not so overwhelming since they left the village they were lodging in in the coastal region of Sidon in Phoenicia for almost a week looking for this elusive priestess.

He and his father got off the horses they were riding. The guide took the reins of the horses and rode a short distance away to wait for them. Together, they approached the shack and when they got close enough. His father placed a hand on Demacli’s arm to signal a halt.

Then, he called out, “We seek the prophetess of Hermes. We seek her aid.”

No answer came but Demacli noticed at a window a torn curtain move. Clearly, someone was in there.

“My son needs your help. I have silver to offer.”

They waited outside for several minutes, then suddenly the door opened and a feminine voice said, “Come in.”

Demacli was expecting to see an old crone but to his surprise, they were met by a beautiful woman. She was not young but still beautiful.

“I am Elpida. What made you seek me? I am no longer a prophetess. Since I was cast out of Greece and returned home here where I was born, I have been branded a witch because I heal the poor with my poultices and potions.”

“Then, it is your healing that we seek,” said the father. He told her all of Demacli’s condition.

She had Demacli sit before her. She took his head and cupped his face with her hands. She looked into his eyes for what seem the longest time.

“I have come across this before,” she sadly said as she sat back rubbing her face like she was tired. “This is not the work of the goddess of mischief. This is much older… even older than our gods.”

“What can we do?” asked the father.

“I cannot help you. All I can say is that in time, the spirits that dwell in you will eventually take control of you. You will be capable of doing despicable things but it will not be you. It will be them. There is more. These spirits are evil and they are spiteful toward us who walk this world. Legend says they were once favored but then, because of the evil done by their leader, they were cast down here on the earth never to return. They will torment you. Those evil things that you will do, you will be aware of it and it will drive you mad.”

Again the father asked, “Is there no hope for my son, ever?”

“I have traveled the earth seeking wisdom. Knowledge I have collected from Greece, Egypt, Sidon, Phoenicia, Persia and even the lost religion of ancient Mesopotamia. In everyone, I have gleaned the existence of one God who is the god of all gods. It is to this God that these evil spirits fear the most. If there is any hope, seek those who worship the one God. Go to the Jews.”

To be continued…

Click here to read – Part 6


Author’s note:

Though this short story is basically fiction, the character of Demacli is based on an actual unnamed personality described in Luke 8.

There are many such characters in the Bible, many of them were not named at all, but yet there are worthy stories to tell about them. With the help of some sanctified imagination and some artistic license, I felt their stories should be told especially of their faithful encounters with Jesus Christ.

Elpida the prophetess is also one of those biblical characters. You can read her story at THE SYROPHOENICIAN WOMAN OF MARK 7:26 [part 1].

The GERASENE DEMONIAC of LUKE 8 [part 4]

A Biblical short story by JQuisumbing

Click here to read – Part 3

continued…

“Greetings, my son,” said a portly man, as he slowly alighted out of a horse driven carriage. Following him was his mother who was slightly taller.

“Hail to you, father and mother,” Demacli said as he first embrace his mother then grasped the forearm of his father, Roman style. Looking around, he asked, “Where are my sisters?”

“Oh, we left them in Hippus,” his mother said.

“Ah yes, Hippus. I miss our home. I miss the hills that overlook the Sea of Galilee. Come. You must be hungry.” He led them to the covered patio where lunch was being laid out for them.

After an hour, the table was being cleared by the servants. They were lounging around on big plush cushions under a canopy of vines and fragrant flora. What fronted them was a garden of palm trees and circular pond with a statue of Dionysus holding up a stalk of grapes.

“You have done well for yourself, my son,” his father said looking around. “We are pleased at your accom…”

The voices in Demacli’s mind intruded again with many suggestions that his father was less than sincere and also that his mother seem secretive. He had to struggle to keep his mind focused.

“Demacli! Are you listening?”

“Ah, ummm… yes… I mean, I am sorry, father… mother. I am a little distracted, today.” He stood up quickly and agitated. Not waiting for them to ask anything, he said, “You must be tired. Habbi will lead you to your room. I… I must go!” Then, he dashed out the doors of his villa and was walking fast down the street. The whole time, hundred of voices were laughing and jabbering away mostly about why his father was here. It was so distracting that Demacli didn’t realize that he was already a mile outside the city, running up a hill.

When he got to the top, he collapsed to his knees and screamed in anguish, startling a nearby flock of goats.

Three nights later, he returned to the villa disheveled and dirty. He tiredly lowered himself to the ground next to the gate. A servant saw him and quickly brought Habbi.

“Master, we searched for you for days.” Seeing that he was asleep, Habbi shook him. “Master… master!”

Like waking up from a bad dream, Demacli sat up straight, looking around in confusion. He grasped Habbi’s sleeve and croaked in a parch voice, “Wha… what happened to me?” After drinking some water that a servant hastily brought, he said, “I woke up in a cave some miles from here. I don’t recall anything.”

Three nights later, he returned to the villa disheveled and dirty. He tiredly lowered himself to the ground next to the gate. A servant saw him and quickly brought Habbi.

“Master, we searched for you for days.” Seeing that he was asleep, Habbi shook him. “Master… master!”

Like waking up from a bad dream, Demacli sat up straight, looking around in confusion. He grasped Habbi’s sleeve and croaked in a parch voice, “Wha… what happened to me?” After drinking some water that a servant hastily brought, he said, “I woke up in a cave some miles from here. I don’t recall anything.”

“We are bringing you home,” his father said. “Habbi will stay to continue the business. My son, according to the priestess, you have been fooled by Ate, the goddess of mischief. I have heard that she had been casting her spells among the Jews lately. But I have heard of a prophetess of Hermes hiding in Cadasa in the region of Phoenicia that may free you. We must go there.”

“I hate to leave father but…”

“I know, my son. You have built so much, but I think you need not fret for I think you’ll return.”

But deep in his mind, Demacli heard a thousand laughter.

To be continued…

Click here to read – Part 5


Author’s note:

Though this short story is basically fiction, the character of Demacli is based on an actual unnamed personality described in Luke 8.

There are many such characters in the Bible, many of them were not named at all, but yet there are worthy stories to tell about them. With the help of some sanctified imagination and some artistic license, I felt their stories should be told especially of their faithful encounters with Jesus Christ.

The GERASENE DEMONIAC of LUKE 8 [part 3]

A Biblical short story by JQuisumbing

Click here to read – Part 2

continued…

“Let them in,” said all three priests together.


Demacli was in the same room of his dream. The room was bare, devoid of any objects. There were no windows. The walls were lacking of decor and the ceiling was domed. Against one wall, there were double doors with a wooden bar across them keeping closed. Outside, he can hear the wind blowing and something that sounds like thousands of footsteps circling the room.

The doors rattled. Demacli’s heart raced and he rushed to the doors to make sure the bar was secured. He rested his forehead against the doors to calm his heart down. Then, there was a knock and a female voice.

“Remember the wealth… remember what we can give you. Let us in!” Those three words rung out again very slowly, but with the voices of thousands. “Let… us… in…”

Demacli started to tremble and shake all over. He wanted what the voices were offering but yet he was desperately scared. But as the voices continued, his resolve weakened. He straightened himself and slowly lifted the bar. He swung the doors wide open. Then, he woke up.


A year had passed. Demacli was riding on a carriage carried by six slaves down a wide boulevard being hailed by people of different classes. When they got back to the villa, Habbi was there waiting for him.

“I take it, Master, your meeting with the Roman was fruitful.”

“It wasn’t but then it was. The Roman was no help but the Egyptian I talked to will aid us to double our profits for the next year or so.”

“That is good, Master. Your father would be proud.”

“Yes… it is too bad he wasn’t here.”

“As a matter of fact, I just received a message from your father. Your entire family will be here in three days.”

“Three days, you say.” Inside Demacli was concerned.

“What is wrong, Master? Why the frown?”

“Ah…” He shook his head. “Nothing that concerns you, Habbi. I am going up and I am not to be disturbed.”

He went up straight to his room.


“Why is my father coming? Why now?” Demacli asked himself.

“He is coming because he wants to take away from your success!” It was his voice he heard but harsher. “He is jealous of you!” His voice again but more weaselly. Other voices in his head began to intrude by suggesting other things about his father.

“Enough! You’re all too much again,” he said clutching his head. “Speak to me one at a time.”

Echoing deep inside his mind, he thought he heard many laughters as if from a jest fading away. One voice came out but more authoritative.

“So, your father is arriving. What will you do?”

“What is there for me to do?” Demacli whined.

“Stop your whining. You be the man! Face up to your father, if need be.”

“Yes… if need be.”

Then, the other voices returned.

To be continued…

Click here to read – Part 4


Author’s note:

Though this short story is basically fiction, the character of Demacli is based on an actual unnamed personality described in Luke 8.

There are many such characters in the Bible, many of them were not named at all, but yet there are worthy stories to tell about them. With the help of some sanctified imagination and some artistic license, I felt their stories should be told especially of their faithful encounters with Jesus Christ.

The GERASENE DEMONIAC of LUKE 8 [part 2]

A Biblical short story by JQuisumbing

Click here to read – Part 1

Continued…

The room he entered was smokey and dark except for a lit oil lamp on the floor. There was another light source coming from above that emitted a circle of light around the lamp. The light was so bright, he could not see the walls.

“Come and sit in the circle,” said a deep feminine voice.

Demacli sat on the floor with the lamp before him. Then three cowled persons slowly walked in and sat down before him. Their faces were hidden in the shadows with only a slight glint reflecting from their eyes. The feeling was somewhat eerie.

“What do you ask of the gods?”

“I seek wealth. All my ventures have failed and I would give anything to be lucky.”

Together, all three of them asked, “What would you give to the gods?”

“What can I give? Gold or silver?”

“Those things are nothing to them.” It was the feminine voice that spoke.

“Then what?”

“You!”

*** *** ***

“Master! The caravan has arrived!” A voice shouted from below.

“That makes your third investment in four months coming in with no mishap,” said Habbi. “Luck is finally with you.”

“Yes, it has,” Demacli said yawning.

“Master, what ails you? In some nights, we can hear you talking in your sleep. Sometimes, we hear screaming.”

“Bad dreams,” Demacli said almost hauntingly as he stood up and went to the window. “It is always the same dream.”

“What dream haunts you so?”

“I… I am in my room and hundreds of… shadows are trying to break in! Some nights, I can hear them beckoning me to let them in. When I awaken, I am drenched in sweat. I try to stay awake but… my eyes become heavy. Then, the dream comes again.”

“Master, since you have gone to the temple of Dionysus, your businesses have done well. But now you are haunted by this. You must return to the priestess.”

*** *** ***

“What is it that you seek of the gods?” asked the priestess in the center.

“I have these dreams…”

“Have your business improved?” asked the priest on the right.

“Are you not debt free?” asked the one on the left.

“Do you want… more? …fame? …power?” asked the priestess in an alluring voice.

“Yes… but the dreams?”

“Let them in,” said all three together.

To be continued…

Click here to read – Part 3


Author’s note:

Though this short story is basically fiction, the character of Demacli is based on an actual unnamed personality described in Luke 8.

There are many such characters in the Bible, many of them were not named at all, but yet there are worthy stories to tell about them. With the help of some sanctified imagination and some artistic license, I felt their stories should be told especially of their faithful encounters with Jesus Christ.

[ Sketch rendering of Jesus & the Demoniac is based on Oliver Medhurst’s Bible colored illustration found in www.olivermedhurst.tumblr.com ]