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But deliver us from all evil

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Lie-Za say Church was full till it running over on Ole Year’s Night; was like everybody went foh dey customary New Year’s Blessings and mek dey short-lived Resolutions. But de Pastor on de pulpit was on ah New Year’s mission; he had ah bone in his throat as he delivered his Opening Prayer: “Father God,” he said, “foh 2018 deliver us from all Evil,” de congregation couldn’t wait, like ah choir in unison dey echoed: “Hear-men! Yes Lord!” Pastor paused ah while, church went silent, den he continued: “Deliver us from de Evil dat got de young woe-men in de society carrying on, wid married men, destroying homes, causing sleepless night and distress to innocent and faithful wives, some more faithful dan others!” Sister June in her Red sweater got up and shouted: “Preach Pastor, Preach de Truth!”

Acknowledging dat comment he said: “ Bless your heart Sister ‘J.” Encouraged, he resumed: “Somebody say Hear-men!” And dey was ah loud Hear-men. “Yes Father, lead us not into temptation but deliver us from all Evil dat dwelleth within de men-folk in our society, dem in authority, guilty widout ah plea of miss-using de lickle, shortened power yuh lend dem, teking advantage of de disadvantaged, de misguided, de innocent young women in our land!” Dis time Sister Kay got up, her voice breaking, in tears she screamed:” Lard have mercy pon me one lickle girl-child Brabra, she nar hear!” Lie-Za said dis time Church cold like ice, yuh could ah hear ah pin drop, all eyes focused pon de platform, because three big men and dey wives, were comfortably seated behind de Pastor, one who is ah politician, raised his two hands in de air, piously looking towards heaven, same time Sister ‘K’ screamed again: “ Judas, tek down yuh hand!”

Ah had to slow down Lie-Za, and told her point blank, she lie-ing. “Yes,” she said, “yuh feeling guilty, is people like yuh so, who Pastor was praying for, yuh should ah come to church, but ah want yuh just to hear dis one from Pastor and tell me what he talking bout when he said ‘Dear Father we wrestle not ‘Against Flesh and Blood’, but ‘Against de Principalities’, ‘Against de Powers’, ‘Against de one-sided Pull-it-tek-all Leaders of de Country, ‘Against de Spiritual Hosts of Wickedness in your Blessed Land’; so Father we pray ah special Prayer to Deliver us from de Evil wuking against those innocent victims, our young girls, who when dey try to break loose and cry out publicly foh help, are condemned and called Liars and Crazies!” Lie-Za said was like pandemonium break loose in Church, Pastor was on Fire, and de congregation started to chant from all corners: “ Tell me more Pastor, dem too wicked!” said Sis Pam, “ dey want to abuse de lickle Gel dem, and when dey tark, dem want to shut dem up, calling dem Liar and send dem Men-tell-home say dey crazy…Murdoorr!”

Suddenly Pastor realize dat he got an application foh Duty Free concession to send in, decided to tone down things and wind up: “And finally Dear Father,” he said, “Deliver us from de Evil one, Lucifer who has caused dis-array and dividedness among de woe-men in our society close dey eyes, cork dey ears, and shut dey mouth tight, when our young woe-men cry foh help, yes Father our girls may have made dey mistakes, but dey need our help, who are we to judge and condemn dem wid revenge!” Sister June who like she had gone asleep too, jump up from her seat and like de trumpet dat blowing in de New Year, she shouted: “Vengeance is Yours Father. Vengeance is yours” wid dat, de whole church burst in song: “ For Thine is de Kingdom, de Power and de Glory, Forever and Ever!” And dey was ah thunderous: “Hear-Men!” And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy.

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.

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