Figures of Preach: by Rémy Ngamije

On a Sunday, somewhere:

 

ALLITERATION

“Brothers, brethren, sisters, sinners, this is the wondrous Word from the Lord Our God, the Creator of Creation, the Commander of Captains, the Dispeller of Demons, the Maker of Man, the Protector of the Pious, the Vowels in our Vow, the Constant Consonant of Christianity, the Aye to  the Zee, the Awesome Alpha, the Better Beta, the Almighty Omega. Amen!”

—“Amen!”

SIMILE

“…I tell you my journey out of sin was like the Israelites walking to Canaan. I was tested like Jonah. Every day I was swallowed by temptation like the Big Fish. But I did not crumble, I did not yield. I fought with the Devil—THE DEVIL!—like a fighter in the ring—”

—“Yes, Pastor!”

METAPHOR

“—I hit him with combinations he could not handle. Two Our Fathers! Pow! Pow! Three Hail Marys! Pow! Pow! Pow! The Devil, he does not know these punches. He does not know these prayers. He retreats in the ring. I hit him with the long fast—forty days and forty nights!”

—“Say it, Pastor!”

“I train my soul like the Son of God! But the Devil—THE DEVIL!—he gets fat on sin. But I get thin. I am faster. I am focused. I hit him some more!”

—“Truth!”

ONOMATOPOEIA

“POW! POW! WHAM AND BAM! BOOM! BOOM!”

—“Cannon of God!”

—“Pastor persevered!”

—“God is good!”

TAUTOLOGY

“I am the fire, I am the flame, I am the blaze! I am the Embers of Creation! I hit him with the prayers, one after the other. I unlock a new level—I see you know what I am talking about! My spirit power is up! I cannot be defeated!”

—“…cannot be defeated, Pastor!”

“The Devil—THE DEVIL!—he knows his time is up. He has seen the score. He knows he is going to fall—”

—“The Devil will fall!”

—“Evil will fall!”

—“Pastor!”

“I FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY BUT I STING LIKE J. C!”

—“Amen!”

—“Hallelujah!

—“AMEN!”

ANAPHORA

“And what we are told is that the Lord will bless you! The Lord will keep you! The Lord will move your feet. The Lord will make the path and the destination. The Lord will hide you from your enemies. We are told—TOLD!—that the Lord is Law. Now stop fighting and be told. You must be told or you must fold. Repeat: WE MUST BE TOLD OR WE MUST FOLD!”

—“We must be told or we must fold!”

“AGAIN!”

—“WE MUST BE TOLD OR WE MUST FOLD!”

“Amen!”

—“Thank you, Pastor!”

ANTITHESIS

“You are asking, asking always for things. Lord, I want this. Lord, I want that. Lord give me this. Lord grant me that. Huh? You know this is true. I know this is true. How do I know? I used to do it. I used to ask God why he was not making me better than my neighbours!”

—“Yes, Pastor!”

“I used to ask God to make my bank account bigger! I asked for riches in this world! I asked for the wages of sin!”

—“Sin, Pastor, it was sin!”

“I said, God, my friend has a new house, he has a new job, he has a new Mercedes Benz, his wife is beautiful! But where is my portion? WHERE IS MY PORTION? WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?”

—“He did not forsake you, Pastor!”

—“He was preparing you!”

—“He was making your place!”

—“He was busy raising you!”

“And I realised what I was doing! I was demanding that God make my plan His Plan! I was demanding—DEMANDING! Can you imagine such a thing, huh? Can you imagine your own child, the one you made, the one you raised, the one you work hard every day for, the one who cannot look after themselves, the one who needs you for every small thing, asking, no—DEMANDING!—that you do things in their way and in their time?”

—“It cannot happen that thing!”

“But I tell you, now, brothers and sisters, I demanded. I DEMANDED!”

—“It was not you, Pastor, it was sin!”

“And then I humbled myself—”

—“Amen!”

“I put myself low.”

—“Happy are they who…”

“I came to the Feet of the Creator. I said, God, I am a child. A CHILD! I am a child in need of guidance. I am a child in need of wisdom. I am nothing. You are everything. I am human, you are awesome. I am strong. But you are The Almighty!”

—“Hallelujah!”

“Do you know what I learned that day?”

—“Teach us, Pastor.”

“STOP! STOP! STOP! Stop giving God your voice, give him your ears.”

—“Yes, Pastor!

“You are hearing but you are not listening!”

—“We are listening!”

“Not your voice, but your ears! I say you are not listening-o! NOT YOUR VOICE, BUT YOUR EARS!”

APOSTROPHE

“…I looked at the Cup of Temptation and I said, spill yourself upon the soil for I will not drink! I said to the Devil—THE DEVIL!—that I am not for him. I looked at my humble portion and I said, you are for me, I am for you!”

—“You were set aside!”

SIBILANCE

“Satan speaks in a whisper. He smiles, he soothes, he smells good. Ah! I can see my sisters shaking their heads. They know what I am talking about. In the Bible it says that the Devil knows nice clothing. So beware, my sisters, beware of the handsome, sybarites succouring and sugaring sin! Beware, sisters! I SAY BEWARE! SATAN AND SEX ARE THE SAME! Amen!

—“…amen.”

“I say, I said, “AMEN!”

—“AMEN!”

“Thank you!”

PARADOX

“And now what do they say about your Apostle? They say I am lying. They say I am cheating. They say, no, Pastor is stealing. But, brothers and sisters, friends, congregants, the Lord does not tolerate the wicked. He strikes them down! He sends the fire and the flood!”

—“We remember Sodom!”

—“We fear Gomorrah.”

“Have the plagues come, I ask you? Has it rained frogs? Do we have boils? What about water being turned to blood? No! They have not come. The Ministry stands.”

—“It stands, Pastor.”

“He gives me strength. And every day I do my duty. I come, I serve, I teach, I preach, I humble myself at his feet. My presence and power are paradoxes to those who seek to undo me and mine.”

—“He has hidden you from your enemies, Pastor!”

PERSONIFICATION

“Jesus Christ is the Personification of Power. He is better than all of these writers in the newspaper who condemn me. These false prophets and bankrupt custodians of wisdom who can only use words to make dead things look alive. But Jesus Christ Our Saviour—THE ONLY SON OF GOD!—he can turn that which is dead into the living. You do not believe me?”

—“Tell them!”

—“Teach them!”

“They do not believe, these people. They doubt the Power of God! They see the world through their own eyes, through their own strengths, through their own weakness, through their own sin. They do not understand what I mean when I say The Lord Jesus Christ is the Personification of Power, God Made Man. I wish they were here. Do you know why?”

—“Why, Pastor?”

—“Tell us! Tell us, Pastor!”

“I would tell them a story about a man named Lazarus!”

ELLIPSIS

“…If you read the newspapers and watch the news you might be fooled into thinking that we are in the End Times. You would think Mephistopheles is here already. That Mammon and Belphegor wait for you in your own homes. Run! Asmodeus is coming! But if you listen to the Word you will realise that this is the Age of Miracles. Today is a day from that calendar: a day from the Age of Wonder. Today we are going to witness a miracle. This young woman has come to me and confessed that there is something inside her. This thing makes her drink. It makes her beat her children. It makes her waste her money. It makes her want to lie with many men. Yes, yes! The confession was terrible. If I did not have my head wrap which I dipped in Holy Oil around my ears the sin which spouted from her mouth would have burned them off. The drinking, the men, the impurity, the total deprivation of dignity and decency—I tell you now what I heard…THE WORDS OF A DEMON!”

—“Say it isn’t so!”

“THERE IS A DEMON INSIDE HER!”

—“Pastor, take it out!”

—“Take it out!”

“Look at her. Look at how untidy her hair is. She used to look pretty, I remember her when she started coming to our Ministry. But then she started to look unkept. Her clothes became shabby, she forgot to put on her lipstick, her hair was no longer neat or straight. It was wild. I had my suspicions, that it was a demon inside her. But Satan keep a low profile. Now I am certain! Now I am sure! Look at how she even has the appearance of the forsaken! But do not fear, this is a day from the Age of Wonder.”

—“Pastor will take it out!”

“Today we will cast out this demon! The Lord is going to come down and pull this wicked thing out of her!”

—“Take it out!”

“I shall lay my hands on her and she will feel the Power flow through me.”

(“Pastor, we are ready.”)

“THE DEMON WILL KNOW FEAR!”

—“Amen.”

“THE DEMON WILL RUN!”

(“On the count of three you will strike her on the forehead.)

THE DEMON WILL FLEE THE TEMPLE THAT IS HER BODY! GOD WILL MAKE HER PURE!

—“Flee the temple!”

—“…as pure as snow!”

(“Marcus, be ready to catch her when she falls. No accidents like last time!”)

“SHE WILL NOT DRINK!”

(“One.”)

“SHE WILL NOT BEAT HER CHILDREN!”

(“Two.”)

“SHE WILL NOT LIE WITH MANY MEN!

(“Three.”)

“OUT DEMON! OUT! OUT! OUT!”

(“Let her lie down. Elizabeth, get ready with the comb and the lipstick.”)

“THERE IS THE DEMON! THERE IT IS! EVERYONE HELP TO CHASE IT OUT OF OUR CHURCH! QUICKLY! BEAT IT! STEP ON IT!

(“James, move towards the back. Go behind the pillar.”)

“THERE IT IS BEHIND THAT PILLAR OVER THERE! QUICKLY! EVERYONE HOLD HANDS! DO NOT FEAR THE DEMON! TURN AND FACE IT! PUSH IT OUT WITH PRAYER! BEAT IT! TOGETHER! DEMON WE DENOUNCE YOU!”

(“Nearly ready, Pastor.”)

“DEMON WE SHUN YOU!”

(“Okay, she’s ready.”)

“THE DEMON IS LEAVING!”

(“Hold on. We need to replace her blouse!”)

“IT IS COMING BACK! IT IS TRYING TO FIND SOMEONE NEW TO POSSESS! DO NOT LET IT! PRAY! BROTHERS AND SISTERS, PRAY! PRAY! PRAY! DEMON, GET OUT! GET OUT! DEMON WE REJECT YOU! BE GONE!”

(“Ready!”)

“THE DEMON IS GONE!”

—“Hallelujah!”

—“Pastor has done it!”

—“Pastor has chased the demon away!”

“Oh my…Look! Brothers and sisters! Look at her! I don’t believe it…I am speechless. I have no words…She has been made new and beautiful. Look!”

RHETORICAL QUESTION

“Is she not beautiful? How can you not believe in the wonder, in the miracles, in the Power of God? Who can doubt that God has not touched this woman? I say to you that that person is not a believer and they are lost. Look at her! WHO DOES NOT BELIEVE NOW?”

—“We believe.”

—“We are told.”

—“We shall not fold.”

“AMEN!”

—“AMEN!”

PUN

“They say about your Pastor, that I prey on words and that our prayer is play. But The Lord said where one or more are gathered in His name there He shall be. Look how many we are here. The Lord is here. HERE! Raise your hands if you can feel, let us pray, brothers and sisters.”

LITOTES

“Now that our service has come to an end, brothers and sisters, let me remind you that the sum we need to raise is five-hundred thousand, it is no small amount of money but we will do it. The Lord says we can do it, that we should do it. HE SAYS THAT WE SHALL DO IT! Who are we to go against the Will of God? Who are you? Yes, you! Who are you? We are nothing. What the Lord commands we will do. Amen!”

—“Amen!”

“I SAY, I SAID AMEN!”

—“AMEN!”

 


Remy Ngamije (@remythequill) is a Rwandan-born Namibian writer and photographer living and working in Windhoek, Namibia. Remy’s work has appeared in Litro Magazine (UK) and is also upcoming in The Johannesburg Review of Books (RSA). His debut novel “The Eternal Audience Of One” will be published in 2019 by Blackbird Books (RSA).

Related country: Rwanda, Namibia

All rights to this story remain with the author. Please do not repost or reproduce this material without permission.