The Devil's Riddle
A dragon approached me in a dream one night and I politely stepped aside.
He sidestepped too and blocked the way then, looking down, he smiled.
"Good day to thee," the dragon said as I forced a shaky smile.
Before I could speak he continued with: "Tell me thy heart's desire."
"I have but one desire," I said, "as I am pressed for time this day....
to pass you by unharmed and whole and continue on my way."
"Thy passage for a riddle," the dragon said as he puffed a ring of smoke.
"Solve the riddle and go thy way or I claim as mine thy soul."
"This riddle of yours, how does it go?" Impatience had me ask.
"It is not my riddle," he said, "but thine, now set thy mind to task."
The dragon sighed then said:
"Many of them stand around, pointing here and there.
Some offend and some do not; they have no thought or care.
They offend the careless, the poor of sight and once, a drunkard's hand.
In a circle they stand with bloody spears to disgrace a blameless man."
"Who or what," the dragon asked, "are 'they'?"
I tried to think but knew inside that I couldn't solve it then.
I finally confessed that I did not know, and the dragon slowly grinned.
"Say the words," the dragon hissed; I repeated them without fault.
I felt the words burn into my brain as I felt some horrible loss.
The next few years were a descent into hell as I wandered here and there.
The words consumed my life and mind and I wrote them everywhere.
One night with my starving body near death I wrote the words again.
I scrawled them on the pillar of an overpass and then spoke them in my dreams.
The next day I looked in disbelief because the words were written twice;
once last night, once long ago on some other mindless night.
Years had obviously passed since then and the familiar words were faint.
Just as faint, penciled arrows led around the pillar, past words insane.
As my ragged shoes scuffed trash aside, my dirty fingertips caressed
each hopeful arrow as they wound around until at last they stopped. I read:
"I once was troubled by dragons and such as it appears you are, my friend,
and although my riddle was different by far I nevertheless did win!
I roamed this land as you do now until I happened upon a clue
that someone had written beside my words. I write these now for you:
You will never solve the riddle without God's help. God? I can hear you ask!
Do as I did and read His Word from beginning to the last."
I thought of a book from my former life that had been unopened 'til then.
I dug it out of my dirty bag and through tears my reading began.....
The dragon returned in a dream one night and said, "Thy time is nigh;
the answer to the riddle I require of thee soon or else thee surely will die."
I woke in a sweat and paced the floor for the answer I had yet to see.
Then I read my Bible for hours and prayed and finally returned to sleep.....
I dreamed of two soldiers at a shameful task as they sat upon the ground.
One said something and the other one laughed as they wove a hateful crown.
Then I saw the crown upon His head, the bloody....points.......askew.
I woke with a shout and gave thanks to God because finally and at last I knew!
I cried for joy as I left that day and I feared the dragon no more.
After dreaming of dragons I had dreamed again, of my Savior's crown of......thorns.
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Disabled Navy veteran
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