Rick just looked at me and said again, “I’m serious, I just talked to a demon on the phone and I don’t know what to do! We need to do something!” 

Again, I chuckled and told Rick that it was not real; it was just someone playing a prank. Besides, I wanted to  ask him, how would he know that a demon had just called him on the phone? 

But Rick wasn’t joking despite my protestations. He continued to say over and over that it was a demon and that we needed to help the girl that was calling us. 

As I noted before, I grew up in a very strict Independent Christian church and if there was one thing we never talked about it was the spiritual world. Of course we acknowledged the Holy Spirit, but even He was portrayed as a rather subdued character. I love the church that I grew up in but I have wondered if we shouldn’t have talked about spiritual warfare just a little bit. Spiritual victory was a matter of knowing God’s Word—not pursuing and really even avoiding areas that might lead you astray because they were more tied to emotions. Some ministers from my tradition would go so far as to say that demons, like miracles, were restricted to biblical times, but didn’t exist in the present tense. 

I stopped telling Rick that I knew he was joking, but I reminded him that it was the Halloween season, we were a Christian radio station, and that perhaps the news room didn’t get prank phone calls, but we got them in the “on air” studio all the time. It was just some kid home sick from school for the day who was bored and getting into some mischief. I know when I was home as a school kid I could get into this kind of trouble. Prank calls were a staple of my growing up years. What a great place to call, a radio station. You couldn’t help thinking that maybe your crank call would make it on the airwaves. 

Rick ignored my disclaimers and insisted it was a real call from someone who was in desperate trouble; someone who was under the influence of a demon. I asked Rick how he knew it was a demon. Rick, who rather than calming down was growing more agitated and upset as we talked, said that he could tell it wasn’t a human voice. 

Rick had my attention by now. If he was playing a joke on me, he had taken it way too far. I knew him well enough to see that he was truly rattled like I had never seen him before. I finally concluded that he really did believe what he was saying to me. But I had never known anyone who had claimed to have talked to a demon in person much less on the phone. Not even the missionary from Africa. I wasn’t sure it was possible so my mind was looking for other explanations of what Rick might have experienced. 

Rick continued to explain to me that it was not a human that he talked to on the phone. He said that as soon as he heard the voice every hair on his head had stood on end. At this point I ran out of things to say. I knew Rick was sincerely scared, but based on my life experience, I didn’t believe he had just talked to a demon. Why would a demon call my request line anyway? I am most certain there wasn’t a song in our library he would want to hear. 

As we stood behind the control board, at an impasse, I tried to lighten the atmosphere with another attempt at humor. Again I began to make fun of the call Rick had received. I was hoping my levity would settle Rick down and get him to think clearly. I had never seen him upset and I was concerned. But it was time for me to go on the air and Rick was just going to have to get over the call so I could get my job done. 

The request line began to ring. Rick looked at me and pointed.