I was who I am now,
Same kids, same husband, same age.
I had gone to meet a good friend,
One who like me, still believed that the Holy Spirit
Still spoke and worked in believer’s lives today.
He and his wife had asked me to meet them,
At one of the big churches,
For they had booths there,
Where you could sit down in the entrance
And chat for a bit with a cup of coffee.
We sat there for a little while talking,
Getting caught up with what was going on
With our lives since we last met.
I told him, that my older children
Were doing well in college,
Despite all the evil around them.
When he asked me why,
I told him that they could see
If there were any demons around them,
and then avoid them best they could.
This seemed to trouble him,
And he voiced his concern for my kids,
Wondering how they handled it,
Living around demons like that,
For what if one tried to attack them?
At that moment we were interrupted,
As the church service was let out,
And the foyer became filled with people.
I had wanted to purchase a small bag of my favorite chocolates
That they had for sale in their coffee area,
And the server was now there, available for orders.
So I excused myself for a moment,
And as I went back to the shelf to grab a bag,
I also seen a pile of glossy colorful one-page hand-outs,
On the various beliefs of this church.
There were one or two that caught my eye,
And I took one of each of those,
But one especially seemed interesting,
For it was on the topic of demons.
As I tried to grab it, someone bumped into me,
And I then turned to look for a moment
at the person who had bumped into me,(it was a young kid,)
And then back again to the pile of fliers,
I found that I could not find that particular flier again.
I tried searching for it,
And this caught the attention of someone else there at the church,
who then came to try and talk to me,
and try and answer any questions that I might have.
I then seen the pastor walking out from the back of the service,
And realized with shock that it was pastor Jeff,
From our old evangelical Lutheran church from many years ago.
I called out to him,
And he paused to look down at me, (he was slightly taller than I,)
And I know he recognized me,
But there was a reservation about him,
And I sensed he was not about to greet me as a long lost friend
That he had once known well.
He asked me if I was finding everything O.K.,
And so I told him that I was trying to find their flier on demons.
“Oh!” He exclaimed with ease, “I can tell you all about that.
It is a short flier, anyways,” he confides in me with a wink.
“The truth about demons,” he says, warming to the topic,
“is that there are none! Not in this world anyways.
They’re tucked away in hell. So you don’t have to worry about them.
They were only here on earth when Jesus was here.”
“But Jeff!” I exclaimed, walking right in front of him,
In the hopes that it would slow him down enough to listen to me,
(he was always busy multi-tasking and looking around to others and greeting them,)
“My children can SEE them in THIS world!”
At that point, we had stopped right in front of the booth where my friend was,
so my friends could easily hear our exchange.
Pastor Jeff looked at me with great pity in his eyes, and said,
“You should have them see a doctor.”
Shock rolled around within me.
He thought this was caused by my kids being sick?!
“But their doctors have said that they are healthy!”
Yet as I seen his still-pitying glare from his eyes,
I realized that it did not matter what I said,
He believed what he believed,
And it would not change just because of my testimony.
I then became aware,
that there was a HUGE dark demon hanging over him,
Him and the whole church.
It was incredibly oppressive,
and it weighted down upon the people and upon pastor Jeff,
Like a HEAVY boulder upon his shoulders.
And was shackled to one of his legs with chunky but silent chains.
I stumbled in my steps as I struggled to keep up with him,
And then finally gave it up and let him walk off,
(to continue meeting and greeting his congregation,)
For I needed to escape the pressure of that strongman demon.
I returned to my friend in the booth.
“So how do they deal with the demons if they attack them?!”
My friend asked me again. Bless his heart, he was still concerned for them.
“They cast them out in the name of Jesus, and then the demons leave!
I paused and then added, “it works better than what some doctor would give them…”
Normally, if I would say such a thing to someone about my kids,
It would be said as a joke, for doctors are not needed
To remove demons, or to remove such a wonderful spiritual gift,
Which the bible calls spiritual discernment.
(Some of my kids had it in a very strong form of it.
I myself had it in a much more subdued form.)
But I realized that my friend took it as a serious statement,
so I then ended my words with a reassuring smile.
My words seemed to make a big difference to him,
And relieved his concern for my children a great deal.
We finished our time together,
And as I went to go pay for the bag of chocolates,
I found that they had no real change for my ten dollar bill.
I was told to go put it in the cookie jar with all the other monies,
And to take out the change that I needed,
which would have been four dollars.
But when I tried to do this,
I found that there was no real cash left in the jar,
And that it was filled with these strange bills called ‘scripts’.
They looked like cash on one side, but on the other,
There was words and writings on it that had nothing to do with money.
The paper the script had been printed on had obviously been re-cycled
From the church’s offices and school rooms.
I asked my friend about it,
And he said that the kids at the church use it as a reward system,
to get treats and other such things for doing their school work.
Well, no one else had change around me,
And I was not going to ‘donate’ any extra cash to this church,
(not after realizing that it stood for such false teachings,)
And there was no way I was just going to take it,
So I had to go put it back on the shelf and not purchase it.
As I was leaving the church,
Someone in the entrance hall,
Was installing some kind of sensor, that would let the church know
More information about the people entering or leaving their building.
I asked the installer what kind of sensors it used,
(as a way of being friendly,) and as he answered me,
He asked me to hold one of its components for a moment for him.
He pushed the object into my hands, and I held it,
But then felt its strange activation on my fingertips.
So I hastily told the man that I could not hold it any longer,
For I was beginning to feel its effects.
I quickly exited the building,
And then the worker came out,
And I quickly handed him the part he had asked me to hold for him.
He grabbed it, but a second later he dropped it
Onto the cement sidewalk. (Had he felt its effects too?)
And it fell in between us.
I bent down to pick it back up,
(thinking how expensive it must be,
And wondering if the fall might have broken it,)
Before handing it back to the man.
The man looked at me,
And I could tell he was going to try and blame me
For dropping it if it did not work,
But as I looked around at all the cameras
that were recording everything around the building,
I gave him a slight shake of the head,
indicating that his ruse would not work,
For all they had to do was re-play their cameras,
And the truth would be out.
It had been the man who had dropped it, not me.
So I turned my back to the church, and left.
I then woke up.
I realized, that this pastor,
Was treated almost like a demi-god,
By the members of his congregation.
Then I realized with shock and distress,
That I had done the same thing,
And had treated him like a demigod
When I was going to his other church!
People chased after him,
Wanting advice on this or that,
on spiritual matters or on real life matters,
Asking him for favors,
Or just generally wanting to be near him.
He rarely told the people to go seek GOD for the advice they were looking for.
This was a man who spent his life,
Going from one failing Lutheran church to the next,
In order to try and save it.
He had done so in our old church,
Though I must say, that I thought the church was just fine
When we first started going there.
It wasn’t until later,
When things started to change for the worst.
The higher-ups had caught sight of our little church,
And had heard the reports of the Holy Spirit working amongst the people.
So they sent this man, pastor Jeff,
To come in and transform the church into a mega-church.
After the transformation had been successful,
(to the governing board’s standards,)
He left and moved on to the next church in need of saving.
As if this one man was some kind of god himself!
I asked the Lord to please forgive me,
For ever treating this pastor like he was a little demigod.
I then realized with a sudden start,
That all those years of feeling guilty,
Of wondering if we had left the church too soon,*
Had been complete and total waste of energy.
For here, in reality, the Lord,
In His gracious wisdom,
RESCUED us from that church!
If He had not,
That church could have scarred my children for life!
They would have been treated as if they were SICK
Whenever they would have said that they could see any demons.
A gift from the Lord was thought of as a sickness?
Now THAT WAS crazy…!
* * * *
* As a side note, and for an excellent commentary on questioning church authorities,
please see Tim Shey’s blog entry:
Thank you Tim, for re-blogging Lori Rodeheaver’s blog post on your web site!…