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Safe Keeping
by Jerry Rasmussen
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We’ve all known the terror of a nightmare where we are threatened by some evil thing, and can not run, or use our limbs to protect ourselves. We are completely helpless. It is even more terrifying when we have no idea why we are being attacked, or by whom. One restless night, I came face to face with a power I could not understand or protect myself from.

Safe Keeping

I stood there, staring out the window into the darkness, when a face suddenly materialized before me. The house was silent, and yet I heard no sound of the man who had mysteriously appeared. He turned away from the window and I could see him walking around the house toward the front door. Anxiety rose up in my throat. Where was I? The room was unfamiliar, and I had no idea why I was there. I heard the front door open and waited with dread until the man came walking through the doorway into the room. He wasn’t physically imposing, and he had a slight smile on his face, but there was something threatening about him. “Where is it?” he asked. “Where is what?” I answered. Once again he asked, “Where is it?” “I have no idea what you’re talking about, I said. “There’s no sense in pretending like you don’t know, I want it.” I still had no idea what “it” was, but even if I did, I decided that I wouldn’t want to give it to him. As he started moving toward me, the smile turned more menacing. I noticed a baseball bat leaning in the corner, and reached over to grab it. “There’s no sense resisting,” he said. “Give it to me.” “I’ll give it to you, all right, but it may not be what you want,” I said, raising the baseball bat over my shoulder. As he stepped forward, I took a swing for the seats, and hit him squarely on the side of his head. The force of the impact sent shockwaves up my arms and across my back, yet he stood there completely unaffected, with that same sweet, sick smile on his face. He took a few more shorts steps toward me with his hand outstretched, and I let him have it again, this time with all the strength that I could muster. Despite the force of the blow, he showed no sign of discomfort. I was the one who was hurting now. One more step and another swing, and I realized that I had no way of stopping him. And then he stopped, and as suddenly as he had appeared, he turned and left the room. I could hear him as he closed the front door and for a moment, the house was plunged back into silent darkness. Only the faint light through the picture window illuminated the room.

As I stood there, trying to understand what had happened, I heard the front door opening once again, and my heart was filled with dread. As she came around the corner and entered the room, I leaned the baseball bat back against the corner cabinet. I couldn’t imagine hitting a woman with a bat, no matter how evil she might be. I could see that I was on my own. She was a tall women, dressed in what used to be called Toreador pants and a short jacket. She was thin and angular, and her body moved in sections, as if she wasn’t used to inhabiting it. Rather than threatening me, she spoke in a sweet, reasonable, comforting tone. “I’m sorry about how that man acted,” she said with a slight smile. “There was no need to threaten you.” I’m sure that I can offer you a generous compensation if you will sell it to me.” I still had no idea what “it” was, but I was no more inclined to sell “it” than I was to let someone take it away from me. She said, “I’ll give you much more than it is actually worth.” When I told her that I had no intention of parting with it, her voice took on a hard, cruel tone. “You’d be wise to take my offer, because if you don’t accept it, I will just have to take it away from you.” By then, I was getting angry. I realized from my experience with the first man that there was no way that I could fight the woman. I had no idea what she and man were, but there were certainly not of this earth. “Before I’d give it to you, I’d destroy it,” I answered, and I could see that she was getting very angry. “Or maybe I’ll just give it to someone else who you don’t know, and it will be someone that I know would never give it to you, even if you found them.” “Oh, I’d have no trouble finding them,” she answered. “No one is strong enough to resist me.” “Well, I am!” I spoke my voice rising as I stared directly into her eyes. She shrugged her shoulders and said, “I’ll give you time to think it over, but I’ll be back to collect it.” As she angled her way across the room, my strength drained from me. I had spoken out of anger and fear, but I knew that deep in my heart, no one could resist her for long. Certainly not me.

I stood there alone in the darkened room, my mind racing. Whom could I give it to whom would protect it, whom was invulnerable to temptation or threats of violence. Not a soul came to mind. And then the warning bell of my cell phone went off, notifying me that the battery was low, and I woke up.

For a moment, I lay there completely disoriented until the old familiar outlines of the bedroom furniture came into focus. I was filled with an indescribable dread and not a little thanksgiving that my cell phone had rescued me from such a disturbing nightmare. I got up, went over and took my cell phone out of my pants pocket, and carried it downstairs to recharge the battery. My battery was the one that really needed recharging. After plugging the adapter into the cell phone and setting it up to be recharged, I sank back into my recliner and asked myself, “What was that all about?” I was still shaken, and asked the Lord to reveal to me what the “it” was that was so precious. And who the wraiths (or whatever they were) were. And then it became obvious. The “it” was my soul. The devil had come to tempt me to give him/her my soul.
First he sent one of his minions to try to scare it out of me. The first word that came to mind was that he was a demon. But Demons are Greek in origin. This guy looked more like he lived came from New Jersey. He must have been on of the devils that Christ was always casting out of people. And the woman in sections? She was the Devil him/her self. If he can appear as a snake, I guess he can appear as a woman if he wants to.

As I sat in the chair, lost in prayer, the Lord revealed the meaning of the dream. I generally don’t put much stock in dreams. I’m more likely to dismiss them as an after-effect of too much pepperoni pizza. But this was different. It was too disturbing to reject out of hand. We are all helpless when we come face to face with the Devil. Don’t think he’s going to come dressed in red long underwear, wearing a black goatee and nothing else. He discarded those costumes long ago. He can appear in any form that he wants, and he is very insidious. We are no match for his power. But Jesus is. Jesus went mano a mano with the Devil in the wilderness, and no amount of temptation or threats could weaken Christ’s resolve.

And Jesus answered and said unto him, “Get thee behind me, Satan; for it is written,
Thou shalt worship the Lord the God, and him only shalt thou serve.

I was in need of a little ministering to, myself.

As often happens, it was the words to one of my favorite old hymns that came to mind:

Jesus, Lover of my soul
Let me to thy bosom fly
While the nearer waters flow
While the tempest still is high

Jesus, Lover of My Soul by Simeon B. Marsh

We are not helpless. Who can we give our soul to who will keep it safe, who is invulnerable to threats of violence? Only Jesus. Nobody does you like Jesus.

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Member Comments
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Laraine Hemrick Horney 06 Sep 2008
Did this really happen? Wow, it is so cool that even in the midst of terror, your faith was firm. And wonderful that the Lord explained the meaning to you. thanks for capturing it so that we might learn from it.
Jerry Rasmussen 06 Sep 2008
Yes, Laraine, it did happen as described. As I was writing this piece, I got the shakes, even reliving it. I've had plenty of dreams where I felt helpless. I used to have dreams where I was being attacked and couldn't run away, only to wake up in a cold sweat to discover that my cats were sleeping on my feet. Just what you need when being chased by demons! But, nothing quite compared to the fear of confronting the Devil him/herself. The dream, and God's revealing its meaning to me were a powerful reminder of the forces of evil that we are up against. Best to stick with Jesus... Jerry


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