Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Before and After (05/14/09)
TITLE: The Battle
By Joy Bach
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“Grandma, you just wouldn’t understand. I just had to. I’m not in charge of me.”
She began to talk of her life…how awful it was. She jumped up and began pacing the floor, arms flailing wildly. She ranted on and on about having no future. This was going somewhere, but I had no idea where. And so I made few remarks…just enough to keep the conversation going.
She was highly agitated. Tears brimmed in her eyes…extremely unusual for her. She came close to my face and said very clearly, “You just don’t have a clue. You could never understand”.
“You have to promise not to laugh.”
We finally got to the crux of the matter. I was totally unprepared for the next words.
“I have two spirituals.”
“Do you mean spirits?”
“Yes, I guess that’s what I mean.”
She began to spew information.
“When you and grandpa talk to me about my future and what I want to be, you don’t understand. I don’t have a future. I’m going to die and go to hell and there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m trapped.”
She poked a finger at my Bible laying there. “You think this is the truth. Well, it’s not.”
“Did they tell you that?”
She nodded her head.
“Well they are liars. That Book is the truth. The devil is a liar and God is the truth.”
She talked as fast and furious as she could; arms waving and tears streaming down her face. She actually had three spirits. But they didn’t want me to know their names. More tears as she told how she couldn’t ever lose them. She would have no friends. She wanted a friend.
I longed to take her in my arms and reassure her. But we weren’t through yet.
“Marie, remember, they are liars and are trying to destroy you in whatever way they can. Can you see them?”
“Yes. They are standing right beside you.” She leaned forward and poked the air beside me. “There, I just touched one.” She then described them to me, right down to the color and kind of clothing they had on.
I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand higher than they had ever stood. She continued to pace and spew. Emotions flitted across her face…despair…anger…uncertainty. She seemed old before her time. She kept repeating she was trapped.
My mind raced. Having attended church my entire life, I was familiar with scriptures. Yet I had never had any training about a situation such as this. Praying as hard as I could, I began to talk with her about the battle going on…the battle between good and evil. I maintained eye contact, which was difficult for me to do. Her eyes looked like cat eyes. As I listened to myself, I was amazed at the authority in my voice.
“Marie, there are certain words you can say to make them go away. Are you willing to say them?”
“You can’t make them go away. I’ve tried.”
“You have to say the words out loud. They can’t hear your thoughts. So will you say what I tell you to say?”
She responded with a “Yes”.
“In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to leave”, were the words I told her to repeat. My eyes were on her face as she said those words out loud. I watched her face be transformed in an instant. The despair became joy. Her whole countenance radiated hope and peace. Years fell away.
“So, how do you feel now?” I asked. Raising her hands above her head and fluttering her fingers, she said, “I feel like I could fly up to heaven. Oh, thank you, Grandma.”
I corrected her. “God got rid of them.”
Then she did something totally out of character. She gave me a real bear hug.
Four hours after we had started talking, we were through. I had taken part in a scenario I would never have imagined for me. God’s awesome power had been in evidence with the transformation before me; as well as in the knowledge that the answers and responses were there when I needed them.
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