I don’t plan to keep changing the subject,
But I randomly remember things and get so stirred up.
That I have to talk about them…
Thank you for coming back to my blog.
For the sake of balance I must write about other extremes and areas of my wonderful life with the Reverend. Yes, I said wonderful…
We had little expectation of what we encountered as young leaders. We managed each situation to the best of our biblical knowledge, according to our faith.
We found ourselves confronted by many demonic forces in our early career, without much understanding on spiritual warfare.
Due to our lack of experience and immaturity did we leave our marriage vulnerable for the ‘Grey One’ to be able to strengthen its hold over the Reverend’s personal conflict? Then subsequently over our marriage?
While the ‘Grey One’ was gaining ground, it was my anger and depression that was spilling over the edge.
When evil manifested itself to me in such an recognisable presence in our bedroom, it was immediately vanquished by the name of Jesus. That never happened so directly again. Were ‘evil’s’ subsequent intentions so subtle we failed to recognise it?
Our houses are safe from trespassers when our points of entry are securely locked, bolted and alarmed.
Evil has no legal (spiritually speaking) rights into our lives. If we fail to guard our soul – the doorway to our mind emotions and will, evil will break the rules and charm or manipulate its way in.
Part of our simple and uncomplicated philosophy was to be available for any opportunity to practice Kindness, Hospitality and above all Love. To those who were members of our church community, and those who were not. Irrelevant to whether they became part of our congregation, we sought to bring some spiritual help to their lives.
Indiscriminately, without judgement or prejudice, with acceptance we were always willing to help and enable people in some large or small way. To hopefully make a positive difference in their lives.
Our vocation was to impact people with the good news of the Christian faith. That is all we had to offer.
If lives were being transformed and broken people and families were strengthened and others becoming whole, physically, mentally and spiritually. That was success.
We were not qualified in social services, welfare, education, law or medicine. We knew where to direct or accompany anyone who needed professional assistance.
All we could offer was our loving Heavenly Father, to become their Father too.
To offer insight into the toxic side of the distinctive cultural background we lived in. A colleague asked the Reverend if he would look after a young man who was travelling from Venezuela to present his Art in the ‘City Of Culture’ Exhibition. Venezuela is a small South American country that boarders Columbia.
My husband agreed and picked the person up from the train station, drove him to the exhibition Centre and helped him put his masterpiece on display to be judged. This would take a few hours.
Meanwhile he came to our house for refreshment, until it was time to pick up his model of the ‘Last Supper’.
At the time we were living in a fairly small three-bedroom flat, we had three very noisy, physically active, squabbling children running around. In my mind, our family of five all at home together meant chaos in every way, until the little people were in bed.
Our Venezuelan guest walked through our front door following the Reverend. He then closed the door behind him and leaned back against it in a manner that suggested exhaustion after travelling for many hours.
“It’s mad out there,” he said. “In here, there’s peace”, we didn’t get it! Whatever did he mean? It was bedlam in our house! He continued to explain that he could sense every evil force out there as he was travelling the four to five miles to our house. He mentioned alcoholism, drugs, prostitution and violence and many other common problems.
He went on to explain to us that in Venezuela, at certain times of the day many people would begin to manifest demonically. Traffic would come to a halt, drivers would get out of their cars. he would see them writhing and hissing like snakes on the side of the road.
It would be extremely dangerous for anyone who crossed their path.
Seemingly, as soon as anyone in his country became a Christian, they learned to take command of demonic spirits very quickly.
“Here, in your home, it’s peaceful”. As he came through our front door, immediately those evils were absent! Then we understood what he was saying!
Though no one was openly manifesting demonically in our City streets, he was very much aware that evil was rife.
It was fascinating to spend those few short hours with that young man.
In that same home there were two women who arrived at our door at different times, completely unconnected.
One woman, who was quietly spoken and timid, asked if she could come in. The Reverend showed her into our living room. It was during the evening, I was ironing, our children were in bed..
We offered her a cup of tea; she didn’t want a cup of tea. Something to eat? Same reply! I carried on ironing the Reverend was working. We were silent waiting for her to speak. We asked if there was anything she specifically needed. In the half an hour or so she sat in our house all she said was that it was nice to just sit, nothing else. She wasn’t relaxed, sitting upright on the edge of the sofa. After thirty minutes or so she left, thanking us for letting her sit there. We never saw her again.
The second woman, as soon as I turned the doorknob she pushed open the door, walked in past me and ran into the first room she passed. The Reverend had a visitor at the time. She sat crying and shaking violently.
We were quite taken aback. The Reverend suggested I go in and speak to her. I sat beside her and held her hand. She didn’t say anything when I asked her how I could help. After some time she eventually stopped crying and shaking. Though still agitated she said thank you then left as swiftly as she arrived.
Then there was a little boy, he was about six years old. He knocked our door, he was a neighbours little boy, he lived two doors away. I thought he had come to play with our boys. I directed him to the room our boys were playing in but he hadn’t come to play.
He said he liked it in our house could he just come in and sit. How did he know he liked it in our house when he had never been through the front door before having only played in the shared garden?
He refused food and a drink as he sat on our sofa. Our children were playing in other rooms. Every now and then he would repeat how nice and quiet it was in our house and that he wanted to just sit. Suddenly got up, said thank you, and left.
I was so incredibly unaware at the time of what women and children in our neighbourhood were possibly suffering. The area was extremely needy, there was much poverty.
Faces of many women and children reflected despair and sadness. Not all. There were plenty of happier faces and families. But no, domestic abuse wasn’t something that was happening ‘next door’, on the other side of ‘my walls’. It was on the news and documentary programmes.
Then there was Jed, a single man in his thirties or forties. He lived opposite us. It was past midnight, we were in bed. Jed knocked on our front door loudly. The Reverend got up answered the door to find Jed standing in a pool of blood. He asked if he could get a lift to Hospital because he had been attacked.
He was almost home and a car stopped beside him, one man held him down while the other man shredded the soles of his feet with a knife. It was a revenge attack he explained. The Reverend grabbed two plastic bags to put his feet in, and helped him to the car. On the way to hospital he said he had lived in the street for fourteen years and the Reverend was the only person he could trust to help him.
We thought nothing more about these incidents other than being available to those in need in our neighbourhood. It’s only now as i recall them, that the visit from the Venezuelan, and all he talked about the City, was possibly linked to the lives, relationships and families of those who came to us for refuge.
A few weeks previously there was a disturbance in the street because Jets Pit Bull Terrier had jumped from his first floor living room window and attacked another dog on the street and killed it.
We certainly didn’t need a television because one evening we heard a commotion. We looked out of the window to see a woman had got hold of a man by his crotch, with her teeth. Another man had got her by her legs trying to pull her off.
There are very many more similar evil, sad, and humerous experiences I could write about. All these events have been used many times to relate to an area of significance throughout our career. Plus dining out on many others I could bore you with just for their comedy value.
We were both very unaware of the scale of our impact on that community over those years.
I am not suggesting that anyone who reaches out to people in similar circumstances is likely to suffer as we have. Our threshold was already vulnerable due to the Reverends involvement with pornography and sex addiction.
Many times for many months, even years the goodwill and character of the Reverend outshone the Grey One and he was out of sight.
But the Grey One would eclipse the Reverend with increasing momentum.