(This is a true story - the names have been changed to maintain anonymonity): John's story is a heartbreaking one. When he was pretty young, his mother began selling his body to a couple of men in order to pay the rent. This went on for several years. His mother is an alcoholic, and she either gave him alcohol or at least didn't keep it away from him, and now he is an alcoholic, too. He had been doing fairly well at staying away from it--he's been through rehab--but all of a sudden, he started back in and some other things started happening in his life--things that really point to demonic activity. His wife and my daughter (who has been more of a mother to him than his own mother by far), tried to get him to go for counseling (and maybe deliverance) with her church pastor and his team. On Wednesday, John went as far as the door to the church with Jane, and she said it was as though someone grabbed him and threw him against the wall of the church. He lay there unconscious for awhile, then jumped up and ran out to the middle of the street and threw himself down in the street (this is in a city). They got him up from there and called for help. Some officers came, supposedly to take him to a mental health clinic to put under a suicide watch, but instead, they took him to a regular hospital. Then they either released him or he walked out on his own and went home. My daughter picked up Jane and picked up the kids from school and went back over to their apartment, where John proceeded to threaten Jane (that he would kill her). My daughter took Jane and the kids to her own home. John called several times with more threats, then yesterday morning called and told her that since she didn't love him any more he was going to move in with his mother (who lives in a nearby city) and from there he was going to go to another state where he will live with a man there. Jane wants him to come back if he will (1) go to church with her and (2) stay away from alcohol. Keep in mind here--John is normally a loving and gentle soul, quiet and happiest when he can stay in the background. These past few days' activities sound so totally unlike him that it's hard to believe it is the same person. I think if he has a wish to be fulfilled (at least when he is himself), he would wish to be free or maybe even to be able to start his whole life over.
John sat upon the park bench staring at nothing in particular. His heart was in shreds and filled with a darkness he could not escape. He was oblivious to the beauty around him; the soft breeze that caressed his face, the warm sunshine, the butterflies that flitted here and there amongst the flowers and the sound of birdsong. He was trapped in a vise of despair and silent desperation that closed ever tighter about him like a boa constrictor; crushing the life from him.
The steady sound of weeping slowly brought him to the surface for a moment and he looked in the direction of the sandlot where a little boy was cowering before two larger boys who were obviously bullies. They kicked him, slapped him and shouted vile things at him. John’s heart filled with rage at the plight of the little boy and before he knew it he was striding towards the bullies who were preparing to do even worse damage from the look of their curled fists.
John caught the first bully’s arm as he swung back to land a crushing blow; his rage at the mistreatment of the smaller boy filling him with a righteous anger. He threw the bully down onto the sand and then turned to deal with the next one. What he saw made him recoil in horror. It was not a boy but a monster disguised as a boy. Its yellow eyes were filled with hatred for both him and the small boy crouching before him in a fetal position, shielding his head from the oncoming blow. John quickly recovered. He would not let this thing hurt the young boy; not anymore! He flung himself upon it and grappled it onto the ground. It shrieked with an ear-splitting scream but despite its’ size it was no match for John’s fury and after a few minutes struggle he quickly subdued it. It ran off along with other one disappearing from sight.
Breathing hard and shaking with the adrenaline coursing through his veins John turned his attention to the small boy. He put a gentle hand upon the lad’s shoulder who looked up at him gratefully with a tear-streaked face. John stepped back a few paces in bewildered shock and fear. The boy looked strangely familiar and it frightened him. The boy reached up both arms to him; wanting to be picked up and comforted after his fright. Despite his unwillingness to do so, John could not find it in his heart to refuse. He picked up the lad in his arms and held him close to his breast. Together they wept; mourning the loss of innocence and the years of childhood stolen and stained by evil. John wept great heaving sobs and the harder he cried, the softer the boy cried then suddenly the boy was gone and it was John who was the little boy and he was being held in the arms of a man that blazed with a light so great he couldn’t open his eyes. His tears became a cleansing flood that washed away the grime and guilt of years past; his shoulders shaking. All the while, the man who held him whispered words of indescribable love and forgiveness into his ear. He felt his spirit healed, his wounds soothed. John’s sobs gradually abated and when he finally looked up he was staring into the eyes of eternity and in them he found complete acceptance and forgiveness.
“Who are you?” he asked in a coarse whisper although he already knew the answer.
“I am the One who loves you,” came the soft reply. “and I am waiting for you to welcome me into your heart so I can restore the years that have been stolen from you. If you will trust Me and give all of yourself to Me; the years before you will be truly blessed.”
John stared at him; he was at a crossroads. Which way would he choose? The way of life and restoration or the path of destruction. He straightened up and placed his shaking hand into that of the Savior’s and was greeted with a brilliant smile that filled his broken heart with joy.
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