Offended Demons

2 05 2009

I was a high school student, it was summer vacation, and I was bent on writing a novel that would allow me to hit the ground running as soon as I reached adulthood.  Well, I was thoroughly entertained by my own work, but anyone else reading it would need a pain reliever.  The title page should have included an MSDS sheet (acute boredom: Visual LD50: 50mg/kg mou).  I was in the middle of proofreading a line, my mom and a friend were on the other side of the room, and my mom was asking me to do something.  I pulled my finger back from where it hovered before the screen, and then I turned to rise.  The next thing I knew, a look of surprise crossed my friend’s face, and the old CRT came crashing down upon the keyboard, popping two keys off and breaking a third.  My friend was squawking like a chicken, “Did you see that?!  Did you just see what I saw?!”  with his mouth agape, he looked like he’d seen a ghost.  My mom rushed over to me and started mumbling something about how my dad works hard to pay for things around here, and we shouldn’t be throwing things around and breaking them.  My friend was trying to convince us that the monitor had been flung through the air, straight at my head, only to stop mere inches from me and fall straight down, onto the keyboard (I say keyboard, but it was one of those Commodore computers where the keyboard was fused with the CPU).  My mom, of course, wanted to know what I had done to make it happen.  I just sat there, stunned, with a monitor in my hands.

 In all of the commotion, my mom did not challenge my friend’s claim as to what had happened, that the monitor had flown a trajectory at my head.  In about a week, a friend of hers mentioned that my mom was praying harder because of some crazy spiritual stuff that was going on around the house, leading me to believe that she had seen exactly that.  I had tried to rationalize it.  I looked for some sane explanation to draw a line between where it sat on its stand and where it ended up on the keyboard.  I tried to simulate how it might have fallen forward with enough momentum to get it to where it landed, but any explanation felt like a stretch, and there was no denying that two other people saw what happened, and they were scared by what they saw.

 Fortunately, I didn’t see it.  I remember lying in bed at night, wondering if I really had annoyed a demon, somehow, and made it want to retaliate.  I also wondered what it was that bothered the beast, so I could redouble my efforts and really irritate the heck out of it.  My mother, undoubtedly, was wondering what had been done to allow the thing into our home in the first place and how to get it out.  My first thought was that the thing didn’t like what I was writing.  I wrote more enthusiastically after that.  My novel was, after all, a story about the Antichrist and the angels and demons involved in that conflict.  There was also the consideration that I had become exceedingly visible as a Christian at school, taking my bible to class, wearing crosses and making absolutely certain everyone knew where I stood in my faith.  Maybe it had something to do with the witch that sat behind me in English class.  Classmates remarked that it was a rather ironic seating arrangement.  She had her pentagram earrings, and I had my bible, and I could feel her looking over my shoulder at it.  But she was actually a rather nice person, over-all, and, by my estimation far closer to the truth than people who say there is no God or people who simply do not care.  I was hot; she was cold, and everyone else was lukewarm.

 In retrospect, I think I can say that something unseen tried to hurt me but failed, and something unseen tried to protect me and succeeded.  After all, despite my own ignorance of the situation, I was not even touched.  Some people might be more than a little petrified at having been the target of some invisible ghoul, but as a well-bullied nerd, I just saw it as yet another feckless attempt by someone to scare me.  Whether that someone is visible or invisible doesn’t change the fact that, so far, the threats have been nothing but threats, and the oppressor never actually hurts me.  It is to be expected that when we live our lives faithfully, expressing that faith to anyone who will listen, someone will hate us.  Someone will try to make us be quiet.  They will slander us and call us names.  If the people don’t do it, then the demons will.  We can’t be like the weak parent that lets her child walk all over her because she’s afraid of making the kid angry.  We must say what needs to be said.  The atheist will criticize my efforts, but he has neither tried to spread the Gospel, nor wanted me to succeed.  He is not an expert in witnessing, and he has never been on my side.

 What’s bad is not how the unbeliever reacts, so much as the believer who takes the side of the unbeliever in criticizing the one who spreads the word.  Some people spread the word through tracts.  Christians and non-Christians alike voice their petulance against it.  Yet, people have come to faith through tracts.  Some people have spread the word in a pushy, aggressive, hard manner, and such people have been denounced by both Christians and non-Christians for…you’ve heard it before… “shoving the bible down their throats.”  Yet, these messengers have succeeded in bringing people to faith in Christ, occasionally.  Even the meekest of witnesses has been met with a long string of insults when that believer has dared to say what she believed, and, as always, there has been some other believer ready at the guns to take the side of the unbeliever in rebuking the messenger of the word.  Yes, and even the meek have had their victories.  God has used everything from a genealogy to a fist fight to make people wake up and accept him, but I have never heard of anyone reaching the unbelievers by agreeing with slander against Christians.

 If the word is true and cuts to the heart, then it makes people cringe.  It gnaws on a person’s mind like an unwanted song that just keeps playing over and over.  It is an ear worm.  It makes people mad.  In fact, they claim that it is stupid and inconsequential, but they betray themselves by writing books and blogs and papers all over the place on this unimportant and petty belief system called Christianity.  It’s so stupid to them, they say, that they spend their lives denouncing it.  In fact, they’re obsessed because the truth of it is nagging at them and they just can’t let it go.  God won’t let them ignore him.  He nags at the back of the mind, because, after all, every living person still has a chance at redemption.  That’s a chance well worth the effort.

 So let the fallen angels and fallen people protest.  I dare not stop.