Tuesday, November 16, 2010

True Church Stories - #10

Woops!  I realized that Friday I promised  to do a church story about demons on Monday and yesterday I blogged with a true church story about Dustin.  Oops!  Sorry, I was having a brain warp.  My son and demons have nothing in common.  Here we go with the next church story about demons as promised.  This one has to do with Savanna, but she's not a demon either, she just witnessed an encounter with one!  :) 

Shortly after we came to Tampa almost nine years ago (has it really been that long?) our church was doing the popular production, "Heavens Gates Hells Flames."  The cast was rehearsing for the show and although I was not in the production, I took care of  preparing and serving a meal for the cast and crew during rehearsal.  I was in the kitchen and fellowship hall area cleaning things up after and my husband and the music minister at the time took a break from rehearsal down in the sanctuary and came up for a moment to talk to me.  Our daughter Savanna and the music minister's daughter were both about five years old at the time and they were down in the sanctuary watching the rehearsal.   Suddenly the two girls ran from the sanctuary and came through the fellowship hall doors crying, "We're scared!!!  We're scared!!!"  They became afraid watching the play rehearsal, and came to us for comfort, crying about the demons in the play.  Both girls sat on their daddies laps and we all comforted them saying, "girls, it's okay, it's just a play.  It's not real."

The girls sat there a few minutes and we dried their tears and gave hugs and once sufficiently comforted I took them down to the nursery  told them that we had more work to finish up before we could leave but they could stay there and play with some toys. 

I went back down to the kitchen to work and the men were sitting there talking and a few minutes later two ladies came walking into the foyer, who were not a part of our church.  They were looking for a pastor, and fortunately for them they found three.  My husband said, "Ladies, can we help you with something?"  And one of them pointing to her friend said, "yes, we need help.  She's demon possessed."  

We definitely believe in demon possession, but at the same time don't just accept it at face value when someone refers to someone else as possessed, without investigating more.  While they may indeed be,on the other hand, they may just be irritating,  have personality quirks, a mental challenge, or just a total  lack all of the fruit of the spirit.  But this lady was convinced, her friend was possessed and she said, "Pastor, she's possessed, and she doesn't want to be possessed anymore.  She wants this thing out of her!  Can you all please pray for her to be set free?"

We invited them to come from the foyer into the fellowship hall and said we'd be glad to pray for her.  No sooner had started praying for her than she flew across the room and spun around.  She was actually thrown across the room with such a force that her shoe came flying off and sailed across the room. (They were Nike's...I'll never forget it!)  We knew we were, in fact, dealing with demons.  As they manifested and began speaking through her we cast them out and she accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior and after a while of praying with her, she was completely set free.

However unbeknownst to us during all this, our girls had wandered down from the nursery and peeked into the room where we were praying with this lady.  With eyes wide as saucers they witnessed the whole thing!!!  Once it was over they once again began crying and said, "You said it wasn't real!  You said it wasn't real!!!"  Oh my!!!  Can you say, "huge parenting mistake"???  I realized at that moment that the very reason churches put these productions on is to warn people of spiritual realities.  While it's drama...it's SO REAL!!!

We really screwed up the first time when we had told them it wasn't real -- we should have taken a bit more time the first time to explain that while the play was not real, it was a depiction of things that truly ARE real and most importantly --  because of the power of Jesus we don't have to be afraid.  After explaining all this to them properly the second time, we shared that while the lady was possessed by a demon, we had nothing to fear because Jesus was with us, they were okay.  They could see the outcome right in front of them -- the demons lost and Jesus won!

Something HUGE that I learned from this true life situation was that as I comfort my children from their fears, I do need to speak reality but let them know that through the power of God we are victorious.  This was a huge learning lesson for me as a parent and as a pastor.

1 comment:

Ruth said...

Amen!! Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world! I've enjoyed reading your true stories. Still think you should write a book. :)