Sunday, October 30, 2005
It’s 2:30 in the morning and I am writing this down before I forget it.
I have had another dream. My family was living along a road. We were in filthy clothes and hiding in ditches and trees. It was night and someone was coming.
I lay in the ditch below our tree, contorting my body so that I wouldn’t show among the weeds and dank water. I was clutching a bit of metal rod that had been sharpened on one end. Above me my family was hidden.
Horses cantered up, the knights astride them wore clean clothes and carried beautiful swords. They heard a noise from my family and stopped under the tree, the hoofs of their horses within reach of my hand. They were quietly discussing what to do when one of them glanced down and made out my form in the dark.
“Why look. There is one of them right there.”
I leapt up to defend my family, but they took no notice. They continued to speakly softly. They got down off their mounts and climbed the rude stairs nailed along the sloping tree trunk to where my family was hidden.
I followed. I was terrified of what they may do, and I knew I had to act swiftly before I lost all chances of protecting my family.
In the crook of a branch we had lain some boards to create a place to lie down and sleep. The leader sat down in that squalor, my children fled further up the branches.
I strode up to the warrior and jabbed the point of my bit of metal into his stomach. He looked into my eyes as I confronted him.
“You cannot come and take away from us the little we have. We don’t have much, but if you want our home for the night, you will have to bargain for it.”
He looked at me with clear eyes filled with love, compassion, and something indefinable, something deep.
“No, my friend, you do not understand. We aren’t here to take. I know you think you are doing what is best, that you are defending your family. But this is not where you belong. You and your family belong among the stars, not here in the dirt.”
Those who are regular readers know that I have been struggling with a few things these past few months. I have become convinced that this is more about spiritual warfare than anything else.
It isn’t a subject I enjoy. I love rational thinking. I love science nonfiction, and my views of the world are so conservative that some of my brothers in Christ have tried, gently, over the years to get me to accept a more faith-centered view of creation.
But I am becoming more and more a believer in this supernatural battle that is played out in the mundane world of a mortal life.
My children are from a very dark, very evil, place. They were born in Haiti. My eldest, J., was beaten, abused, intentionally starved, and saw death many times. I believe that he at least watched voodoo rituals, I know he saw scores of corpses during the military coup. My other son bears the scars of ritual burning designed to ward off werewolves.
So I have been reading about spiritual warfare. I am reading about demons and curses and the effects of sin. I am praying with and for my children each night, and I find the entire situation bizarre and a little frightening, but it is my duty to protect my family, and I will do whatever that requires.
So here I sit tapping at the keyboard at my desk in the middle of the night, trying to capture the feeling the dream left in me.
When I looked into those eyes filled with love and compassion and something deeper I knew that someday my family would not be living in the ditches. That we would be wearing clean clothes, and striding through the stars.
The logical part of me wants to defend my position that this is a spiritual struggle by citing all the passages of scripture that I have looked up, that evil is real, and that there really are demons in the shadows according to His word. But I’m not going to do that. Perhaps another time.
Tonight I am just going to close with this thought: I don’t belong in the filth trying to ward off the darkness with a little bit of sharpened metal. I have looked into the eyes of a friend, a brother, a comrade in a greater battle, and have learned that I can lead my family to where nothing can touch us.