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Spiritual Warfare

SPIRITUAL WARFARE by Terrie M. Scott, May 18, 2013

Terrie M ScottThis is a Test of the Emergency Broadcast System. Do you believe we're tested? As human beings, I mean. Or is everything a string of random events and coincidences? Who is conducting these tests? Some giant SAT God in the sky?

Tested for what purpose? If demons dwell on Earth, then there are angels among us also. Are they truly in a cosmic battle for our souls?

I don't want to get into a lengthy discussion on theology. Whatever God means to you personally or how a higher life form is represented to you is your own business.

In the 2005 film “Constantine” (starring Keanu Reeves) we are told that “We're born capable of terrible things, but then sometimes something else comes along and gives us just the right nudge.”

Heaven and hell are right here. Behind every wall, every window. The world behind the world, and we're smack in the middle. 

I was raised Protestant, attended a Methodist church faithfully for a good portion of my life. I was so grounded in my Christianity that at the tender age of 15 my sister and I represented the USA at the FIRST International Christian Youth Conference in Cornwall, England (1980), where over 1200 Christian youth from 42 countries came together to discuss such issues as world peace, world hunger and our role on this Earth.

Part of my belief system was to always help others. In the 1973 film “The Exorcist” (starring Linda Blair) Father Damien Karras (played by Jason Miller) is tested when a homeless man asks him for change. The priest does not help the man. When I saw this scene as an impressionable young girl, it bothered me because of the hypocrisy of what he represented and yet finding no mercy for the poor man. Here was this man of God, denying spare change to a homeless man. It was no wonder this oversight was later brought up by the demon that possessed Regan.

I took that to mean someone is always watching us – God, angels, the devil, demons. Just a whisper in your ear to do right or wrong. Influencing us, manipulating us. Always testing us. After all, aren't our very souls at stake?

We all make mistakes, big ones and small ones - so for the sake of argument, I'm just referring to the Good Samaritan that lies - or is absent - in all of us.

Are you apathetic or empathetic? Are you a follower of Existentialism or Spiritualism? Be honest.

I've heard all the arguments about not giving money to homeless people, saying too many are frauds or just want money for booze. This is my blog and I don't care much what others think. In my opinion, let God sort that out.

My sister and I were walking home from school one day when we were in Junior High. I was 12 yrs old at the time. We cut through the mall to grab an ice cream before heading home. At 2pm the mall was practically empty. We turned the corner towards Sears and a man approached us, INSIDE THE MALL perhaps thirty feet away. He was African American, about 60 yrs old, wearing torn clothes. He was filthy, shuffling slowly, walking straight towards us.

My sister and I started crossing over to the other side to avoid him. He followed our movements, crossed over in front of us, kept approaching. What did he want? We stopped walking and moved away from him again. We were both a little scared and avoided eye contact. He looked like he was a vagrant. I'd grown up at this community and had never seen anyone begging there before. And, I had never seen a homeless man in the area before, ever.

He came up to us, eyes clouded over from cataracts or glaucoma, unshaven, smelling like he had not bathed in quite some time and he asked if we had some spare change, said he was starving. I remember closing my hand tighter over the change in my pocket that I had for my ice cream. Ice cream parlor in sight behind the homeless man.

We both said no. We told him we didn't have any money. We lied. He looked at us intently for a moment, his eyes gentle and understanding. He thanked us and stepped aside, no longer blocking our path.

I took two steps away from him and stopped. I just had a very weird feeling come over me that I can't explain. I immediately turned around to give him my ice cream money, not more than a few seconds had passed.

But, he was gone. Vanished into thin air. My mouth dropped open. “Where did he go?” I asked my sister. The doors were behind us and he was walking towards the center of the mall, away from the doors. I told my sister I wanted to give him my money. We looked everywhere for him.

How could he be standing there one minute and no sooner did I step around him was he gone? How was that even possible? He had not stepped into any stores, no one had seen him. We searched for him for awhile. How could he vanish into thin air like that?

Then, it dawned on me. A real moment of clarity. If that was a test? A test of my compassion, my humanity, my willingness to help others, help strangers? Then I failed miserably. All because I didn't want to give up my ice cream money. All those Sunday's spent at church... all those Sunday evenings at youth group... ? I should have known better.

I had just walked two miles. I was hot and thirsty. I just wanted my ice cream. I was being selfish. And, it's in those moments of our own vulnerability, we are caught off guard. He was standing close enough for me to touch him, but when I turned around to give him my money? He was gone. I knew I had been tested.

That single event changed me forever.

My girls can attest to this fact, we don't drive by people holding signs or asking for help. If I don't have money, I give them bottled water or granola bars, pop tarts - anything I have. And, I'll chase down the street, on foot if necessary, after a stray dog, darting in and out of traffic. Animal rescue is a part of my daily life. Many of you have made donations for our homeless cats at the Sedamsville Rectory.

I was inspired to write this blog, because in the past six months, there have been several cases where a dog's mate was struck by a car and killed. The remaining dog stayed by their side for hours, days, waiting for their mate to “wake up.” Whimpering, licking their mate, lying beside their mate, grieving for the mate... Heartbreaking. And, people just watched. No one helped. I don't even know the fate of the dogs that guarded over their deceased partner.

I found it interesting that they were exact, almost similar cases, just different breeds of dogs in different areas of the world. All showing a dog's heroics to protect their fallen mate, while the onlookers stood dispassionately by. Do something, anything? They did nothing.

Don't just walk by... Let's not assume that the man holding the sign on the off ramp is trying to cheat you... Be compassionate. You are responsible for your own actions, not the actions of others. Random acts of kindness. That might be you one day that needs help by the roadside or it might be your dog that gets lost in the neighborhood...

I'm not suggesting we all join hands and sing “Kumbaya” together. Anyone that knows me, knows I prefer dogs to people, so I am not suggesting that. However, HELP. There are so many ways to do so.

I can assure you that when Judgment Day finally arrives, the gates of Heaven won't be interested in your W2 forms or what sort of car you drove.

I'm not trying to tell anyone how to live their lives, nor am I going to judge you.

Sometimes I think it's easy to go to church and think of the sermons and bibles lessons as just stories, folklore, handed down throughout time. These are a testament of faith rather than clear hard science.

How does this spiritual world interact with our physical world?

There is a difference between being raised to believe certain things and then REALLY believing these things actually exist.

The Rectory has OPENED my eyes about a great many things in the heaven and hell battle. When my Dad walks in saying, “Hey Casper.” And soon after has scratches up and down his back in series of threes. You have to stop and think. REAL HARD. It's not myth. It's not folklore. It's not just a sermon you tried hard not to fall asleep through in church. It's real. It's all VERY real.

Maybe this is just some big game and we humans are the pawns.

What do you believe?

I believe that demons are real. And, so are angels. I would rather not peek behind the curtain and see the wizard. I don't understand it, but that doesn't change the fact that it's real. I personally don't think it's some tortured spirit trying to get my attention by shoving me or knocking pictures off the wall. I think something far more sinister is at work, at least at the Rectory.

When people close to you get physically attacked by something not visible before your eyes, it's time to re-evaluate your belief system.

I think places can become a hub for dark energy. When you step into such a place, your belief system is tested to the core. You have to have FAITH. It is a battle for your soul. You can be consumed by it or you can fight it, especially with such a powerful dark energy.

In our attempts to seek answers to our questions, we can be unwittingly pulled into that dark energy and it feeds off of us.

If this is all just a test? A test of our true character? Will it bring out the best in you? Or the worst?

If I am ever confronted head on by what lurks inside the Rectory, I don't want it to manifest itself into that old man I refused to help as a young girl. I would hope that I have long since been forgiven for that indiscretion and paid it back in spades with other good deeds, by the countless animals I have helped save, by being the best Mom I could possibly be. No where near perfect, but I have tried to live my life as best as I could.

I don't really want to know what growls at me inside the Rectory, but it's not an angel. Am I testing its patience? Or is it testing mine?

If it knows my thoughts and my heart, then it knows my true self. Is this enough to ward it off and keep it at bay and to prevent further infestation into my life.

It's like being stalked... by a predator. Circling, circling waiting for a lapse in my defenses, a way in the backdoor to do its bidding. I can feel it close by, nipping at my heels. My own convictions keeping it at a safe distance – not denying the havoc it has already wrought, but I'm still standing. It hasn't not won me over yet. And, still it keeps trying.

While writing this blog I came across a very interesting website, the “Ohio Spiritual Welfare Center – a Roman Catholic Apostolate.” I had no idea something like this even really existed. At first glance, it reminds me of something I'd see in a movie, some secret Catholic society operating in underground caverns, guarding the secret scrolls, warding off evil and the upcoming Apocalypse. The site is interesting reading to say the least. You should check it out.

What I find an interesting contradiction to these comments is where the OSWC says not to even speak to these entities... ignore them.

Ignore them, huh? Well, gosh... I tried that. Remember me? Putting on my classical music. Ignoring them. Well, that worked out well didn't it? I nearly got shoved down the stairs. Hmpf.

Dealing with negative energy has only reinforced MY belief in God.

And, just to be on the safe side. HELP. No matter how small it might seem. STOP and HELP. Whether it's an animal, a homeless person, and elderly woman struggling to open a door... whatever, just HELP.

Score one for the good guys, okay?

Stay safe everyone. It's not fun and games. You have more at stake than you might realize.

As Bilbo Baggins says, “It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”