Sometimes I forget just how far my thinking has changed since I left
Possum Creek Christian Fellowship only be to reminded in a very big
way when I least expect it. The other day I was reminded how much my
thinking on ‘The Devil’ has changed.
I was working at the quilt studio helping a customer pick out coordinating fabrics for borders and bindings on several quilts she was finishing up. This customer was someone I knew vaguely from my PCCF days, a lady that attended a sister church that has split off from PCCF named Abundant Grace Fellowship. This lady, Michelle M., was a regular at both of the studios, the fiber arts-quilting one and the fine arts studio. She is one of those few from my former world that actually deigns to speak to me like I’m a human being, not an enemy or someone to be pitied.
As I stood at the cutting table unrolling the fabric bolts and cutting her fabrics, the door behind me, the one leading into the employee area, slowly mysteriously creaked open on its own. It opened fully, both sides of the saloon-style door flaying out until you could see all the way to the back door of the building.
Michelle startled, gasped and moaned out, ‘What was THAT?’ I kept cutting before answering her with a shrug and a smile, ‘That’s just our ghost’
The studio is in a former Presbyterian church. The church was constructed in the late 1700’s before becoming our shop ten years ago when the congregation outgrew the building. A building that old is bound to have a few quirks or perhaps unusual visitors. Everyone who works there has seen the opening closing door leading to the employee area. We sometimes hear footsteps upstairs and what sounds like people talking from the upstairs.
For some reason I think our visitor’s name is Charles and he was a former pastor of the church. I think he comes back to check to make sure everything is in order. It’s not spooky, it’s just the way things are there. We’re used to whatever it actually is.
The building next door was a tuberculous sanitarium from that same time frame and people have seen strange shadows and lights inside. Across the street is a pre-Civil War hotel also rumored to have unexplained phenomena.
I’d forgotten until that exact moment how Fundamentalism views anything outside of the norm until Michelle opened her mouth and begin to berate me for trucking with The Dark Side. This was clearly DEMONIC!!! and I must cast it out with prayer and the BLOOD OF JESUS!!! It’s a DEMON!
Before I could think I started laughing hard and telling Michelle, ‘If that’s a demon he’s the most ineffectual evil I’ve ever seen. All he does is open and close the door.’
Which opened the door to her shouting out a huge screed about how God was punishing Japan and that demonic activity caused the tragedy over there along with the election of our president. DEMONS! DEMONS! DEMONS!
I was biting my tongue so hard and trying not to bray out that the pressure of molten magma at the core of the earth makes Tectonic plates shift which causes earthquakes that result in tsunamis, not demons or the wrath of the Almighty. It’s basic scientific facts.
Later that day I got a phone call from an old friend telling me she’d heard I was fooling with dangerous demonic things and was on the path to hell. I tried to explain to her my thinking that so-called ‘ghosts’ have a scientific basis, like perhaps the electrical currents that run our nervous system don’t always dissipate when we die. I believe that’s why most of these sites thought to be haunted have off the charts high electrical readings. It’s just something we don’t know about yet.
Anything mysterious and unknown, is chalked up to demonic activity in my old church, not science, not the fact that there’s so much unknown out there, not to facts but to old Beelzebub. Well, the Devil must be busier than the proverbial one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest according to what all gets laid at his feet as his ‘fault.’ I think he gets a bad rap, surely we, circumstances, science, and other things screw up way more things than some ultimate evil.
This Demon-thinking is so rooted in fear, fear of the unknown. I’m so glad I don’t live in that fear any longer. There’s just too much unknown out there that I like to ponder to waste time being afraid. Living in fear is paralyzing. I much prefer thinking for myself and coming to my own conclusions instead of being told what to think.
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