*** (God Soft Hands Jesus)
The reason for this story? To see GSHJ “less darkly” – and a question from Julia: https://justmebeingcurious.com/2015/01/24/to-see-gshj-less-darkly/ (and work forwards if you wish)
I was terrified! No dramatics. No hyperbole. Terrified is the only word to describe it. One evening. In our own home. Just me at my computer. Reading the words of someone on the other side of the world.
Was I being groomed for some weird sect? Was I being flattered and then reeled in like a complacent fat fish? Would I be able to retrieve myself and my soul if I went any further? Fear does things. And it was doing two things that evening. Fear was freezing my will and my body. Complete mental and physical inertia.
I remember every detail of that evening.
Because the devil showed up. And I mean “The Devil Showed Up”. And just to make it easy for me to know it was him – he was the cartoon character red devil with horns. Unlike the cartoon character – his impact was to cause me to stop breathing. Really stop breathing.
Does feeling like you are about to die feel like that? Impending. Inevitable. Intense.
The devil and this “sect” on the other side of the world were ready. Had joined forces. To whisk away my mind, my soul and my sanity. The devil was stalking me. Sizing me up. Circling me. Greedily. With a drooling anticipation. Total evil. Terminal evil. Right there in my own room – in our own home.
And then Jesus showed up.
And still I was terrified – just a pawn in this power game. No idea what was happening or how this would end. Other than I was no more.
How does that work – that seeing through the back of your head? Me looking at the computer screen yet seeing every detail behind me.
But Jesus (he was just Jesus then – long before GSHJ) kept Himself between me and the devil. He was facing me – looking at me – his back to the devil. Yet every time the devil moved, so did Jesus. Again and again and again. And as I sat there rooted to my stool – eyes on the keyboard – I saw this slow dance behind me.
Jesus was protecting me. Keeping the devil from me (if I hadn’t expected to die any second it would have been beautiful).
I remember every detail. It lasted a lifetime. It probably lasted only seconds. I have no idea what the clock was doing.
I so remember the fear. And I do remember the wonder. That slow dance. The silence. Not a word spoken. Not a sound. I remember He kept Himself between me and the devil. He kept me safe.
And gradually that realisation sank in.
Gradually the fear went. Gradually the peace and silence was comforting. And with that peace came awareness. Awareness that I was not being groomed for something deadly.
And somewhere around then both the devil and Jesus vanished. The room was just a room again. I was just me again.
But not just me.
I had been invited to step into something. And it was something more beautiful than I ever imagined was possible. As safe as I wanted or needed. It was a place of safety. A place of freedom. A place of God.
I was being invited to a party. The real party. The one wherein God Soft Hands Jesus is real. As real as the keyboard I am bashing away on right now. Where the devil is also as real as this same keyboard. But no longer scary.
No longer a “bump in the night”. No longer unseen and imagined. I had seen the devil. And I had seen Jesus. And I had seen Jesus protect me. And just like Peter and his wobbly water walking – I knew something with absolute certainty right then – and it has never left me – it sustains me – it has set me free.
If I keep my eyes on God Jesus – if I allow always –
Then He will ALWAYS keep me safe from that evil. My soul is His. He will always place Himself between me and the devil. I am safe. I am free.
It is a party I wish never to leave.
That, dear reader – dear Julia, is when our love story really took off! That is when I really began to see GSHJ less darkly.