To see GSJH “less darkly” – a love story (1)

*** (God Soft Hands Jesus)

The reason for this story? To see GSHJ “less darkly” – and a question from Julia: (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.


14 thoughts on “To see GSJH “less darkly” – a love story (1)

  1. See Just like Peter, He wont let us drowned – even when we fear even when we doubt. He wont let us go. When things like this have happened to me I thought it was something I had done wrong (sin you opened the door), but the fact is we belong to Jesus and Satan doesn’t like us. Satan cant touch us unless the Lord allows and God will use everything. God is teaching us to know and trust Him that much more. God’s Peace and Blessings!

  2. Wow, Paul. Wow.

    Part I of your love story took me by surprise. I hardly expected to walk into a horror story filled with the terrifying presence of the devil, but then…oh yes, but then (Jesus is our amazing But Then, huh? He is the answer to all of our battles, all of our struggles, all of our doubts) the Hero of your story (and ours), your Savior (and mine), stood between you and the terror, filling the room and your heart with a peace only He can give. What a wondrous dance indeed.

    If that moment birthed the you that is here, the you that pens words and insight from the depths of your being, the you that converses daily with GSHJ and shares so openly with us what you learn, then I am thankful. I am thankful for the silence. Thankful for the dance. Thankful for GSHJ’s protection. Because now, you allow. Always.

    • Hiya Heather – It was not the most obvious starting point. Yet it had to be. Because it broke down so many barriers. We have a real pick and mix approach to God-stuff. “There is only one God obviously, and I knew someone once who had seen a ghost but … (and the waffles starts)”. And then the “Well obviously Jesus is okay, but God – He did (and the examples of smiting and smarting begin)” And then the ongoing “I am a sinner but I am not sure about this “devil” …”

      Hand in the air – Mr Hotchpotch here.

      Once you have seen the devil tamed, real evil that close and yet kept safe – it becomes personal. And it becomes freeing. I know I am not the only one with an experience in the category of “weird stuff”. I have spoken to others. Some are freaked, others embrace it – and for everyone there is no one way. And almost no one admits it. No one wants to be labelled “nuts”.

      LM nails it in the next segment. LM says so much in so few words. We seek the middle – we find our own safety. And – with hindsight – this one evening cured me of that. I no longer need to find my own safety. Because He provides – if I allow. It is that simple.

      Does any of that make sense? 🙂

  3. Dear Paul,
    I guess my next question is about context. What had your relationship been like with Jesus before this moment? How had you viewed the devil? How did you view social media and talking to people on the other side of the world? Was this one of many moments in your walk of Faith?
    Sometimes when I read the Bible, especially the Gospels, it is the stories of the ordinary people that convince me that they are real people like you and me. And that Jesus walks amongst us. Of the disciples-who would you say you were most like-Peter, John or another? To which story of healing or encounter with Jesus do you most relate? You saw the devil in bright colours, and vivid imagery, and with fear you froze. What a privilege to see Jesus protecting you. In the dull ordinary, can the devil slip by us unnoticed.
    Too many questions? Answer only what is connected to your story.
    Best wishes,

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