He is standing so I think I will sit. At his table.
“Get out of my face! You are a piece of s***! Get your f****** face away from my table now!” Food and spittle hit my face as this angry man stands over me leaning in, threatening me, incensed, hateful and fearful. He hates me. He has made that clear. But I bought him coffee, and I sat at his table to talk to him. I dared to challenge him.
And he is scared.
My voice, it sounds so powerless, and I wonder if it is a little cocky, to stand here and defy this man who is threatening to kill me for disrupting his mildly profitable tarot card reading. It is tense, and I am slightly shaken with astonishment.
But I am not scared, not like he is. Just nervous. And I am shaking. They say that excitement and nervousness often manifest themselves in the same way. If that is true, I could just be really excited.
“You don’t have the right or power to tell that girl’s future. What is it that gives you that right?”
There are still a few bystanders, leftover from the last reading observing the scene and sipping coffee. My sister Prayse and my friends, Sidra and Ryan sit at the table behind me. They are praying for me, and I am praying. Hard. Fast. Wisdom God, please show me why this is happening to me today... “...you want to go into the alley to talk!” Bringing me back to his threats of death. He points to his little black book on the table and opens it to a page listen the names of Hell’s Angels associates. “Read my references, and get the f*** out of here...”
I looked into his face, covered mostly by a scraggly grey beard, and he is wearing a truckers cap. His eyes are darting and he is pacing, and seems to be staying a certain distance away from me as though I am diseased.
My friend puts her hand on my shoulder. "We should go", she says. I am sure she can feel how much I am shaking. She is right, what can I do? I challenged his beliefs, disrupted his readings, and the barista is kicking him out. I am not sure I have done the right thing, but there is no reasoning with him. He won't answer my questions.
"And I'd search for reason I'm awake
To hear this song march, blasphemy I'd take"
Goodness where have my thoughts gone. Pray. Pray for him. Pray for the people he has led astray. For those who watched in dismay, and for those who died inside tonight. Pray against the evil, and for those who are caught in the web of lies, the games, the traps, the fear.
I serve a mighty God who is alive, whose breath fills my lungs.
"No weapon that is formed against you will prosper;
and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD,
and their vindication is from Me"
If you are a Christian, you might know this verse. It continues, not with this militaristic language, but a beautiful promise.
Every one who thirsts, come to the waters;
And you who have no money come, buy and eat
Come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without cost.
Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
God promises that nothing will ultimately harm his servants, no matter how powerful the enemy. No matter how much control over their evil they think they are, they are undone.
"I believe in the duality of the universe, in the universality of the mind."
That was what the man told me, when I initially questioned his power. He is wrong, good and evil are not equal forces. Evil cannot trump what is written by God in the foundations of the earth. This man would read the stars? I know who made them.
Friends, stand boldly in Christ. Don't waste your thirst, seeking water from empty wells, buying cheap insights from tricksters.
I am tired. I am numb, and I am subtly moving forward in my understanding of God's love. We are to love those who hate us. Turn the other cheek. Yet in the presence of injustice, and false teaching we are to be bold, unafraid to stand up for what is right. This is the double edged sword of perfect love.
My friends were praying for me. We didn't stop even after we drove home.
And Ed, I hope my presentation of you was honest, and that you may find the truth somehow. I continue to pray for you daily.