This has been a terrible week. It started with a call from someone telling me that I was being stabbed in the back. When I tried to turn around to see who was doing that I was slapped and told to face forward or else the ranks of my assailants would grow and I would surely die. What a dilemma. I didn’t want to die and I didn’t know if God wanted me to turn around and fight or just stand still and trust Him. After all, He said that if someone steals your coat give him your cloak too, and if someone slaps you on the cheek, turn and let Him slap the other. So I wondered if that also meant that if someone stabs you in the back you should let Him. Now that would be fine with me because I am sure that God would heal the wounds, or if need-be resurrect me, but for two things. I wonder if I deserve to be stabbed, well I don’t mean murdered exactly but if the stabbing is the result of something I did to open that hole for the Enemy to destroy me. If that is the case, I have work to do to close that hole. Secondly, I wonder if I should develop fight-skills. St George, Archangel Michael, King David, Joan of Arc, did not turn the other cheek and God was with them.
I read a book once that described what happens after the body dies and it said that as the soul is ascending it passes through a place of cross examination, where demons accuse the person of wrongs trying to pull him or her down with them. The person’s soul must defend itself, with the help of angels, saints and his or her own good deeds. Ultimately, the soul is either brought down by the demons or is allowed to pass through to heaven. [The Future Life According to Orthodox Teaching by Constantine Cavarnos] I think about that from time to time and figure I should practice defending myself so I can pass and ascend. Resisting demons by self defense is a fight skill.
Besides the attempted murder, I realized this week that in times of trouble or need I could not count on help from a particular friend. That was another blow that I did not expect, but hopefully I will always be more reliant on God than on any man. It was just a disappointment.
To add to the terrible week, another friend and fellow aspiring immortal went to the hospital and was suffering greatly. This shook me up quite a bit because we aspiring immortals are like one big body of a person and what afflicts one cell of us afflicts the closest cells too. So part of me was on morphine and other terrible drugs to stay alive.
The work week ended with the news that a team member’s son took his own life. Just the thought of such horror, even miles away, like an explosion of an atom bomb in a neighboring town, was nearly unbearable. I wrote these parents-in-anguish a letter in which I pulled out every salve I could muster-up to help heal them (and me too) from this tragic news.
The previous week it had occurred to me how protected my life is from so many evils, and I am grateful. Some lives are so beset with troubles, as mine was in the past, those days that steered me to the path of aspiring immortals. This week I practiced my old regimen of running to the Lord, to the Bible for answers and guidance. I remembered the days when I was taught to see with my heart and not my eyes, to turn from evil with a spiritual jump from its frightening precipice knowing that I would be caught by my Savior.
I suppose that if I turn the other cheek to my back stabbers, even if I am wrong to do so, God will know that I did the wrong thing for the right reasons. And if I deserve the loss of protection, hopefully He will tell me what I need to do to close the breach that let such evil in. Hopefully too; next week will be another joyous peaceful one. That’s one good reason why time is so valuable on this old earth; evil passes away with time and that is good. It is also good when God’s spirit-army does the fighting for us.