A week of at least partial solitude sounded fantastic. It ended up to be more phantasmic. Maybe. I’ll never be sure. Regardless, I never want to see it again.
I had been studying angels ever since Mrs. Seale and I talked. (Alaska III) To do so, I learned to take advantage of the resources at the University of Alaska – Anchorage, when I could get there. I had no transportation that summer, except for a pair of Vasque Sundowners and sometimes a borrowed mountain bike. I soon discovered books at UAA that I had not found before. Occult resources that were previously out of reach were readily available here. So I compared what the Bible (& apocrypha) had to say on point to what the opposite end of the spectrum revealed. My studies became very interesting and I spent all the time I could at the library.
And then I moved to the trailer park. My assignment was to prepare lessons for another backyard Bible club, and try to gather up kids from the park to attend. I had a week by myself in an old mobile home to accomplish this.
I started my first day by going door to door. The last time I had tried that was at New Hope for my first week, and except for a pit bull coming out from under the steps I was standing on to lunge for my ankle, it was not a bad experience. A chain caught him before he got me. I was not having good reception at all in this neighborhood though, with some people not even coming to the door after they peered through the blinds on their windows. There was something creepy about the whole place. At about the third house, a sympathetic lady opened the door and listened, and asked me how my luck was going. “Not great.” She then explained that the last person that stayed in “my” trailer molested a few local kids after luring them to his place. “Really!?” Really… Well crap.
This was certainly discouraging. I walked back to my old trailer and sat on the old dirty sofa inside, and wondered what had ever happened in this room. In the bedrooms. In the bathroom or the kitchen. Why did I have to stay here, of all places? I continued my spirit study to take my mind off the inevitable failure in this neighborhood. After dinner, I prepared for bed shortly after dark. The first bedroom on the right past the living room had a bunk bed against the right hand wall. After discovering that the tap water was blackish, I gave up, laid down in the bottom bunk, turned the light off and shut my eyes. As soon as I shut my eyes I noticed it made no difference. I opened them again to nothingness. Blackness.
Not black like a good fabric, with a little contrast in it, or the night sky with stars, or even pavement with streaks visible. There was nothing visible. I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face.
This blackness was the creepy kind, that makes you wonder if you’ll ever see light again at all; that is so blinding – disorienting that you don’t know where to reach to even try to find the light switch.
I shut my eyes again and fell asleep. I don’t know how long I slept, but I was startled awake by someone in my room. I opened my eyes to see – well – I have no idea. To create a mental picture, let’s start with Batman. Now give him glowing, whitened, enlarged eyes, elongated ears, and no mouth at all. Rather than a muscular build, reduce him to a skeleton wrapped in matte black latex, with matching bony ebony wings. And silent.
Scared the living bejeebies out of me. I knew it was a nightmare and I must not be awake, so I drew the covers up over my head and began flexing muscles and pinching myself to wake up. Once I was confident of my consciousness, I looked out from covers again to find the same being. This time I covered up and closed my eyes tightly again and prayed for it to leave. I tried looking out again, only to find it still standing beside my bed – not moving; making no sound; letting its mere presence do its job.
I covered one more time and prayed as I had learned to pray through my studies, as the apostles did in the Bible against similar problems. I opened my eyes again and it was gone. It didn’t even seem quite as black as before, though I still couldn’t see my own hand. I breathed freely for the first time since I had been awakened, thanked God, rolled over and slept till daylight streamed through the window.
As I gazed from my bunk at the dust particles floating in the morning sunshine, I wondered how I could possibly make out the features of a black being in a room where I couldn’t even see my hand. Proof that it was a dream, I told myself. But what about the fact that I awakened myself? That was part of the same dream? (London III)
The Bible, and other books, make a solid case for the real appearance of God and angels in dreams. (Gen. 28:12 & 31:11; Matt. 1:20; 2:12 & 2:19) So again, how do you know if you are just dreaming of this subject, or being visited? No comprendo.
If that being was real, its name was Fear. The next morning Fear was not in the neighborhood. For whatever Reason; by whatever Coincidence, children were willing to, and did, come to the backyard Bible club, and it was one of the better ones we had. Apparently sometimes you have to get past Fear to accomplish your mission, and sometimes Fear is more determined than others. It seems to me though, that Fear is generally passive. It doesn’t grab you, or scream, or manhandle you. It simply stands there and leaves your actions in response up to you. You can pray it away, go around it, or ignore it if possible, but sometimes we just freeze in its presence. That’s the objective of that dark being.
The whole experience gave FDR’s immortal words of his 1933 inaugural address new meaning.
But then if I give FDR credit, I should also go 340 years back to Mr. Bacon, in 1593:
God and I had conquered Fear, to some degree, at least in that neighborhood. Three kids became Christians and I was ready to move on to my next mission.