This from Lena:
Everyone else had given up on the Village Scary Guy. You know who I am talking about—the one who sets your spiritual Geiger counters to the tune of the William Tell Overture. The Bible clearly states that folks re-routed their paths to avoid the lifeless zone where he wandered. Where everyone else took their u-turn, Jesus headed straight in his direction and cast a whole crew of demons out of him and into a herd of pigs worth a fortune. The townspeople react like a mother who just found her toddler “decorating” her new Coach bag with permanent marker. They weren’t happy.
To Jesus, the treasure of one soul was worth the porcine fortune lost in one glorious episode of rescue. The freedom of one soul was worth more than a treasure trove of bacon and pork chops. Can you imagine how much even one of those pigs cost? Can you imagine how freaky it was to see the Village Scary suddenly sane and harmless-looking at the same time you see a herd of dead pigs floating in the river? It was disgusting, gross, scary, and messy. So they asked Jesus to leave.
This one fact—that they asked Jesus to leave—won’t leave me lately. I can’t stop feeling broken over their desire for him to leave.
At that moment of determining to follow Jesus, every truly-saved sinner knows what was going on in his own heart. The sense that this Jesus is really going to “mess up my life” is imminent. He starts reviewing all the things he suspects this crazy savior—crazy enough to give his life for us willingly—is going to ask of him. The first rays of light in ages breaks into his creepy attic, and instinctively we know that a housecleaning is about to begin.
Even more so, there are moments when seeking Jesus looks weird or even crazy…praying for someone with serious disabilities, cancer. I suspect that casting demons out looks more orderly for those with a lot of practice, but so far my experiences have been crazy looking. Following Jesus means that you begin to walk in a reality that is not visible, and you become a member of a Kingdom that has different rules than this earth.
I remember a moment when I was still new in the Lord and I was in a coffee house with a friend. She was such a sweet believer…the Lord had rescued her out of many things, and as we talked, we felt the presence of the Holy Spirit growing stronger. There was an electric presence of the Holy Spirit that day. We were talking about revival and how much God wanted to touch the little college town where we lived. I remember thinking, “What are you up to, Lord?” One of those famous local crazy guys was also in the coffee house. If I had been alone, I probably would not have engaged him, but my friend had such a loving presence, and she began to talk to him. She told him how much Jesus loved him and had such a sweet tone. I was already feeling the presence of the Spirit, and I can’t tell you if it was the “mature” thing to do, but I started rebuking the evil spirits in my prayer language, and the guy threw his cup of coffee at me. The owners asked us to leave, called the cops, and closed the coffee shop for the afternoon. True story.
I know that there are those who will say that I was immature, that we shouldn’t have “gone there.” To be honest, I am not sure it would play out like that in my life today. I can tell you, though, that our hearts at that moment were set on following Jesus and seeing his Kingdom come, and that is how it ended!
I have a hate/love relationship with these crazy moments when He wins me….I hate risk, and I am anything but an adventurer at heart, but when He gets a hold of me, there is no telling what He will talk me into.
I wish I could say that every time he has tried to break the part of me that prefers control to holy insanity, that he has won. I don’t want to ask him to leave, ever…and yet, I know that my actions betray me. There are days when you just know that if you step just one baby step closer to the Lord, you are going to be signing your name to some costly enterprise. Costly perfume is going to pour, or some pigs are going over the cliff. We reach that moment of decision and…we either take a step closer or step away. Some say the cost is just too high and they ask Jesus to leave. Others step into the crazy without regret.