She walked in silence going over in her mind what led up to this point, where did she go wrong? He walked next to her and his heart was full of dread for what he would soon see. He was trying his best to prepare himself for his heart and soul to be torn to shreds. They were the parents of the notorious maniac of the Gerasenes, who lived in the lake side tombs and caves. He was caught and bound in chains a few years back after what they could only describe as him going mad. They had no explanation why this happened and every day they think of how this can be. Their lives changed dramatically on that day for they who were once a family in good standing in their village, they now were the objects of gossip and even ridicule for who their son has become. It was a sorrow that had aged them for its incredible weight of condemnation was always upon them. As parents they made it there vow to provide for him as best they could and this would mean they would make regular visits so they could bring food, drink and whatever else they would see well for him. It was a 3 hour walk to get to their son, so they leave as early as they can to insure they would return before nightfall. They leave their other four children to tend to the chores for the day. The children know all too well, the pain that hovers over their family as they suffer together with their parents in the loss of their brother, they miss him terribly and still cry every night for him after 3 years of his ‘death’. They each do their best to make this day as easy for their parents by being obedient to all their wishes and instructions they leave them. They even have learned to do extra for them, so that when they return they may have some kind of joy perhaps to take hold of. Fresh aromatic flowers set out on the table, a flavorful meal made, extra duties done that were never asked – this was their regular routine they did as the vows they too took in treating their parents in their difficulty. They would make sure there was enough water for their parents to take well deserved baths, and they always set out for them fragrant herbs and spices to add to perhaps somehow to soothe their aching souls. At the end of this day, both parents and children are always exhausted, both emotionally and physically – but have accepted it for what it is without any complaint or ill will.
His mother walks now, and is remembering him as a small boy so full of adventure and love for nature. She recalls how it was her normal routine to call out to him to come in for the night or he would stay out to sleep under the stars all night! He loved the outdoors and could not get enough of it, and loved hard work and was not afraid of it, so he grew and become quite skilled and knowledgeable in much. She marveled at how he would know weather almost like it spoke to him before it appeared, or how he would somehow know where to drop his fishing line that would always give great catches and when he instinctively would go to the areas rich with game as if he had a gift of listening to nature so it would reveal to him its secrets. Her joy was to the full for her son, he was her first born and he honored his parents and was a perfect example for his siblings who he loved, what more could she ask for? It is amazing in how the time of their journey seemed to go so quick – as they both seem to get lost in their memories and their mourning for their beloved son. As they near the destination she reflects on the last of the moments he was with them. It was when he and his father began to set out together on hunting trips for he was of age to be of great help. She smiles recalling on the three trips they made in how they would return with enough meat for the whole village! Those days were always occasions for the village to come together and take part in the abundance as they would share what they had and this made for a time of great celebration. Their son would gather all the children together to tell the tales of his exploits and would bring the drama to them like they were there to experience it themselves. They loved his acting, his funny faces he would do to embellish his story.
She is snapped out into reality with her husband asking her if she is ready. They are there now, and they both collect themselves so they may handle what is to come next.
He was the proud father, and the boast of the village – for his son was the son every father wanted to have. They would see that he minded his mother and honored his father in all he did. He loved them and in all he did and this showed. He would regularly gather the neighboring kids with the adventure of the moment, letting them in on the wonder and beauty and respect of the nature around them. He specifically was recalling when his son got into the bee business. He took it upon himself to move a colony of bees into their homestead and remarkably they adapted well, they seemed to accommodate his new estate for them and began in no time to produce honey for their family. He in turn, taught a few of the neighboring children who took interest in how to tend and be a keeper of bees, and to this day, they look after their own bees from the knowledge he imparted to them.
In approaching their sons ‘home’ and try to calm their wildly beating hearts. They are terrified, but their love for him gives them the courage they need to get through this.
They hear the voice. This voice comes from their son, but they know it is not their son’s voice. In fact who it is they visit is not their son – they know this. They are tormented because they hate who it is that occupies their son’s body – and feel torment because of the hate they have, for it is their son they reason after all, how could they hate him? They compose themselves as best they can. Arm in arm they enter in the pathway that leads them to their son’s lair. They see him in a distance and he sees them. He spews out the vilest words, each one penetrating into their hearts like flaming arrows. His mother begins to set out her carefully packaged food items. Bread that she and his sister made the day before, dried meat, some raisin cakes and nuts. She carefully places a towel she has soaked in oils, so he may wash himself. Though she knows he will not, she will continue to bring a clean towel for every visit, for this is how she maintains her sanity; the hope that one day he will wash himself clean of this vile thing that has overtaken him and return home. Now his father lays out for him honey from his bees and a rock, not just any rock, but a rock that he hopes will rekindle memories in his son that perhaps would lead him from this insanity. When they would hunt together, they began a tradition to place a rock dipped in the animals blood and would offer thanks for such bounty. His father made it his habit now, to gather these rocks they once laid to bring here hoping that somehow they would serve as a reminder of who he once was. Though, he looks and sees all the other rocks he has brought strewn about he still places this new one with hope. They both look at him, this stranger and search for their son intently – and begin to back away while they tell him they love him and miss him. They usually only get to speak a few words before they see rise up in their son what they dread. As they hear this monster who wildly shrieks unintelligible words in the midst of obscenities they hasten to leave. In departing they realize there is an odd silence, then hear these words, ‘I miss you Father, Mother…..’ and then more explicit language spews out with the rage of a lunatic. They are stricken to their core and both fall to the ground both taking hold of each other weeping deeply, beyond what this world could ever understand.
I see them, my parents, my heart cries for them, yet out of my mouth is rage for them. Not my rage but what has taken over in me. They (the voices) are angered because they feel my love for my parents– and this makes them very angry. It’s like I am only a sliver in my own body and they are what has control assuming to be my voice and in reality I no longer have a voice. When I do speak up whether it be in thought or in word I am severely punished. I often will cut myself in hope of somehow it able to free me from this inner torment. Though I scream to be let out it is to no avail for and as repercussion I am met with violence by own hand! I am crazy, but I am not – for it’s not really me! Am I really am a monster? They chain me, like one but I break free for it is like I have the strength of a thousand men. I must reason this out, for it is all I have left, the notion that I can at least reason, and I spend my days trying to make sense of this. Oh the voices! I hear too many voices! The words that comes from within and out of my own lips are shocking to my ears. I feel rising in me a surge filled with such fury of their anger over what I just said; ‘I miss you Father, Mother…..’ in this I called to them with all the strength I have. They must understand I have not forgotten them, I am here – your son, I love you! But it is this army in me that keeps me away from them, they beat me daily, they have stripped me of who I am, who I was and I have no way out of this prison. This rage only screams now with such a force of violence that is indescribable like the culmination of hatred collected from the hearts of evil men from all the world. It erupts out of me as I spew this hatred towards them, their hatred for my mother and my father, my heart breaks as I look at their eyes and see their pain as they look at me and run from me like I am a maniac.
Jesus and Legion
A boat with men have just come ashore. They are laughing and speaking words of joy to a Man. Something about how the sea and the wind obey Him. They look up and see the maniac and begin walking towards him. The maniac runs to Him and all the voices within him are silenced except their leader who readies himself to meet this Man. He falls down before His feet trembling and in great fear as he begins to speak. –
“What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!”
The Man asked, “What is your name?”
“My name is Legion; for we are many.”
“Oh please do not send us into the abyss, and instead permit us to enter the swine” he begged
I am a man, who has been in torment to thousands of demons – I hear it with my own ears – by what this Legion has just disclosed, what he says is true and it makes sense – and is what I have lived these past years. I feel the power of this Man, His love and His majesty. He says one word, ‘Go’ and in that instant I am freed! My mind has been given back to me and the voices have been chased away! I feel the health and the wholeness, the peace and joy enter into me – I am clean, I feel clean!
Who is this man, Jesus? I want to know Him!
This Legion was sent into the swine as they wished and the entire herd leapt over the cliff to their death!
I feel Jesus, He takes me by the hand and gently brings me to the place where my parents left their gifts. He takes the towel my mother left for me and washes me, by his own hand! The soothing oils and the beautiful fragrance…of home! He is talking to me words that seem to bring into me life that was once lost. With every tender word He speaks to me, I feel myself strengthen and heal, my mind and my body – being made whole. The cuts, bruises and scars fade with each moment that passes. He calls to the others to gather for me something to wear. They dress me and are hugging me with joy. He has given to me back my life and we rejoice together. We share the meal that was left for me, and rejoice together in the God of all creation of heaven and earth.
“Jesus! I will follow you now!” I proclaim to Him as I see they are readying to continue on their journey. Jesus takes me and tells me that for this reason He came across the sea, just to let me loose but He has another purpose for me.
“Go home to your friends and return to your house tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.” Jesus tells me.
I understand what He says to me, it makes sense and is right. I will be glad to do as He has instructed. I set out leaving this place of horror, these tombs will no longer be my view. I must go to my mother and Father. I run, and run like a marathon runner and do not stop. They are still on their journey home from only hours ago in seeing who I once was. I see them from the distance – and I called to them as I am running toward them I can see they are gripped by fear, so I said ‘It is I, your son – It is me!’ When they heard my words, my voice they began to run to me. We embrace with tears of joy. O the joy! It is they who I tell first about Jesus, and that there is no man too evil that God’s love cannot save for I am living proof.
After my reunion with my family, and village and sharing my testimony I set out to the whole city and proclaimed what great things Jesus had done for me. Little did I know that my words were preparing many for what would be called The Way.
I look back and know that what I went through, and the power that I experienced by the Son of the Living God on the day my life was given back to me – aided to prepare me for what was to come. God in His will led me to Philadelphia in which I was appointed as overseer to the church after being filled with His Spirit to where I am to this day. God in his mercy looked upon a demoniac to appoint him to a life of service to the most High God. Had it not been for the dark days that I went through, I would not have been able to lead and endure what was to come for us, but praise and glory belong to God our Father, And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose! For I have learned that if God is for us, who can be against us? Amen!