FRAGMENTS of a PARALLEL UNIVERSEJuly 31, 2010
This post is going to delve into the aspects of two worlds that most are not familiar with. The first aspect will discuss biblical accounts of demonic possession. The second aspect is the ongoing situation with our son Matthew. It’s important to point out that I “do not” consider autism to be a form of possession. While I often inquire as to the bigger picture that is in play, Matthews behavioral patterns are solidly in line with those of autism. He has never tried to intentionally harm himself, he is incredibly intelligent, and has a very unique personality. He truly does not appear to be under the control of an entity. The reason that I’m discussing the two in one post is that both situations place incredible stress on a family. I can “sort of” relate to what these folks must have went through. As of late, Matthew has been given to increasingly frequent outbursts of aggression; aimed primarily at Mrs timbob and Megan. Other behavioral patterns have become so disruptive that our household is literally at a breaking point. In both situations, possession and autism, the answer lies with the Lord Jesus.
I cannot help but wonder what the consensus would have been concerning Matthew in previous centuries. He may well have been locked away and nobody would have known about the incredible aspects of his personality. Despite the challenges, he is a fascinating person and allowing him to be taken elsewhere is unthinkable. Even now, well-meaning acquaintances who are familiar with the situation will say “just put him in a home.” And after he spent much of last night “totally wound up and howling,” the temptation to entertain such thoughts was profound. (He occasionally has “all-nighters” like this; especially if his diet has been altered) Many are quick to remedy misunderstood, or trying situations by placing them out of site. Matthew is not “a problem;” he is a child who has a problem. He needs folks in his life who are atuned to the Holy Spirit and determined to see to his well-being. A standing prayer request of mine is that the name of Jesus will be glorified in his life. I don’t see every curve and bump in the road ahead, but the Lord sees the end from the beginning. And now, to explore a couple of biblical acounts where a soul was in torment and those closest to them were at their wits end.
Mark 9:14-15 “And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them.
And straightaway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him.
Some context is needed here. Jesus is just returning from the mount where he was transfigured in the presence of Peter, James, and John. These three disciples would never again be the same as they were beforetime. Now they are back in the world; standing on a spiritual battlefield where things don’t appear to be going smoothly. There is a post about the transfiguration entitled: HIS COUNTENANCE WAS AS THE SUN SHINETH IN HIS STRENGTH On the mount of transfiguration, they saw Jesus as he is. How imperative it is always be mindful of who Jesus is. He is the King of kings and by him all things were created. He knows the hearts of all and sees the conclusion of all matters. The degree to which this understanding resides in our heart will directly influence our level of faith (or lack thereof) in this contrary world.
Mark 9:16-18 “And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them?
And one of the multitude answered and said, master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;
And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake unto they disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not”
This man was at the point of losing all hope that his son would ever be delivered from the control of this entity. This was amplified when the disciples were likewise unable to cast out the entity. Others were delivered, but his son was still possessed. This must have been beyond discouraging; both for the father and for the disciples who were having to try and explain why they had not been able to cast out the entity. While I can relate to the frustration of not knowing what to when things aren’t as they should be and nobody seems to have any answers, I cannot even begin to imagine what this father was going through. (Even though Matthew is constantly full of surprises, every behavior falls within the defined symptoms of autism) A couple of verses later, we read:
Mark 9:21-22 “And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.
And oftentimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.
Matthew is prone to wandering. Several times, he’s wandered into the fields and we’ve had to request the assistance of local law enforcement in locating him. This is one aspect of autism; that of being aloof and given to wandering. We have to literally padlock the doors of the house from inside (In the event of an emergency, however, the brackets can be easily broken) while all of the windows are fixed so that they can only open about five inches. He has escaped often through both. But he has “never” tried to inflict harm upon himself, which seems to be a standing characteristic of possession. The last two words in verse 22 are “help us.” Not only was this son in need of deliverance, this family in need of a solution to a problem that had driven them to the brink. Demonic possession is like a black hole as it seems to distort the very laws of physics. The fallen entities wreck havoc; both upon the victim and in the in the lives of those in the ambience. This writing is causing another moment of wondering “do we have even a remote understanding of the battle that we’re in the midst of?” Oftentimes I go into the streets, feeling almost overwhelmed by both the complexity and intensity of the spiritual battlefield.
In the above account, the incident of possession is a piece of a larger story that’s playing out. In the following story, however, the possessed individual is front and center:
Mark 5:2-3″And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him, out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit.
Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains.”
I must shift gears for a second as an observation is called for. This man dwelt among the remains of those who were no longer alive. I’ve been noticing lately an alarming increase of imagery that focuses on death. Go into any retail outlet and one will find scores of shirts, jewelry, backpacks, and what have you, with skulls on them. A skull is the remnant of one who is no longer living and it’s become “trendy” to parade such imagery. These skulls are usually accompanied by pictures and wordings that “do not” conjour up thoughts of sunny and seventy. All the while, those in the arenas of theater and merchandise profit from this disturbing fad. One day, while passing through an electronics department, I noticed a movie that was entitled “Drag Me To Hell.” (I mean…WHOA!) This is nothing new, however, this dark imagery and theme seems to be manifesting in every venue. Fascination with death. Fascination with dark sentences and sinister intent. It’s all part of the conditioning. Hell is literally coming to the surface in these last days and folks are becoming increasingly desensitized to the attributes of evil.
Mark 5:4-5 “Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.
And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.”
We don’t know anything about his early years or his family, however, we do know that every attempt to rein him in had failed. For his parents, there were only the joyful memories of a child who had entered the world and abode with them for a time. These were quickly followed by painful cogitations of a season when things began to go horribly wrong. As for everyone else, he was now “just the guy in the tombs.” No longer were efforts made to bring him into some sort of stable situation. He was driven by Satan and abandoned by contemporaries who had simply run out of options. As time marched on, they had grown accustomed to his presence and went about their lives as though he wasn’t even there. But he was there and when the Lord Jesus delivered him in dramatic fashion, the inhabitors of that place became uneasy. This has always been a point of intrigue. They had no problem with a demon possessed man running around, but they asked Jesus to depart after he had miraculously delivered this man. I know that this is running long, but the next passage is important:
Mark 5:18-19 “And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with devils prayed him that he might be with him.
Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.
And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.”
An astonishing deliverance wherein a captive was set free and the name of Jesus was glofified. One cannot help but wonder how many souls are in heaven at this moment because of this mans testimony.
Most of us cannot comprehend what these people went through; both the victims and the people closest to them. The circumstances with Matthew seem ever so light in comparison to these two incidents from scripture. If Matthew was always trying to injure himself or throw himself into fire…it would be over the top. We do have to keep all of our knives locked up, however, this is to keep Matthew from opening things, cutting up furniture, and what have you. (Like the one day when we came in from the goat pen and found a pile of stuffing in the living room. In the span of a few minutes, he had gutted the couch and was playing in the pile of stuffing.) He’s very resourceful and if he gets hold of a knife, he can get into almost anything. (However, I’ve never seen him cut himself; not even by accident.) It’s been a ride and continues to be an ongoing situation. Matthew is currently fifteen years old and is now physically stronger than any of us. He has learned to use this to his advantage. The answer is truly a spiritual one and the Lord Jesus can remedy it in a moment. I do believe, however, that a much bigger picture is playing out and that the situation with Matthew is just a small aspect of that bigger picture.
Well I must go. This has now approaching 2000 words. (Sorry.) There’s currently a lot of chaos in this venue; including issues that have nothing to do with Matthew. It’s almost like a spiritual Euroclydon at times. As such, I’m not certain as to how frequently I’ll be able to get by here and make the rounds elsewhere. I will try to keep things as current as possible. Blessings always in Jesus name.