Thursday, February 26, 2009

That's The Kind of Dad I Want To Be

Brigid gives a moving tribute to her dad.

There's some great writers out in the blogosphere, but this lady has a gift like none other.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Mouth of Madness

Having today observed a very mentally ill person, I can well imagine why people used to think they were demonically possessed.

This person chanted in an indecipherable tongue. The look in his eyes was absolutely chilling. This person could (and I believe would) have killed anybody he might have laid his hands upon. He stood there smeared in his own blood, and resisted multiple people who were trying to get him under control. At one point, he lifted up four people who were on top of him. His strength was almost supernatural. We’ve all heard about the strength of crazy people. I’m here to tell you it’s real. There was no recognition of where he was, or what he was doing. There was no hint that he had a shred of humanity left. Think Hannibal Lecter looked evil in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS? This was far, far worse.

When he was finally subdued, things changed. You could suddenly see the humanity back in his eyes. There was no recognition of why he was suddenly being restrained by a bunch of big people, or why there was Taser darts sticking in him. It was like the madness had suddenly passed, leaving a suddenly normal person in a horrible situation that he could not understand. Maybe that priest in the EXORCIST could have saved Linda Blair a whole lot of agony had he simply shot her with a Taser a few times. I can just hear the demon screeching, “Don’t tase me, Bro!!!”

Very, very odd indeed. I don't mind saying this guy scared me on some sort of primal level. There's a difference between being scared of something for a good reason, and a visceral fear of something that you don't understand, yet you know when you see it that it's very, very bad. There persists a line of thought that madness is a demonic possession of some sort. I’m not prepared to rule it out.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


There was a great story on the news last night. Well, it wasn't really great. It was awful, actually. A man beheaded his wife because she was seeking divorce.

One thing our local forgot to mention was that the killer was a Muslim (though it wasn't a huge leap to arrive at that conclusion, based on the guy's name), as was his wife. It also failed to mention that the guy ran a television network called BRIDGES TV, which is about polishing up the image of Muslims to mainstream America.

Here's a link to Glenn Beck's monologue on the story, which I heard today traveling far into the wastelands of the panhandle for a court hearing. This was more information than what the network news was willing to give out.

I'm not drawing any conclusions here. I'm just throwing it out there for the reader's consideration.

Monday, February 02, 2009

The War Comes Home

It was late at night when the demons came. They attacked in the darkest hours of the early morning, at that time when the human body is at its lowest ebb. When the insomniac suffers under the most intense, painful, part of the condition, yearning for the blessed relief of sleep, yet completely unable to achieve it. When one can actually feel the body dying a little from the strain.

The demons started their attack off quietly. They nibbled away at the walls built to hold them at bay. They were quiet, insidious. They moved stealthily until they overwhelmed the defenses. And then they hit with full demonic fury. Fighting them required more effort than was humanly possible.

I'm not talking about pointy-horned, fire-breathing clawed, physical demons. I'm not seeing things here. I'm not crazy enough to think they are real, in the sense that one could actually see, feel, or hear them. The ones that I'm talking about are worse. These are the ones that are personal. I believe that everyone has them.

You know what I'm talking about. They probably hit you a little differently. They're the ones that tell me that I'm not worth anything. That I'm a horrible attorney, a horrible father, a lousy husband. I'm not nearly as smart as I think I am. That I'm a sorry excuse for a son, moving away from my immediate family when they needed me the most. That I'm talentless, classless, and pretty much useless. That I'm now out of shape, old, and good for nothing. That my health is going downhill, and there's no good years left in me. That I've done horrible wrongs to those who loved me. That this sorry state was the best my life had to offer, and it was more than I deserved.

They whisper to me that my marriage is doomed to failure. That I'm going to be penniless and good for nothing for the rest of my life. I'll never get ahead. That I'm raising my son wrong. That I'm standing in church, playing guitar as the biggest hypocrite in the place. That the place would turn on me in an instant if they knew what I had done. That I have no business being there.

Yes, I struggle with self-worth. Every day. The devil hits you where you live, where it hurts the absolute most. And those demons had me right where they wanted me, in the wee hours. At the point where doctors tell us people pass away the most often. Three o'clock a.m. had just struck, and there I was. Lying in bed alone, I could hear the sound of a far away train. Wracked with guilt, with sadness, with shame. With all the pain and all the weight of the world on my shoulders, I sat alone in the darkness. I have never been able to say that I felt the darkness before. But I did that night. It was cold, but I could feel within it something that burned with hate.

I've been laid low in the past year, about as low as a person could get, so I thought. I didn't think it could actually get any worse.

I was wrong.

I have never felt worse. I'm not sure if I ever could. This was utter, hopeless despair.

I almost didn't hear the little footsteps coming down the hall. Under siege as I was, I almost didn't hear the quiet, cloth-padded feet. It didn't really register until I heard the door open, and that small, wonderful voice say, "Daddy?"

He came in, rubbing sleep out of his eyes, and dragging his little pillow behind him. He held his arms out for me to pick him up. The minute his head hit my shoulder, he dropped fast asleep in that wonderful, miraculous way that only small children can manage. Blissful, restful slumber. The kind that only comes from the knowledge that he is safe, warm, and loved. The kind that indicated he had no idea of the terrible battle that was being waged in my heart and mind.

I felt a peace settle in, as though a great weight had lifted off my chest. I knew at that moment that everything was going to be all right. I knew that better days lay ahead, and that I was worthy and loved, especially in the eyes of one little boy.

I have heard about spiritual warfare. I don't think I ever understood it until that very moment. It's real. There was a war going on that night. There was a crisis of faith and purpose that I cannot even describe. There are powerful weapons at the enemy's disposal, that work on the places where a person is the most vulnerable. And it had me on the ropes, absolutely.

But there's a power at work that's far greater than anything that can be brought to bear against us. It can be subtle, but there's no mistaking how truly powerful it is. It is absolute power. It is the power that shaped the world. It is the power that sent a being that we don't fully understand to make the ultimate sacrifice for mankind. It is the power that allowed an infant to save his father from an ancient evil that had all but crushed his spirit that night. I don't think the timing of my little boy was the least bit coincidental.

I slept peacefully for the rest of the night, the demons utterly defeated and destroyed by the love of a small boy in Cars pajamas, and the power that sent him there.