A Backslider's Story
My name is Joseph McCallister. You may call me a freak, but I’m a real seer. I see things beyond what normal eyes could see. Believe it or not, but I do.
It all started several years ago, when I decided to leave my ugly past behind and surrendered my life to God. I was a bum way back then, and my life was crumbling down. I found religion as an excuse for not killing myself. But I didn’t expect that religion, or I would say faith, would offer more.
“Repeat after my prayer, brother,” the pastor told me during the altar call and I was the first to come in front. “Dear God, I know I am a sinner. I have done awful things against you and against your will...”
And so I did. With all my heart, I voiced that salvation prayer harder than how the pastor did, echoing the angst of bitterness in my spirit, yearning to be free.
And as I closed my eyes to the laying of hands on my head, something inside me was instantly changed. It was more than just a conscience purge or a refreshing sensation. It was more like an huge surge of energy that caused a power up from my insides.
When I opened my eyes, a reality beyond mortality and the natural law exploded right before me. I saw spirits all around me, in and out of the church. I saw the soul of every people inside in different colors. I saw their sins, I saw their weaknesses, and I saw their strengths. I saw angels in midair fighting demons in a fierce battle, with the angels winning at the most. And I realized what these battles were all about. They were fighting for souls, including mine.
And then I saw a dozen angels approaching. They quickly surrounded me, like a squad of escort guards for a special VIP. Outside the cordon, I saw demons eyeing me as a price, but were afraid to come close.
“Come,” one of Angels told me, and he offered his hand.
Gladly, I took hold of that spiritual hand.
Everything changed after that.
Weeks later I was serving God with the zeal of a thousand angels. I was talking about God to any people that I would meet. I was speaking in church whenever the elders would allow me. I was praying for people, laying hands on them, and I was seeing miracles happen right before my eyes.
What made these more interesting was that I was seeing all these things in the spiritual realm. I was seeing light forming and flowing as I prayed. I was seeing angels being dispatched at my request. And I was seeing demons screaming out of people that I had laid my hands on to.
It was grand.
“Thank you, Brother Joe,” an old lady who was previously suffering from a bad case of gout told me once after I prayed for her. The gout was instantly and miraculously gone.
“Don’t thank me, Sister,” I told her. “Thank God. It was Him all along.”
Or so, that was my usual line. I had prayed for many people with illnesses, heart disease, kidney disease, leukemia–you name it–they were all healed. Thanks be to God.
But my line changed after more and more miracles happened before my eyes. Pride started kicking in, the usual trait of selfish humanity.
“Thank you, Brother Joe. You’re a blessing,” someone would say.
“Oh, that's nothing,” I would reply, accepting the thanks for myself.
“You’re an angel, Brother Joe.”
And I would believe that I was.
“What can we do without you, Brother?”
Knowing they depended on me served as a kick.
In the surface, I was being a goody-goody man of God. But inside, I was bathing in the limelight, and savoring it all. God was almost, if not totally forgotten.
And then it happened.
My wife, my bastion of strength when I was at my weakest, the person who stayed with me in my darkest evolution, passed away.
I was devastated, so devastated that my faith was shattered, and I started to hate God.
“Why?!” I screamed in my prayers. “Of all the many souls you can take away from me! Why?!”
I stopped praying after that. I was bitter with God. I felt betrayed. It was so unfair.
And just like that, my eyes was shut to the realm of the spirits, angels, and the light. I was back to the natural laws of man, to being ordinary. But it didn’t matter to me then. Every miracle that I witnessed, every sight of the supernatural, didn’t matter.
I was left in the darkness, and the sadness and bitterness that came with it.
For thirteen weeks, I suffered in depression. I was drinking and smoking just like before, before all the faith and spiritual stuff. I was waking up late again, barely sleeping at night, having a lot of furious fits, and having a number of altercations just because some people would annoy me. It was good that the bar where I usually visit was not that popular, lest I would have probably broken someone’s nose or got my nose broken every night.
Yes, I was back to being a bum, a failure, a once grand temple where the Spirit dwelt but had crumbled into the dust.
And then one night, I witnessed an accident. I was walking home then, drunk and staggering. A car was careened by a speeding truck a few meters from me. The car leaped out of lane, turned-tabled, and hit a tree to a stand still.
The driver was groaning and catching his breath when I approached him. He was wounded all over, broken all over, and I could tell that he was dying. He was an average gentleman, of my age, I surmised. His car was not new. His clothes were not grand. He’s probably an ordinary employee driving home from work after a long overtime. I could imagine his family waiting for him at home, his wife still awake, his children wishing he would be there when they woke up in the morning.
They would not like the news that was about to come.
As any responsible bystander who has a phone and witnessed an accident, I dialed 911 to report the accident. Then I knelt closer to where the man was to see what I could do.
There was nothing I could do.
The man’s condition was not promising at all. He could not speak. His groans were no longer audible. Blood was oozing from his nose and mouth and I was sure that it was filling his lungs and suffocating him.
And then it came. He stopped breathing. His eyes became an open opaqueness, void of life.
Compassion struck me and I panicked, forcing me to pray. For the first time after thirteen weeks, I prayed. And without the sight of the light and the angels who used to adhere to my calls, I summoned all my strength of will to get my words through. People need this man, for God’s sake! His family needs him! Why take him now when You can easily take a bum like me?
And then it happened.
I saw light forming on my hands. I felt the surge of heavenly power filling me up, something that I was used to feel so very long ago.
My whole body shook, more from the realization and surprise than from the force of the energy. My prayer was heard. God has responded.
And even at that time when my faith was almost zip, I knew what was needed to be done. I touched the man’s head with my light-inflamed hands, and everything exploded like the first time. I saw the angels once again. I saw the demons backing off in fear. I saw the battle. And I saw the light pouring down from the heavens.
Minutes later, the paramedics came and took the man to the hospital. He was alive and stable. It was a miracle, thanks to God.
Left on that spot alone, I sat on the gutter. I was crying. I was shaking. The immensity of the experience was still fresh inside, and I was confused, surprised, with a question in my mind...
Why would God hear me out when all I did for the last thirteen months was to wallow in darkness? Why would God use me to save someone else when I was a failure, a loser, a person that most probably have demons as escort? Why me? What is going on?
And then He came to me just like the first time, and He spoke to me. Yes. Right at that moment, He actually spoke to me.
“I chose you because you’re My son,” He told me with words that felt better than any human embrace. “Whatever you do, no one can change that fact...”
Now I’m back. I’m back to speaking about the truth, back to praying for other people, back to witnessing miracles unfold right before my eyes. I can see the light again, the angels, the demons, the battle, and the souls of people that would come by me. And it’s clearer now, as clear as the new zeal that I possess this time.
The darkness can beat me up but they can never take me in.
I am a child of God, and they will never succeed.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God...” - Romans 8:38-39
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