Demons 2-7-2021

At the crack of dawn while the village slept, they made their way to the
place where Jesus was visiting. Some came with paper bags on their heads. Others
had on phony noses and fake mustaches. Yes, some of the men even came
disguised in women’s dresses while some of the women had shoulder pads on
under their sweaters and wore trousers so they’d look like men. Each had come
alone because no one wanted anyone to know the reason for the visit. So, what a
surprise it was to discover themselves in the courtyard of the home where Jesus
was staying.
“Oh no!” One man gasped as he took the paper bag off his head and looked
at the woman sitting across from him as she removed her beehive wig. “You mean
you have a demon too?” “But you’re my wife!” ”
And you’re my husband! You never told me you had a demon?” She
The man next to her took off his fake beard and stared in disbelief at his wife
sitting across from him as she took off her fake beard as well. Together they asked,
“Have we both got demons?” And together they answered, “I guess we do.” All over the room people who had come in various sizes and disguises had
surprises as they bumped into neighbors, friends, relatives, and associates. Over
and over they found themselves saying, “You have to be kidding!” “You have a
demon too?” Well I never would have guessed it. How many times had we eaten
together and not once did we suspect one another of having a demon.
Without knowing they would all be together, they had come intending to
have Jesus expel their demons. As they waited in awkward silence for Jesus to
appear, one lady spoke up. “Since now we know we all have demons, we might as
well talk about them more openly to one another. After all, we have time. He can’t
really take off our demons all at once.”
So, as they sat there waiting, gradually they began to describe the demons
that possessed them. One potbellied man started out very quietly as he looked
straight forward above the head of the woman across from him. He said he thought
his demon was the suicidal thoughts that came into his head from time to time. He
hadn’t wanted to tell anyone he had that demon because he was afraid they would
think he was crazy.
A woman in floral patterned house dress checked to see if the man who had
just spoken had finished and then she cleared her throat. “I get so depressed. I don’t feel like talking or walking. I just want to sleep all the time, and when I’m not sleeping, I eat donuts. So depression and overeating are my demons but I wouldn’t
tell anyone because I’m afraid people would think I was really off the wall.”
“I get depressed too,” a young boy chimed in. “It is good to know someone
else feels that way,” he said with relief. “I’m afraid to tell my friends because they’d
think I was a wimp.”
“Well, I have to be strong so my family can lean on me and I don’t feel very
strong a lot of time,” a huge man with big hands and muscular arms and legs said
softly. “My weakness is my demon and I’d be afraid to tell the other fellas that.”
At first, the conversation stopped and started, lapsing into long silences, but
as one, then two, then three villagers spoke up, more and more people wanted to
speak. Husbands and wives shard their demons with one another: fathers and sons,
mothers and sons, brothers and sisters. As one revealed his or her demons and the
fear of speaking about them due to what others might think, everyone else listened
with an understanding heart. Their understanding arose from having many of the
same demons and fears themselves.
As they spoke, they gradually readjusted their chairs so they could see and
hear one another more clearly. The potbellied man said, “I’m not as afraid as I was.
I don’t feel so anxious. I wonder if my demon has fallen asleep. And the woman who ate so many donuts said, “I’m not as afraid as I was
either. I think my demon must have gone out to lunch.”
“My demon must have gone with yours,” added the man with the big
muscles. From all over the circle others talked about how they were less fearful.
Then the door opened and there in the archway stood: the one for whom they
had been waiting. He had a warm smile on his face and they all smiled back,
expecting him to call them one by one. But he did not. He surprised them by telling
them they could go home because they had already been exorcised. Their demons
had been expelled and sent on their way.
“How can that be?” Was he kidding them?
He motioned them to be quiet as he said, “Think back for a moment about
what had just happened. Many of you have known one another for years. In some
instances you have shared the same bed, the same office or table or playing field.
Yet, you were unaware that each of you had your own special demon. And why
was that? Because of your own fear of admitting what you were going through.
And that is the real demon! That is the demon which had paralyzed and cut you off
from one another. That is the reason the demon has controlled you and had you in his power. The exorcism I have to offer, you have already experienced because you have come together and listened to one another as you have never done before.
Your demon no longer controls you.”
Then he told them that he had lots of work to do that day. They could all go,
and as they left they could drop their disguises in the waste basket near the door.
After all, they no longer had any need of disguises. Their demons had gone.


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