Paranormal Activity

19 11 2009

Many are fearful and disturbed by the “paranormal.” In the following blog, Liz, my wife shares a perspective to the supernatural that we all need to hear. May it be as much of a blessing to you as it has been to me…

When I told my family that I was thinking of writing a blog on Paranormal Activity, a couple of my kids said, “You can’t write on “Paranormal Activity.” You haven’t even seen the movie!” I asked them if they were sure that I hadn’t seen P.A. Then I told them that I wasn’t going to waste my time writing about a movie that is staged and fake, but I was going to write about REAL paranormal activity. The word, “paranormal” according to the wiktionary, refers to things that “cannot be explained through scientific methods.” It is supernatural phenomenon—haunted houses, ghosts, vampires, witches, Ouija boards, kabala, demons and even angels, to name a few. It is the alluring topic that has timelessly thrilled the mind—caused us to be “psycho” over Alfred Hitchcock films, made the 1973 movie, “The Exorcist,” a real head-spinner, and now has brewed this low-budget movie, Paranormal Activity, into a Blockbuster hit.

So what is it about human beings? On one day, we cling to the security of our three dimensional scientific world of knowledge and accomplishments. On the next, we go see a movie like P.A. and get freaked out about the possibility of encountering unpredictable powers greater than what our five senses can take in. What makes us mortals naturally drawn to the supernatural?

Speaking of being drawn, I couldn’t resist seeing what all the hoopla was about. While the rest of my family was watching a sweet family movie at Hollywood Theatre, I got a little bored and wandered down to where Paranormal Activity was playing. I stood in the entrance way and watched a chunk of it. I thought I was going to see a movie about a creepy, old house, but instead, I was surprised to see that it was filmed in a house that you or I might live in. As a matter of fact, I picked up a few decorating tips from Katie, and thought to myself, “How clever! The paranormal in a normal house!”—for the purpose of putting the haunting thought in our minds that it could possibly happen to you or me.

Wait a minute. Why talk about thoughts? It’s already happened to me…

Awhile back, the paranormal set foot into an apartment that my husband, Steve, and I were renting in Tokyo, Japan. We were missionaries there working with college students and studying the Japanese language at the time. We had just returned home from a four month furlough, and Steve wanted to have a few of his guys over for dinner to catch up on their lives. He asked Yoshi to come a little early, because he wanted to talk with him about the contents of a letter that he had written to us while we were in the United States. In the letter he told Steve that he was having suicidal thoughts and that he had to ask his roommate to take every sharp object out of their apartment as a safety measure.

I was cooking in a little corner we called our “kitchen” and couldn’t help overhearing Yoshi tell Steve that he was okay now and no need to worry. Steve suggested that he pray for Yoshi anyway as another safety measure. Almost immediately, after he started praying, all paranormal activity broke loose. At the mention of the name of Jesus, Yoshi reacted violently. He looked and sounded like a slithering, hissing snake on our small Japanese couch. We were stunned. Our missionary training had not prepared us for something like this.

The paranormal activity that we found ourselves in the middle of didn’t stabilize, but only escalated. During a tense moment of confrontational prayer, Yoshi took out our end table and lamp. The table was chopped in half! Fear gripped us all! We were perplexed, at the very least, as to what we should do next. While Steve kept praying, I got on the phone and called two of our missionary friends to help. Upon entering and seeing the paranormal in our living room, one of these missionaries fell to his knees, almost in tears, and looked more scared than us. Some help. We knew it was going to be a long evening.

After a few long hours of prayer, Steve decided he needed a break. As he walked around asking God what to do, he heard from the Lord, “Get their names.” As Steve commanded the demonic spirits to reveal their identity, the tide turned and eventually all of the demons were cast out of our poor friend, Yoshi. By dawn, he sat peacefully and in his right mind on our couch.

You would have thought that this experience with the paranormal would have been ranked as one of the worst things that could have ever happened to me. It wasn’t pleasant, but it was life-changing. I saw, first hand, the destroying work of demons in Yoshi’s life, which explains some of earth’s woes, and perhaps, some of our personal ones. I witnessed the cowering reaction of demons to the name of Jesus. Being a witness to these things that evening erased any previous doubts about the validity of the paranormal, the Bible, the supremacy of Christ and the power of His cross. Jesus was Yoshi’s Rescuer that night. He continues the offer to be our Rescuer today.

– Liz Holt