I'm not a believer. At worst I would be called an atheist, at best I would be called an agnostic. It's not like I don't want to believe, I just haven't been able to take that 'leap of faith' required to totally dedicate oneself.
But something happened the other day that has totally freaked me out and might be the jolt I need for that leap I've hesitated to take.
The family and I had arrived home late Saturday night from our vacation. We toured the peninsula for a week and most of our vacation was spent in the cold and wet Olympic Mountains. By the time we arrived home, I just wanted to shower and chill on the couch to watch a movie.
I popped in the Exorcist, a very scary movie in its own right, and Tanya and I settled in to watch it. It's been a while since I've seen the movie and Tanya being a Buddhist has never shown much interest in the movie. To me, it's scary, to her, the movie doesn't translate very well and the meaning is lost on her. Buddhists have their own demons that scare them but ours don't for some reason.
After the movie my wife went to bed and I stayed up a bit watching TV. I thought I might take a trip to the Tri-Cities the next day so I called a friend up to tell him I might stop by. The phone rang a few times and then went to his voice mail. I heard a high-pitched, whispering voice say Save Us and then the beep sounded and I left my message. I thought to myself what a strange greeting to leave on someone's voice mail so I called my friend up again to leave another message telling him just that.
The second time his regular greeting for his voice mail came on. That was strange. I called again and once more I heard his regular greeting. Where did Save Us come from?
Now, I don't believe in ghosts and I don't believe in the devil but I know what I heard. I tried to rationalize it by telling myself it must have been static or just my imagination but I kept thinking about what I heard. The words were just too clear. That's when I started to freak a little bit.
I woke my wife up, something that didn't make her too happy. I told her what happened and she just said OK. I said, "Honey, I don't think you understand what I just told you." A little grumpy, she woke up some more and I repeated the story. She told me it was probably just a ghost. If she meant for that to make me feel better, she was way wrong.
So I crawled into bed and tried to sleep. That was almost impossible. After a nearly sleepless night I awoke to a Sunday morning. I should have ran to church but I didn't. In the daylight and 12 hours later, I really started to doubt what I thought I heard. When night rolled around again, another restless sleep ensued.
On Monday, I googled exorcism and found a website called www.stmichael.pair.com. I wanted to do some research on this subject.
According to this site there are several ways a demon can enter your body or possess your soul. One of them is to use a Ouija board or play the game Dungeons and Dragons. Well, I do neither.
Another sure fire way to doom your soul is to practice magic, according to the site. I don't do that either but I am a big Harry Potter fan.
Another way is to do yoga. What? Are you kidding me? Yoga? Well, according to the website, yes.
Those who drink alcohol are also suspect. Uh oh! Sex out of wedlock and adultery could also weaken one's soul to allow demon possession.
So maybe my beer drinking is finally catching up with me. Maybe the Harry Potter series really is evil. I've been reading C.S. Lewis lately, I wonder if that's another portal into Hell.
But all kidding aside, I did hear something and it was weird. If someone had told me last week they had seen a ghost and were trying to be serious about it, I would have politely listened to them while thinking what a nut job they were. Now, I'm not so sure.
But if I did hear what I thought I heard, who is Us and why do they want me to Save them?
There has been some killings in my house lately. The body count is up to seven now. It's mice. I'm sure there will be more. It's not like I wanted to kill them but they had to leave my house. I said loudly for every mouse in my house to hear before the slaughter began that I didn't want to kill them. I told them to leave and all would be forgiven. I'm not sure how many took my offer of leniency but after the 48 hours I gave them to pack their bags, the killing started. Is Us the mice?
My wife declared war on some rabbits that were eating her green beans in the garden. She hasn't killed any so I doubt what I heard was a rabbit's plea.
We have ants too and we kill them by the thousands. Could Us be them?
I don't know the answer but the happenings of Saturday night have convinced me to take my family to a co-worker's church hotdog cook-off party in Grandview next week. Maybe over numerous hotdogs I'll be able to finally forget that strange, frightening plea to Save Us.