Pretty much all my life I have had visions of The Sword.
The Sword of God.
In fact, I have designed a new “logo” for Christianity: the Cross of Jesus, standing upright, next to The Sword, with its hilt on the ground next to the Cross and its blade crossing through one of the arms of Christ’s Cross.
It forms a square, which is an unusual way for my mind to work. But it also is a closed system: the Cross of Jesus, the Sword of the Spirit.
Perhaps the square that the crossing creates is God, the Father.
Or perhaps God, the Father, is everything else in the world.
Through my life, the visions about the sword have changed.
There are simple ones, like having the sword fall into my outstretched hands. Which is usually the sign that something big is about to be assigned me.
There are more elaborate ones where I carry the sword up to a waiting priest at an altar and present it to him. He receives it, then turns, and places it on the altar.
Which strikes me as a form of consecration.
I’ve yet to meet a priest, however, who might have the courage to do such a thing in real life.
Throughout my life I have had what I call, weapons visions.
Before I go into “battle,” I can have these visions. I might be an indigenous woman crouching behind a mound with my spear.
Or I might be armored and astride a destrier charging into the fray.
I was even once a Kabuki dancer, swaying and stepping delicately, until I pulled a small knife from out of my robe and stabbed my “enemy.”
What these visions look like in real life is that I come into a period of tension between myself and another, and, without doing anything, the matter would be resolved. Peacefully.
No one would really notice that I was just sitting there, quietly, while the argument was going on.
During my eight-year divorce battle, where these visions almost always preceded a confrontation with my working-desperately-to-be-my-ex-husband, my attorney once turned to me and said that my calmness during these skirmishes was making people wonder if I was insane. After I explained what was “really” going on with me and instructed her to watch how things unfolded (I even once instructed her on certain questions to ask), she just let me be me without further comment. I think she saw the stream of movement that went along with the combat, a stream that seemed to control the outcome.
Every single time.
I never had a weapons vision that had a different outcome other than a peaceful settlement.
To me, weapons of death are not anything to be concerned about: they just represent the destruction of a tie, usually tense, between myself and another.
And that is what I want to write about today.
And the ties that bind.
And how the Sword of the Spirit comes into it all.
There are two types of bonding that takes place between an innocent and the abuser. There are bonds of love. And there are bonds of hate.
The first has to do with those things that connect people to each other tenderly.
Experiences of endearment.
Watching him blush when he opens his birthday present. Cheering for him as he completes in a swim meet. Taking care of him during an illness.
These little things form ties between two people. And, eventually, it’s as though a spider web is created: a complex intertwining of feelings of goodwill and trust that strengthen as life continues on.
Until the betrayal occurs.
Until a glimpse of evil is seen.
And then the questioning begins.
Has it been there this whole time? Have I purposely ignored it? Or am I just now coming to see what is the truth?
Self-doubt sets in.
Everyone in the situation, eventually, will be found to be wrong in some way. Complicit.
But no matter how much heartbreak there is, those webs of connection still exist.
It is what makes us want to deny what is happening to our lives.
Or makes us want to find a way to “cure” the problem.
Or even, perhaps, stand by the abuser no matter what comes.
I love this person. There must be something that my love for him might do to help save him.
And then the floundering begins.
We might lose sight of who we are. We might begin to question other relationships. If I can be so wrong about him, then there must be something so stupid about me that I can’t know the truth about anyone.
People can lose faith, even, in their own church.
It happens all the time.
I trusted you, and your support of this person. And now look at what the reality is. Why didn’t you know and help me to see it, too?
But it exists.
In everyone’s life.
So, we finally admit to ourselves, I need to heal from this.
And that is where the Sword of the Spirit comes in.
People today don’t want to work spiritually. They want psychologists to simplify matters and offer a solution that is like a child’s science project: the pieces all fit and express the concept.
There just isn’t much there there.
And there’s so much focus on blame and shame: either everyone has to jump into the pool of guilt or no one is wrong in any way.
It’s all a matter of “getting over it.” And paying the bill.
No reality whatsoever.
What needs to happen is for those love webs to have their strings severed.
Our relationship with the abuser may change because of this action; we may have to become distinct from one another.
But until we do this, we only wind up being the one caught in our own webs of love.
To use the Sword of the Spirit we must learn to be still. As still as we can.
We must settle into the knowing that the abuse has taken place. It is real. We have lived through it.
And we must offer our love of the person who has betrayed us up to God.
Our sacrifice to God: our love for another.
But this must be done one thread at a time.
It’s not a matter of sweeping out the cobwebs and cleaning our souls right up.
It’s a matter of delicately offering each and every heart throb to God as an offering, transforming our love to the one who betrayed us to our love for God.
Which is not to say that we will ever completely not love that other who turned his back on our relationship.
It’s just a ritual of healing that we must be willing to do for our own stability and sanity.
This also applies to the other spectrum of attachment: hatred.
A rape victim, say. A woman who never knew her attacker. But in that attack, forms absolute bonds of hatred for that man.
The process is the same.
And, in truth, it is just as difficult to give up bonds of hate as it is to give up bonds of love.
And, at times, the two get confused.
With Satan, who joins souls together as a means of having access to all that soul energy, the appeal to the person undergoing soul possession is that it feels as though he is going to be connected. And he is. It’s just more of a connection of prisoners than of family.
A good example of this bonded-through-abuse is gangs. The gang functions as a family for the individuals. In spite of the brutality and all that has to be done to be part of this kind of family. What is really a bond of evil is perceived to be a bond of togetherness.
The devil, who can be defined best as broken fun, pulls people together, not as one soul, but as people at a great big party. Parties of sensuality and decadence. And, again, the bonds of what is truly evil are felt to be bonds that allow “pleasure” for the person. And what could be so wrong with that?
Using the Sword of the Spirit against evil is a lesson for another day.
Just know that we each have a Sword (and a Shield) in our souls. We each have the ability to find in it God’s gentleness in resolving pain.
Brokenness is never a permanent condemnation by life.
Bringing ourselves back into a state of wholeness and serenity is always something we can do.