The evil one came again last night as I slept.
You allow us to be tempted, Holy Father. I guess I should not feel bad about him coming again, especially in my sleep when my guard is down, to tempt and try my faith and my love of You and Your Son, Jesus. But I feel threatened and vulnerable having to confront even these unconscious brushes with evil.
Let me now, in Your mercy, Holy Lord, ponder them deeply in enough detail to find Your lessons for me.
He was in an unfamiliar male body, amongst others nearby. We were all at party. There was a sense of joy and happiness. My husband was there. But after a bit, I became separated from my husband and the others. I must have been preparing to leave and I’d gone to get my purse and my coat.
This man appeared behind me, whom I’d seen earlier on the outer ring of a group of friends. He said to me, ‘Before you leave take this pole and dance with it.’ A strange and obviously dark request in the bright light of morning. Yet, in my dream it didn’t seem so odd or malevolent, simply part of the journey of joy and carefreeness I was on. A May Pole, perhaps, round which to skip freely.
I agreed and took the pole he offered without much thought. At the same time I noticed, without any immediate sense of foreboding, that he took some device out of his pocket and set it nearby. And I proceeded to dance, happily, with joy.
The presence of the man seemed to fade, or maybe he left the room. But as the dream unfolded, my dancing around the pole with abandon became increasingly suggestive. An uncomfortable excitement came upon me.
Thankfully, before I slipped any further into the decadence he must surely have planned for me, I began to realize his devious intent and the purpose of the device he’d left behind. It was there to record me and my dancing. And I knew somehow that he would threaten to share it with others, delighting in the shame of my rapid, easy descent from joy to into lustfulness, intent on controlling me through blackmail and the threat of exposure.
I ran to my husband, even as I knew he would likely and justifiably upbraid me for my lack of judgment and for being too trusting. I also knew he would help me find the man and stop him and help me retrieve the evidence of my temptation.
We both ran after him. I caught up to him first and grabbed onto his sleeve. He whirled around. I expected him to strike me.
Oddly, he seemed unsurprised that I’d understood his snare. We demanded the recording to be returned, and noticed that he had similar recordings with other names on them in a medium-sized case, like a tray with a lid and lock. He did not prevent me from searching through all of them — or maybe my husband was subduing him as I searched for the one with my name. They were all labeled with first and last names.
Finally, finding the recording with my name, I took it and put it in my pocket. We struggled again briefly, but — again surprisingly to me — we overcame his strength relatively easily and managed to turn him away from me.
Nearby, I spotted his brother. I don’t know how I knew the other man was his brother, so maybe he wasn’t. But they had been nearby to one another earlier. I entreated the brother to help me subdue the evil one, so my husband could run to call the police.
I managed to get a long cord around the evil one’s neck, but my hands were weak with arthritis. I needed something for leverage to twist and tighten the cord — a piece of wood perhaps — something, to overcome his flailing and resistance.
Finally, between me and his brother, we subdued him. His brother took over. As I watched, his brother began to squeeze and squeeze the man’s throat, turning and turning the piece of wood, twisting the cord tighter and tighter. The evil one was limp and I knew he was about to expire.
Realizing he was about to kill him, I entreated his brother to ease up. ‘Don’t kill him,’ I said, ‘it will hurt you. Just keep him subdued.’
That was it. I awoke, with heart pounding, but with a sense of relief. I hadn’t yet thanked my husband for his help. There’d be time for that. I didn’t think to thank the brother. I wasn’t sure to whom he belonged.
Thanks and praise to God that I acted to resist. There would have been times in past dreams when I would have given in or participated willingly, even, in the evil one’s devices and desires.
Thanks and praise to God that the evil one was so weak, both in his appearance and his actual strength. He appeared unthreatening, a watcher and a lurker, possibly, rather than a violent or substantial force of his own, one who preyed on another’s weakness, rather than one who overpowered another’s strength. And God helped me to realize that the evil one’s strength is deceptive; it’s only as strong as our weakness and susceptibility.
Thanks and praise to God that my Lord gave me the strength and assurance of His love to know that my husband was given me for my protection and to love me. Telling him of my temptation outright was the right thing to do, even though it scared me for him to know so directly from me of my own weaknesses.
Thanks and praise to God that my Lord bolstered my own limited physical strength with the help of others and the presence of mind to use what leverage I had at hand – both physical and spiritual.
Thanks and praise to God that my Lord, ruler of all, sent me someone — even if it was the evil one’s brother or co-operator — who could be encouraged to goodness in the end. Bless him and keep him holy, Holy Lord.
Thanks and praise to God that I was tested and allowed to wrestle with evil, and to find I could overcome temptation — I did overcome temptation, with help from God through my friends. To realize that temptation and struggle build our spiritual muscle, confirm our faith in Him who loves us, and fortify our belief that God is the source of our strength and author of our redemption.
Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ.