The question of the spiritual is one that often comes up. Let me assure you, it is very real. This is perhaps the one juncture where my two worlds have their greatest overlap. When you think about it, aren’t all the moral questions, the questions of right and wrong, questions of the heart— not the heart in the romantic sense, but in the sense of judgment, of truth—of what we see ultimately as being right or wrong.
There was an occasion when a gentleman had been booked in for a rather heinous crime involving the rape and torture of a child. This man was demon possessed. He would often sit in his cell and have conversations with his unseen host. Now, I know there is such a thing as being mentally ill, but a person who is truly enduring a psychotic episode does, not respond to the verbal command to stop. Verbal commands have little effect in derailing either auditory or visual hallucinations.
This particular inmate was self-destructive and violent. He was known to cut himself and use his own blood to paint his cell walls and write inscriptions on the walls. On this particular day in question, he had taken his reinforced plastic lunch tray and snapped it into several pieces—pieces that could be used as a weapon. It was my job to escort the doctor into the cell in order to administer his medication…i.e., something that would make him sleep.
Because it was my job and pleasure to be the one wearing the badge, I entered the cell approximately three minutes before the doctor. When I entered, this man was growling and cutting himself with a shard from the tray. I stood a safe distance away for him, which was only about five feet in this small cell, and addressed him. I began by saying, “I know you know who I am, and I know you know who Jesus is.” Then I told him that because he knew who Jesus was, I knew he knew he could not touch me. I then told him that he was bound by the power and authority of the name of Jesus, and that he was not allowed to speak or interact as long as the doctor was in the cell…that I only wanted to hear from and speak to the real person whose body it was.
He immediately sat and the growling stopped. He then looked at me with the most pitiful eyes I’d ever seen. Just about that time, the doc walked in and did his routine. On the way out he thanked me for my ability to work with the mentally ill. I laughed and told him the same story I just told you. He nodded, giggled, and walked away shaking his head.
I turned and looked back up at the cell I had just secured behind the doc and myself to see that same inmate raging at an unseen guest, cursing at the world. Of course a few minutes later, he was sound asleep, curled in a ball on the floor. But the point of the story is yes…oh yes, the spiritual is very real ….Just saying.