Under the Spell of evil Magic
(experienced and written by Heinrich)
This is a true story, which happened in 1985. I was a University student without any material worries, but I felt burned out and unhappy. It seemed to me that something was missing or had gone wrong in my life.
Many times I would ask myself, What is it? Why am I so down? But I never could find any clear answer. Eventually, my feelings of unhappiness grew to the point that I said to myself, It cannot go on this way!
So, on New Year’s Day 1985, I made a break in my daily routine of life. I wanted to have a time to think about life in general and what possibilities might be found for a better future. I was only 27 and certainly young enough to find some happiness in life. At least I hoped so!
1. A look “behind the Curtain”!
At that time I lived in the outskirts of Duesseldorf, a town of a half-million population located in the middle of Germany. My small, furnished flat was in the second storey of a house that belonged to an elderly married couple. They were very friendly people and would often invite me over for coffee and cake on their terrace. When the weather was bad we went inside in their kitchen to visit.
During the summer they had encouraged me to use their big garden and to collect some of the fruit from the trees or bushes. It was of such abundance and variety that one could imagine himself to be in paradise.
But now, on the morning of New Year’s Day, it was in the middle of dreary wintertime, and when I looked down into that garden from my kitchen window, I began to think of the stark and transitory nature of life. Soon, in the inevitable passage of the years, it would also be winter in my own life followed by death. Is there any sense to life?, I asked myself.
A memory came to mind. In years past, during a vacation in Yugoslavia, I had stood in front of a huge sculpture showing an endless row of generations from the beginning of the world till now.
What a shock! In that moment I was realizing for the first time in my life an appalling truth! I was only a tiny part of the whole history of mankind - once born and once dead. Others had lived their short lives before and others would live it after me. And my question at that time had been the same, Is there any sense to it?
Have you ever tried to stay at home alone for an extended time, say, for an entire month? Then you know that it is not easily done. You need some kind of daily structure to avoid loosing yourself in endless brooding or the risk of falling into depression.
So, as a preventive measure, I decided to focus my daytime activity on intensive reading. At that time I possessed a complete edition of Hermann Hesse that I had read through in my youth. Now I started reading it again in earnest!
I read in the morning and in the late afternoon after returning from my daily walk through the woods and fields in the nearby countryside. Only once in my youth, when confined for some weeks with a broken ankle, had I had such an intensive time of reading.
Each day after dinner there was time for relaxing. I listened to music cassettes and tried to think about life but not obsessively to the point of stressing myself out about it. Nevertheless, those evenings were not always the best time of the day for serious thinking. More often than not, no clear thought, decision, or fundamental enlightenment was to be found in my ruminations. Instead, I felt slightly dull afterwards.
Once a week, I went to a nearby super-market to buy some food, but avoided contact with others. I took this point seriously, because in order to succeed in my quest, I felt I had to be completely isolated from the outside world.
For the same reason, I also strictly avoided reading any newspapers during that time, and I had already cancelled TV and radio some time. I wanted to be certain that I would be completely isolated from information about things going on in the world.
One evening, my thoughts went back to my childhood. Yes, the years between ages three and seven had been good ones. After the divorce of my parents, I lived with my mother in my grandparents’ home and there was really nothing I lacked.
My grandparents were simple people and both very good-natured. I had a sense of well-being and felt sheltered in their presence. But I was not a stay-at-home guy. I liked to explore and discover things in the area around our home, especially with my friend Elmar. And there were many things to discover. For example, the little hills with their small ponds and pathways in the back of our small settlement.
At other times I played the normal childhood games with the other kids such as hide-and-seek, some sort of ball games or “cowboys and indians”. Later, at the age of seven I started going to a nearby school with great chestnut trees. I was very impressed with them and in autumn I loved to collect the red-brown fruits at the bottom of the trees. At home, with the help of my mother and matches, I made animal figures out of them.
The first year in school went by followed by my first summer holidays . And along with this came a big surprise. My mother and her new partner for life, I called him "Uncle Horst", had married and wanted to take a honeymoon trip on a light blue moped to the south of France. And they had decided that I should stay for that period of time with some relatives out in the countryside.
Uncle Willi, the brother of my grandfather, and Aunt Mary were absolutely the kindest people and made me feel welcomed from the very first moment. They lived in a small, lovely farmhouse within pure nature.
In the back of the house was a great, slightly sloping meadow with many, many fruit-trees. Every morning and every evening the deers came out of the nearby wood and ate some of the fruit.
I also remember very well my daily walk with Aunt Mary into the chicken stable, helping her put the new eggs carefully in aunt’s basket. Or looking over the fence into the big garden, where Uncle Willi was often working in the afternoon.
So in those days, I felt completely loved and in perfect harmony with nature and the world. I was in absolute paradise. But one day in the early afternoon, I accidently looked through my window and saw something that sent waves of fear and foreboding down my spine. I froze on the spot!
My mother and my new stepfather, good looking and bronzed from the southern sun, were standing outside talking animatedly with Uncle Willi. I had completely "forgotten" their existence. Slowly the reason for their appearance dawned on me. And with that realization, sorrow filled my heart. I had thought, that I would stay here forever.
Softly from behind, I felt a hand on my shoulder. Aunt Mary said, "You knew that it would come to an end!" I said nothing. With both hands on my shoulders, she turned me around. Looking directly in my face, she added, "They are your parents and they love you!"
Then she drew me close, petted the top of my head, and said, "It was really a nice time with you here. Uncle Willi and I will miss you!" And after a short pause, "Perhaps you can come next summer again!" She hugged me, "Come on. Let’s go outside and welcome them!"
As you might presume, it was very hard to leave my little “paradise". My few belongings were packed away in my stepfather’s car and two minutes later, as we drove away, I could see through the rear window my relatives standing together and waving goodbye. A few seconds later, as the car turned the corner, I felt that my paradise was lost and happiness had gone.
Now, twenty years later, I was staying in my lonely flat and reading the books of Hermann Hesse again. Although this was in some way interesting, it didn’t offer any new revelation to me. But this time his point of view became very clear to me, Do not expect too much from life. Be modest, temper your wishes and desires and live an ascetic life.
That was the first part of his message, as far as I understood it.Then perhaps some day you will find a little bit of peace in your heart! This was the second pard of it! I confess honestly, that was not my hope for the future. A full life of happiness, I searched for nothing less. But was this realistic? Perhaps Hesse was right and my search would be in vain.
In vain? I felt a slight tug of fear in my heart. A life without finding happiness? I could hardly stand the thought. "I have to try searching for it!" I said slowly to myself. "Even if I would never find it!"
After one month, I had almost finished reading Hesse’s complete edition. So one Saturday afternoon I stopped my timeout and went to a pub. I stayed there for a while and played a few games with some chess players. Now I was back to normal life again!
A surprising Encounter
For the next few days nothing special happened. It was winter and the weather was bad. And therefore I decided to take the bus instead of riding my bike.
While walking to the bus stop from home one day, I stopped to look at a small "witch-house". I had once given it this name when riding along on my bike. It was a severely dilapidated little shack that appeared forlorn and forgotten. It was surrounded by a withered garden in summer but now in winter appeared much the worse because of neglect and the abuse of time.
Due to my natural curiosity and love of such "unnatural" places, I looked this time at the name-shield on the fence. It read: Mike Bolte. I looked at the name twice in surprise. I knew someone by that name!
Some years ago I had played tournament chess together with a guy by that name on a university team. But after that, I had lost contact with him. Could he be living here? I was tempted to prove it directly. But then reason gained the upper hand and I decided to wait. If it could possibly be the Mike I knew, I would perhaps meet him by chance. And I smiled a little bit. "Okay! I will give fate a chance and will wait until I meet him!"
Strange! I do not think that I really believed in such a thing as fate at that time. But a number of things had happened in recent years that made me feel that some things do not happen by chance alone. It had to be more than that. Yes, and was it not Hesse who also had a tendency to believe in fate?
Maybe a week or so later, l took the bus again to get into town. I sat down in the front of the bus and watched out of the window at nothing in particular. At the next bus stop a young man got on, paid his fare, walked through the bus, and sat down in the rear. The very moment that he walked by, I got a look at his face and asked myself in disbelief, "Was it him? Was it Mike?"
It had been quite a few years since I had last seen him. But this person looked very much like him; so, after a minute or two I stood up and walked back to where he was sitting. When that man saw me approaching, he looked at me with astonishment. His face had a quizzical appearance. Then a smile came to his face. "Heiner?" I nodded and sat down beside him.
Within two minutes it became clear that he was living in one part of this small "witch-house" for more than two years. "That’s funny!" I said. "We have been living so close together and have never met. Astonishing, isn’t it?!"
"Yes, but most of the times I am at home. And when I go to town, I always ride my bicycle. Look!" He showed me a bicycle on the seat before us, "It is damaged, so, I am now on my way to a bicycle shop. Otherwise, I never take the bus!"
"Me, too", I said, "but winter and bad weather, you know? Today I felt clumsy trying to ride my bike."So, was this something like fate that this encounter had now come to pass? Or was it only a coincidence, that I meet him only one week after reading his name on the fence? But, either way, it pleased me.
Before leaving he said to me, "You really must come to visit me at my home." "Yes," I said, "I shall come!" "Do not forget! You’re welcome!" Those were his last words before he got off the bus into that misty, winter day.
An open Door
During the next week I continued on with the usual routines that I had interrupted during the past month. But one afternoon, I went to the little witch house. Again, it was a misty day, and from the outside I could see a light shining through the front window. Mike was at home.
Two minutes later, I was inside his home and was quite surprised at how poorly it was furnished. We stood in the middle of a large room with an intregated small kitchen.. There was a table, chair, and an armchair. And at one side of the room stood a large cupboard and on the other side an old coal stove, which wasn`t on.
I tried to hide my surprise and I only asked him: "You are not freezing?" "Well," he said with an apologetic smile, "most of the time the stove is out. I have to conserve. And if I feel chilly, I put on another pullover." And after a short pause of thinking, " Don`t worry, I’ll light it at once!" He placed the armchair beside the stove, invited me to sit down, and went to fetch wood and briquettes.
Ten minutes later, I was holding a hot cup of tea in my hands. The oven beside me had started heating up. Mike had taken a chair and sat down on the other side of the stove. "Well, Heinrich. So, tell me, what has happened since our last time together?"
So evening came and I had told him some episodes and facts of my "unhappy" life. Michael was a very good listener. He rarely interrupted, but only from time to time he asked a short question or gave a comment on my story.
When I had come to the end of my story, the room became silent. I now felt a little depressed after talking about my dissatisfaction with life. I wanted to get rid of the unpleasant feelings. So, I looked at him and asked, "And you, what has been happening to you during that time?" Starting with his story, he soon had caught my full attention. There seemed to be something very special about his story. Mike had broken with most of society norms. He led a very restricted and lonely life with no interests in money, material luxury or what we might consider a normal social life. In one word, he had become a great adherent of a simple, almost ascetic life.
But he was searching for more than this. "The things of real interest are those that lie behind their outer existence. You must look behind the curtain, Heinrich!" he said emphatically. I looked at him with surprise, "You must look behind the curtain? What do you mean by this?"
"Well," he said, "I think that you are only looking at three dimensions. So do most people. They are only thinking and acting in a tangible, earthly manner, and thereby, missing something very special!” I gazed questioningly at him. "They are missing the fourth dimension! ... spirituality!" he said with a firm voice. Then he got up. "Another cup of tea?"
So for the rest of the evening that became our main theme. This was the first time in my life that I saw a normal man living an ascetic life that was based on a spiritual concept. He called it more than once "esoterics" or "new age"!
Fundamentally he believed in reincarnation and karma. This is the idea that you are born again and again, and the manner in which you live one life decides what and who you will be in next life. I never had heard of it before. Also, he believed in astrology and therefore that the stars and your time living on earth determine your dispositions and gifts in life.
And last not least, he was experiencing with Tarot Cards. He believed that they could help to make the small and big decisioms of life. And so , time by time, he “asked” them.
I was really impressed. He had a gift of explaining these fantastic things in such a clear and reasonable way. So much so that at one point you stop arguing and start believing. Especially, if you do not have your own clear concept of life.
Finally I said to him: "Mike, I never saw it this way! Yes, things you have told me make sense. They may be true. It is late now, but I want to hear more about this “fourth dimension”. We have to talk again!" He smiled approvingly and got a book from one of his corner shelves, "Here, you can read this till next time. There are many things we have talked about in that book! And please, do come again!"
After a few more minutes, I left him and went home through the clear, cold night. I lifted my eyes to the stars above, "Yes, there are perhaps many things in life that are concealing a useful and valuable secret. It may be worth while to learn more about it." I looked thankfully at the book Michael had given me. Suddenly, I began to feel that a big door called "esoterics" had unexpectedly opened in front of me. And I was determined to go through it!
In the ensuing weeks, I read through the book Mike had given me, bought new study materials from the bookstore, and forged ahead with my esoteric studies. Also I went on visiting Mike, who was always pleased to see me and give me some advice.
At one point I felt confident enough to began practicing with tarot cards. I pressed on in my search, looking finally at my personal horoscope created by an astrologer.
As my knowledge increased, I started telling others proudly and enthusiastically about my new discovery, trying to convince them of its truth. One can see that by now I had already become a believer and a convinced follower of the esoteric path.
Could I have foreseen that these pursuits would lead me to an existential crisis, I would have stopped it immediately. But you are no doubt familiar with the wise words:
"You go forward not knowing the outcome. Only afterwards, when looking back, you will know and understand."
An unbelievable Experience
The winter of 1985 passed quickly, followed by a springtime of surprising developments. One day in April, having nothing special to do, I decided to ride my bicycle over to visit a young couple named Peter and Elke who lived on the other side of town.
I had known them from a chess tournament the year before. They had already asked me three times to visit them in their flat, but I hadn`t much desire and didn`t go. Also this time I didn’t expect too much from it, just perhaps a pleasant time with a nice couple.
Although arriving at their home surprisingly, they gave me a warm welcome. Over the next several hours, we had a good time eating, drinking, and conversing about the many things of life. I hadn´t planned any long discourse on my recent esoteric interests and experiences, but after a while I found myself speaking enthusiastically about these things.
Both listened with interest, but their reactions were different. Peter seemed to be quite sceptical and didn’t try to hide it. But maybe he was polite about it and didn’t wish to be confrontational, he just let it rest without comment.
On the other hand, Elke smiled at me conspiratorially and said, "Very interesting! Later, I will show you something--something that will be of great interest to you.” Now Peter grinned meaningfully and said, "You will be surprised!" Then we changed the subject.
At eleven o’clock Peter went to bed because he had to get up early in the morning to go to work. Elke and me stayed up. She was a student like me and could sleep late in the morning. And I had been invited to sleep on the sofa in the livingroom that night. So the late hour was of no concern to me.
Elke brought some plates and glasses into the kitchen. When she returned, she smiled at me. And I smiled back. We both knew that now the time had come for Elke`s demonstration.
Five minutes later we were sitting side by side at a big table. In front of us a big sheet of paper (39 inches square) was fixed squarely to the table. A little mini-table similar to a Planchette was placed on top of the paper. It had a small pencil attached touching the paper.
I stared at it with a feigned sense of detachment, but inside, I was consumed with excitement. What will happen now?
In the space of just one hour, I had had an experience that deeply changed my view of life. Up until that evening, my life had only taken place in the normal three dimensions. But now, Elke and I had crossed an invisible boundary. And I had become witness and part of a contact with another dimension.What had happened?
Sitting side by side Elke had asked me: "Could you imagine that it would be possible to get in contact with a dead person?" I had raised my brows, "You believe that it is possible?" She smiled and said enthusiastically, "Yes, it is! I have already been in contact with my dead uncle several times."
I was totally astonished. "But how can this be possible?" I asked curiously. "Well, if you agree I will show you? Do you agree!?" I nodded, "Yes, show me!" She smiled at me. "I will call him now! If he is there he will answer through this mini-table." Now she touched it and explained, "It will move, and the pencil will write uncle’s answer on the paper."
I became very quiet and then I said, "Does Peter know that you do this?" She grinned, "Yes, he knows. But he does not like it. I always do it alone. So come on, there is no danger to you! You sit and only watch". I said, “Okay! Let’s go!"
So she called the name of her uncle three or four times and asked each time, "Uncle, are you there? Please answer!" And suddenly the mini-table started to move. Elke cheered, "Ah, there he is. You see, you see? The mini-table is moving!"
Indeed, it really moved! For an hour I was the witness to a chat between Elke and her "uncle". She asked questions and totally understandable answers were written on that big sheet of paper by the table pencil, steered by an invisible power. I was totally fascinated!
Suddenly, I heard Elke joyfully saying, "Come on, Heiner. Now it is your turn. Ask him a question!" I was slightly shocked and hesitated for a moment. When I had recovered, I said, "But I don’t know him!"
Elke didn’t accept that argument. “Uncle, can Heiner ask you a question?” On the sheet of paper appeared the word “Yes!” And after some more encouraging words from her I gave myself a push and asked a question in the room. The table started writing immediately. And it was a good and logical answer. "You see?" said Elke with a triumphant smile," he has answered you!"
2. In contact with the invisible world
Not “alone” anymore!
My life went on pretty much as usual. I was busy with studies at the University, reading my esoteric books, and occasionally spending time visiting friends. And occupied with these activities, I almost had forgotten the extraordinary experience in Elke and Peter’s living room.
But one evening at home, feeling bored, a surprising thought came to mind, If Elke could call her dead uncle, why should I not try to contact my own dead relatives?
So, I began to make preparations for such a session. I took a big sheet of paper out of my wardrobe, built a mimi-table with a small pencil at one corner, and put it all on the kitchen table. Then I sat down, put my hand on the mini-table and waited, what would happen.
It may have been one or two minutes, when suddenly the mini-table started to move. After a few seconds I could read on the big sheet paper, Hello_ Heiner_here_is_Uncle_Willi” I was thrilled!
Fifteen minutes later, my own first contact with the "invisible world" had ended. Not only had I chatted with "Uncle Willi", but "Aunt Mary" had joined in as well! And they had written that there were other "relatives" with them such as my dead grandfather and “Uncle Fritz”, a very beloved one. I felt great inner satisfaction and joy!
It was late at night now, but bursting with excitement, I had to share this experience with someone. So I took my bicycle and rode over to a friend’s house.
When he opened the door and saw me, he gazed at me with big eyes and great astonishment, "You? It`s so late! What’s happened?" "Hello, Michael! Don’t ask. Just come with me. I want to show you something very important!"
He tried to get more out of me, but I only said, "It’s a surprise!" So, some minutes later we rode back to my flat.
The big sheet of paper laid in front of us with that mini-table situated on it. I said to Michael, "So, let’s have a talk with my uncle!" First he stared at me with disbelief, but then he started to laugh, "You’re joking, aren’t you?"
Ten minutes later he said repeatedly with an embarrassed laugh and blushed cheeks, "Unbelievable! This is not possible! I can’t believe it!" But the proof was laying right there in front of us! He had heard my questions to the "relatives" and there, written on that sheet of paper, were their perfectly reasonable answers. "Unbelievable!" he said again at last.
Next day, meeting me by chance in a bistro, we spoke again about that event. He was still affected. “Really, Heiner,” he said, “I would never have believed it without seeing it!” I smiled: “OK, we can do it again!”
Immediately, his mien changed and he looked down to earth and then back at me, "Okay!" he said, "It had worked! But listen, I will never do it again!" Slightly irritated I looked him in the eye and said, "So, why not?" After a pause he said in a low voice, “You want an honest answer? I am afraid of it!"
When Michael had left the bistro soon afterwards, I had asked myself, What does he fear? I really could not understand it. What is wrong with talking to relatives? OK, it`s not the normal way. But a real contact, anyway! So what?
My thoughts went back to the childhood. On the day my parents came to fetch me out of “paradise”, my meagre belongings were packed away in my stepfather’s car and two minutes later we pulled out of the driveway. I could see Uncle Willi and Aunt Mary standing side by side waving goodbye to me. A few seconds later the car turned the corner and my paradise was gone from sight.
Aunt Mary had said, "Perhaps you can come back next year." But I foresaw that it was not to be. And indeed, I never did come back to that beautiful place with all those wonderful fruit trees, the deers in the morning and evening, Uncle`s garden and the distinctive smell of the chicken stable.
The car had not gone back to my grandparents’ home, but to another town. An hour later I had stood in a completely unknown flat. My new stepfather had smiled: "So, Heiner, that’s our new home. Do you like it?" He had taken me to a room with a nice looking furniture set and had said to me: "This is your room!"
So in the next years, life didn’t seem so bad. I liked going to school and did very well there. Furthermore, in my neighbourhood there were some guys of my age with whom I eventually became good friends. We often played football, hide and seek, and other childhood games, as well as, exploring the surrounding hills and forests.
Nevertheless, it became never the same as before. My parents educated me very strictly wanting to make me fit for life. But it hadn`t worked on the long run. At the age of thirteen I became more and more unhappy and rebellious. I almost completely lost interest in school and later, I began more and more to go on my own ways. Spending time with dubious friends, drinking alcohol and playing cards for money, I came on a downwards spiral.
Failing in my final school exams I had thought that I would have reached the bottom of the spiral. But it wasn`t so! Nine month of military service became a complete disaster with almost ending in prison. Now, I had reached the bottom of the spiral.
Then, back from military service, the relationship with my parents began to improve and began to find a new direction in life. A more harmonious state of mind followed in the subsequent year with some success in chess, a girl`s love, and studies.
So, for a while things went a little bit better. But then at age 24 another crisis arose. My studies were interrupted, I lost my flat, followed by some hard month with almost no money. This time it was my stepfather who helped me out of it.
After that, I was determined to live a "normal" life as others do. But you already know how it went after that. At 27 I was again at a low and had asked myself almost desperately: Where can I find happiness in life again?
And now, after 20 years, thanks to Elke, I had come again in contact with my beloved relatives from my "happiest time" in childhood by "looking behind the curtain". So why on earth should I stop it? I am not alone anymore! Perhaps with their help I will find happiness again! Who knows? I paid my bill and left the bistro.
In regular Contact
The next few weeks went along without any untoward events. With the arrival of spring, I was often either outdoors, visiting university, or catching up on things with my friends.
At home I continued on with my esoteric studies. And I contacted my "relatives" in the invisible world at least once a day. Most often, it was a question and answer session. I asked them questions and they gave me answers. “Uncle Willi” was my primary “contact” and seemed to be in charge of providing most of the answers.
So, for example, one time I asked them, "Tell me, what are you doing there in the invisible world?" And the answer of "Uncle Willi" I could read was, We_are_waiting_here_for_our_next_reincarnation_Till_that_ time_comes_ we_are_keeping_an_ eye_on_you_and_also_on_ your_ parents!
At another time I talked with my unseen “family” about the influence of the stars on human existence. Yes, they wrote, there_is_an_immense _influence_from_the_stars Go_on_with_your studies_of_astrology!
And they encouraged me to go on not only with astrology, but also with other esoteric studies, Go_ahead_You_are_on_a_good_way!
They sometimes also talked of God and the Bible. But I found this irritating, because, as far as I knew, those esoteric things such as astrology, tarot, and reincarnation were closer to Buddhism than to the Christian faith. But I did not question it. Surely there would be an explanation for it. I had only started to understand the things "behind the curtain"!
Although I was happy to be in contact with my "relatives", I still felt I had to be careful mentioning it to others. Once, when I talked about it with Mike, my esoteric tutor, he was very reserved when he answered, "Well, I have heard about such things, but they are nothing to me. None of my business!" And with that abrupt statement, our discussions about this theme ended. The topic never surfaced again!
Elke was the only one I could talk with frankly about it, of course. On my next visit to her and Peter, she was delighted when I told her that I was now in contact with my own dead relatives, "Come on! Let’s have another session together!"
So we did enthusiastically. And this time Peter looked over our shoulders for a while watching the moving mini-table and the writing on the sheet of paper. But he made no comment!
And one time I discussed it with Juergen, a good friend of mine. But he only laughed and said, "Nonsense! There is nothing behind the curtain! Dead is dead, that’s it!" I became angry and challenged him, "So let’s try!" He laughed again and said, "It is nonsense! But OK, why not!?" To my big surprise this time the contact with the other side failed.
Afterwards, when Juergen had gone, I asked my "relatives" "Why didn’t you answer?" But their answer was laconic. Do_not_show_this_to_anyone_else_In_future_you_should_ contact_with_us_only_alone
This answer irritated me slightly. Why should not someone of my friends know about it? But I didn`t ask and followed their order.
"Bible, God and Jesus, Free Church? No thanks!"
Claudia was a nice young women that I knew at the university. She was good-looking, very smart, and always very friendly in a modest sort-of-way. One day after a seminar, we sat in front of our building in the spring sunshine, drinking coffee.
After a bit of small talk, I told her about my esoteric passion and the fourth dimension, but I didn’t mention the sessions with my "relatives".
She seemed to listen with great interest, but after I had finished, there was a long, drawn-out pause. So, I asked, "Well, Claudia, what do you think about that?"
First she looked at the ground, then lifted her eyes and looked directly into my eyes, "Well, I do not know much about such things. I am a Christian and I believe in God and Jesus and what is written in the Bible!" Bible, God and Jesus? Immediately, I had a flashback from my childhood. Every Sunday in boring Catholic church, my Communion, the Evening Prayers, the New Testament, the Stories of Jesus, Peter and Paul, and all the rest of it. How long ago it all seemed!
"You are really a Christian and believe in the Bible?" I asked her. She nodded affirmatively. Now, I suddenly felt slightly annoyed, "But that is nothing but legends, fairy tales! How can you believe in such silly things?"
She remained friendly, "I belong to an Evangelic Free Church! Perhaps you could come to our church on a Saturday evening to our ‘open night’. My fiancé is a deacon there. Perhaps you could talk with him. He can answer you so much better than I could!"
Now I became really annoyed and I stood up. "Come on, Claudia, let’s stop talking about it. I accept your faith, but I do not believe in God and the Bible. It doesn’t make any sense to me, so I would just be wasting my time to go to your church."
Later, when I was alone, I began to mull over our exchange in my mind. I was unhappy and puzzled about myself. Why was my reaction so harsh and rude when she began talking about God and the Bible?
I had talked about my esoteric things and in reply she had talked about her Christian faith. So what? I recognized sadly with some self-reproach, She had done nothing wrong!
The Man in the Park
One Saturday evening in early May, I began to feel very lonesome and bored. Therefore, I rode my bicycle into the "Old Town" of Duesseldorf where people go looking for fun and pleasure on the weekends. One might call it, The Place of A Thousand and One Pubs!
So, I walked aimlessly through the little streets wondering what to do. I do not normally like such places with so many people, much drunkenness, and noise. But, I was feeling out of sorts and searching for diversion.
Suddenly, I noticed a piece of paper on the ground and picked it up. It was a religious tract, talking about Jesus and the Bible. And on the other side was the address of a Free Evangelic Church.
Immediately one question came to mind: Is it perhaps Claudia`s church? It was possible, but not sure. More than likely, there were many other free churches in town as well.
Open meeting today! I read in the tract. I remembered Claudia’s invitation. Should I give it a try? Maybe I’ll meet Claudia. Wouldn’t she be surprised? I smiled! Then I suddenly remembered that her fiance, the deacon, would naturally be there also! No, thanks! I thought and put the little tract in my pocket.
Later, I went to a disco. I had barely entered the door and began walking through the room when a young man accosted me with loud and offensive language. I stopped and asked him, "Hey, what’s your problem? I have done nothing wrong to you! So, what’s eating you?"
Now he became angry, shouting at me loudly, and it may have come to a fight! Fortunately, his girl friend pulled him away, and with an apologetic smile to me, said, "He’s drunk! Don’t mind him!"
This encounter had made my day. I immediately left the disco, got on my bicycle, and left the "Old Town" in one foul mood!
On my way home I rode through a park. It was after 10 o’clock in the evening and already dark. Passing a little lake, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, a young man standing at its edge looking towards the water. I didn’t give it a second thought. But suddenly I heard him talking loudly, "I feel so bad! I want to die! I’m going to kill myself!"I was puzzled and slowed down. What was going on here?
Again his words rang out, "I don’t want to live! I’m going to kill myself!" Now I stopped. It looked as if the man was talking to himself and hadn`t recognized me. Or did he pretend to be unaware of me and this was a cry for help?
"Oh, I want die. I’ll kill myself!" he yelled again. Hesitantly and without great enthusiasm, I got off my bike and cautiously approached him. "Hello, what’s the matter with you?" The young man turned half around and looked at me. He had an open, almost handsome face, but with a sad expression on it. “I`m so lonely!”, he said, “I have no friends. I wanna`die!"
Obviously a very unhappy person! But what could I do for him? I felt some way unhappy and lonely, too. "So, what`s your name?", I asked him. "Frank!" was his answer. I gave him a symphatetic smile. "Frank", I said, "you´re young and smart. There is no reason to throw your life away!"
He gave me a shy, sad look. “But I feel so lonely. No one want to be my friend!” “But, look, Frank, you`re are still young and so many things can happen in life. Surely you will find friends, sooner or later!”
So, I talked with him for a little while longer hoping to convince him. And actually, his mood did seem to change. He listened with an interested expression, and one time he actually smiled. At that point I thought that my job was done. And I said, "Okay, Frank, I have to move on now. Sure you will not do any nonsense?"
Immediately, he went back to the previous sad and complaining tone, "When you leave me now, I’m still going to kill myself! I feel so lonely." I felt a surge of anger rising throughout my body. Do I have not problems enough on my own? Wasting my time with this stupid!
But I forced myself to calm down and, instead of giving him some harsh words, I asked, "So, tell me, how do you intend to kill yourself?" He looked towards the lake, "I’ll jump into the lake!" I laughed a little bit in disbelief: "What! The lake is not more than seven feet deep in the middle. How will you kill yourself in it?" After a short pause he said calmly: "I cannot swim!"
I was becoming extremely tired of this conversation, but did not know how to escape. So I continued talking. After another 10 minutes, I said to him, "Really, Frank, I have to go now!" He smiled at me and said: "I’m coming with you!"
After a little while we were out of the park and walking the streets of Duesseldorf. At last, I had accepted his wish to go with me, but only to get some distance between him and the lake. I was waiting now for a good chance to get rid of him.
We were just talking about one of his psychological problems, when he suddenly stopped. "Do you want have some tea with me?", he asked me. But before I could answer he went to the entrance of a large building and opened the door. "This is the Jesus-house!” He grinned, “Jesus-freaks, you know?They had an assembly tonight!"
Actually, the building was fully illuminated, but no one was visible inside. I hesitated. "But when it is over, why do you want go in?" He smiled, "They always open the tea-room after an assembly. You get tea and biscuits and can talk with that Christians!" A man and a young woman came downstairs and walked out of the building.
"You are one of them, Frank?" I asked. He laughed, "No, no, don`t worry! I`m not a Jesus-freak! But sometimes I go afterwards to the tea-room for conversation! They are really nice people!” He made an inviting gesture. “Let’s go inside?"
Suddenly I realized my chance, "Sorry, Frank! I am tired and I’m going to ride home now!" I got on my bicycle quickly. "But you should go inside! Have a cup of tea with them. Bye!" And I started riding away not turning around when I heard him cry, "Wait! I'll come with you!"
On a certain day in June I sat at my kitchen table after lunch near the opened window and looked outside. It was a really lovely early summer day with blue sky and some little white fluffy clouds. In the big garden below, I could see the trees already heavy with many apples, pears, cherries and other fruit.
And a wonderful fragrance filled the summer air from flowers of many kinds. My landlord`s cat napped lazily under a bush and birds flitted aimlessly about filling the day with birdsong and joy. So it must have been that same way in paradise in the beginning!
I felt the urge to talk with someone. So I prepared the things for another contact with my invisible "relatives" and started a new session. I felt great inner satisfaction, when “they” answered immediately.
Being in a good mood I had just asked a curious, but harmless question to "Uncle Willi" and was waiting for his response, when the small table began to move and I read on the big sheet of paper In_ten_minutes_Juergen_will_come_here_to_your_flat! I was astonished, because I did not expect him at all that day. "Really?" I asked aloud into the room. The small table moved again, Yes!_And_he_will_die_this_very_night!
You may know what it means to be assaulted by a single sentence as by an arrow ripping into its mark. Suddenly, from deep within, a big wave of anguish rushed over me and I immediately burst out in tears. I watched my spontaneous reaction with deep wonderment. Only once before in my life it had happened before.
After ten or twenty seconds, I stopped crying and regained a bit of composure. The small table began to move again Do_not_be_so_sorry_Heiner_Tomorrow_he_will_be_here with_us_and_watching_you_Perhaps_then_you_can_play a_game_of_chess_with_him" Immediately, I began to feel consoled and started to settle down. Ok, even though his time on earth will end and he has to die, my contact with him would not be lost, I thought.The small table moved again, So_listen_now_Do_not_talk_with_him_about_his_death_Act _as_normal_as_usual
They gave me some more detailed instructions how to behave this afternoon and then finished with, Hurry_up_He_will_now_come_soon
I quickly picked up my session things from the kitchen table and put them away in a cupboard in the living room. Just when I came back into the kitchen, the doorbell rang. So, I took a deep breath and slowly went to press the buzzer. The door downstairs opened and I heard steps coming up. Just when they stopped in front of my apartment door, I opened it. "Hello, Heiner!" said Juergen and gave me a big smile!
Yes, it was really Juergen, as the "relatives" had announced it. And he was in a good mood and looking as normal as ever. Unbelievable, I thought, that he should die tonight!
Nevertheless, there were some legitimate reasons for such a sudden death. Juergen had serious heart problems and his life expectation was not as long as most people, as he had confided in me once about it.
Now he was age 35 and some years ago he had already become a pensioner carrying a cartiac pace-maker in his breast. Therefore, after the first shock I was not too surprised over the prediction of his early demise!
It was such a beautiful day and so Juergen had come to persuade me to take a walk by the Rhine. We had done this many times before and we usually wound up at a Chinese restaurant. But naturally, this day I wasn’t really in the mood for such pleasure. And the "relatives" had given me other orders. So I suggested we go down into my landlord’s garden.
He seemed a little bit disappointed, but then shrugged his shoulders and said with a resigned smile, "OK! Let`s go to the garden!" I took a book out of my cupboard and went down with him.
Sitting under a plum tree, I now read to him out of the book. Its title was A Journey Through the Universe and the passage was a description of what happens to the soul after biological death.
Reading this had not been my choice but was an order from the "relatives". So, I could see that it perhaps might be good, but Juergen did not understand at all. When I had finished, he broke out in laughter. "Heiner, why on earth did you read that to me!?" And after a short pause, he added more calmly, "You know I do not believe in such things. That`s nonsense to me! Nothing comes after death! Finito!"
I didn’t want to argue with him, but thought resignatively to myself, Soon, you will know better! But hiding my real emotions I said to him in a harmless manner, "I thought that it would be good to read that to you! That`s all!"
So we stayed in the garden all afternoon, but at 5 o`clock Juergen suddenly said, "I feel tired! So, if you like, we can go to our Greek place and have a bite or two. Then I think I would like to drive home."
I thought about his suggestion for a few seconds. The "relatives" had only spoken about the afternoon in the garden and had not mentioned anything about the time after it. "Why not?" I said finally. After all, it would be his last meal on earth!
Juergen drove his car and I rode my bicycle to the Greek place. We ordered some gyros with pommes, a salad, a drink, and chatted as we had always done before. At least, I tried to be normal, but in truth, it was no more than an act, knowing he would die this night. I felt quite badly, but I could not get out of this story. I had become a part of it.
So after an hour, we left the Greek and very soon after that Juergen left me. He drove off in his car and I watched until he was out of sight. In this world I will not see him again! I thought sadly.
An old Book called Bible
I felt a little bit depressed and also exhausted. What should I do now waiting for tomorrow? Going home and get sleep? It was only 6 o`clock in the evening! Too early for sleeping! And, this was perhaps my main reason, I could not bear to be alone at this juncture. I decided to ride my bicycle into town.
As I approached the city, I was surprised to see so many people, especially younger ones, walking in groups or alone in the direction of the old town of Duesseldorf. Some went quietly, but there was mainly the sound of laughter and singing.
I recognized that many of them were coloured in purple and white and carried a rucksack on their back. What is going on here in town? I decided to ride into the old town, too.
After arriving there, I saw that the area was filled with crowds of people. This was most unusual for a Wednesday. And many display stands had been built in front of the pubs and restaurants. Now I was really getting curious! What is going on here?
I locked up my bicycle and went to one of the stands. It was one with tracts and some books. And then I read:
CHURCH DAYS in Duesseldorf from June 6-10, 1985!
I was a little bit puzzled that I had not heard it before. It seemed to be a great event and normally you know about these things when they come to your own town. But I lived on the outskirts and had no TV, radio, or newspaper at home.
Nevertheless, I was really pleasantly surprised. It would help to forget about Juergen for a while and to distract my thoughts with some new and possibly interesting things. And also I was relieved to be around people with cheerful hearts, so, I started to walk around!
At first it took me by surprise that there were so many political things to see at the stands. I asked myself, How is this possible? These are Church Days! I would have expected more religious, especially Christian themes.
After a while I suddenly got an idea I’ll buy a Bible! A bible? For a moment I was surprised about myself. Since my early school days I had not read from it and until this very moment it had remained far from my thoughts.
Ironically Juergen, a convinced atheist, had once advised me to read the Bible. And I had answered him, "Why should I? It is full of legends and fairy tales!" And he had only laughed and said, “Nevertheless, you should!"
And also the "relatives" had sometimes referred to the Bible. For example in quoting a Bible passage. But I had never been able to prove it, because I had no Bible at home.
So both may have influenced unconsciously my upcoming wish now. Perhaps I would find some kind of consolation and also some sense of direction to take with the coming death of Juergen. At least this might have been my hope. So I started looking around for a stand selling bibles.
After searching for a while without success, I began to feel a little confused, How could it be, that at a church festival of such extent with so many book stands yet not a single Bible to be found for sale? Suddenly, I heard singing from inside a church and I went in.
To be honest, it was the first time in many years. The last time I had been in a church was on Holy Night in the home village of my parents when I was younger. At that time it had been due to some sense of sentimental desire or perhaps hoping to hear something useful or inspiring that I had walked into the church service.
But once inside I had not been able to stand it. Right in the middle of the pastor’s preaching, I had stood up abruptly, made my way out to the aisle, and marched right out of the church without looking back!
This time there was no preaching, because it was at the end of the service. The closing blessing was given and then another song. After that, I found myself surrounded by folks streaming out of the church.
A few minutes later, I stood outside in front of the church wondering what to do next when I realized that in the neighboring house there was a big party of young people.
Normally I do not like being around such events with so many young people and so much noise, but suddenly I felt or became aware of a strange, but persistent, inner feeling, Go inside, you will find a Bible there! For a moment I was bewildered but then decided to give it a try. What’s to loose? I walked over to the door and stepped inside.
When I reached the first floor there was a long table with books displayed and many more similar things. Immediately on looking, I saw a small section with some Bibles. Why am I not surprised? I asked myself smilingly.
It took just five minutes to decide on a bible written in modern German. So it would be easier to get through than the old stuff. 10 deutschmarks seemed to be an excellent price for it. I paid and left the building.
The only Way to God
I really felt satisfied that I had been able get a Bible at last. And also the strange manner in which I had found it soothed my spirit. That might be a good sign! I thought to myself. But I didn`t ask myself who might have given me that “tipp”.
When walking back through the old town in the direction of where my bicycle was stashed, my attention was drawn to a loud voice speaking in the open air. A young man was standing on a little platform and speaking to a small crowd in front of him.
This scene really fascinated me, as I had never seen anything like it before in public. The man spoke in a clear and enthusiastic way and all the people seemed to be listening to him with great interest. I stopped and joined the group of listeners.
Very soon I realized that he spoke about faith in Jesus Christ and the eternal life. It sounded a little bit confusing to me. Why should there be a connection between an eternal life and Jesus Christ? And how could it be brought into the concept of reincarnation that Mike and my “relatives” had advocated?
After a while my mind started to drift so I decided to leave. But just as I turned around, a young man addressed me with a friendly smile, "Hello, my name is Herbert and I come from Konstanz. I saw you listening. May I ask you question?"
I was a little bit taken aback by that direct manner of speaking. But since this was no day like any other day, I nodded and said: "Yes, please do!" He smiled again, "Well, do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?
I looked with surprise at him. Then I asked, “A relationship with Jesus? Do you have it?” He smiled again: “Yes, I have! May I tell you about it?”
An hour later I knew he meant about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ! We had found a place to sit down nearby and when he had seen my Bible he had said, "Well, you have a bible?" I nodded, "I bought it ten minutes ago." "Wonderful," he said, "so we can study the issue by reading about it in your Bible." And so we did.
So let me briefly summarize our "bible study". In essence, because of Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden, we are all basically alienated from God and eternally lost.Through Jesus Christ and his death on the cross, Adam`s sin is paid for. Now all people can again come in contact with God by accepting Jesus Christ as his personal redeemer.
Herbert assured me more than one time, "It really works! I have given my life to Jesus Christ some years ago and since that time I am really in contact with God!" Although I had listened very carefully to his words I was not really convinced. I finally asked him, "How do you know that? What makes you sure that you are really in contact with God?"
He answered without any hesitation, "From the time after I accepted Jesus as my Savior, my life has completely changed. God has started to influence my life very effectively. I have experienced many hints and proofs of His love. And he lead me on a new path of life!"
More often than not, I wouldn’t have liked such religious talking, but there was something very fervent and compelling in his voice, expression and gestures. I felt that perhaps he had lived some experiences I knew nothing about.
My own contact with the "relatives" and the announced death of Juergen came to mind. Should I tell him? I decided not! Instead of this I asked him, "But there are so many other religions in the world. For example, what about the Hindu religion? Are they not in contact with God? And what about Ghandi? He was a really good person!"
He turned again to the pages of his Bible and said, "Gospel of John, Chapter 14, verse 6! Let us read!" I opened up my bible again and searched for that verse. Then I read out loud:
Jesus said to him: I am the way, the truth and the life, no one can come to the Father but by me! (John 14: 6)
Now, for the first time during our converstion, I was slightly shocked.What? Jesus, is the only way to God? I asked myself. Within a second or two the full sense of it began to dawn on me. If this was true, me and many others would be on a wrong path of life!
I didn`t show Herbert my commotion. But I allowed him at the end of our conversation to say a prayer for me. And so he did: "Please, Lord Jesus, let him find you. He is like a lost sheep in a great desert and looks for water! Let him not get lost for eternity! Please give him a revelation of yourself!"
Again, I was stunned. So, in Herbert’s eyes, I was in my authentic state, lost for eternity? A disturbing thought! But I said "Amen!" and didn`t comment it. Instead of this, I thanked him for his effort and time, said goodbye and went directly to my bicycle.
When I reached it, I didn’t start immediately. Instead, I looked for a quiet place and sat down. I opened my Bible and read again: ... no one can come to the Father but through me!
Again I could not believe what I read there. If it was really true, my life was wrong! And not only my life! The life of so many others, whether religious or not! Not through Buddha or someone or something else. Only through Jesus one could find God!
So, I closed my Bible and sat there thoughtfully for some moments. Then I had an idea: I will ask the relatives! They surely will know the answer! I felt tired and decided to ride home.
The Man in the Car
At eleven o’clock, I rode past the Greek where Jürgen and I had eaten some hours before. It was still open and I went in to buy a bottle of water. Walking back to my bicycle I passed a parked car along the side of the street. Suddenly, I noticed out of the corner of my eye someone lying with his head on the steering wheel.
Immediately I was alarmed and stopped to take a closer look. It seemed to be a younger man. Was something wrong with him? Was he unconscious? Or sleeping? Or dead? It was impossible to decide.
What should I do? Ignore it and hope for the best? I was not searching for new problems. But perhaps he really needs help? At last, I knocked on the window of his car. There was no reaction.
Now, I was really worried. Should I call for help? Or ignore it? I decided to try again and knocked on the window, but this time with greater force. Slowly the young man`s head lifted and I looked into a confused, slightly annoyed face.
I gave him a sign to lower the window. Slowly, he let it down. "Is everything okay?" I asked him. He didn`t answer, but he only stared at me with glazed eyes. "Do you need help?" I insisted. He opened his mouth and said slowly with a thick tongue, "No, everything is okay!"
Nothing was okay! The man was obviously in a drunken stupor and had passed out. But that was no business of mine, so I decided to go on with my interrupted ride home. "Well then, I apologize for the disturbance and have a good night!"
I had just reached my bicycle when I heard a motor starting. Immediately I turned around and could not believe my eyes. The young man was trying to get his car out of the parking space! Damned alcohol! I cursed inwardly.
Ten seconds later I stood in front of his car and gave him a sign to stop. He obeyed and looked again at me with glazed eyes. "Hey, pal!" I said with a friendly but determined voice, "You shouldn’t try this. You can’t drive your car now." He gave me a puzzled look, "Why not?"
Now I became angry. "Why not? You’re drunk! In this state you won’t even get to the next corner! Come on, don’t be a fool! It’s impossible!" He seemed to understand. "OK! I will not drive." I smiled with some relief at him, "That’s fine! Try to sleep it off! Good bye!"
I had walked towards my bicycle again when I heard the car starting again. Oh, no! I said to myself, turned around and went back to him. This time, I said very harshly "Do you not understand? You are drunk and you are not able to drive your car!" He seemed to think it over for a moment. Then he answered "But you can!"
This affair was beginning to get complicated. I was not willing to take such a risk of driving an unknown car. My life was complicated and troubled enough. "No!” I said, “That’s not possible. I am not a well experienced driver and it’s dark!"
For a moment he was silent and seemed to collect his thoughts. Then he said, "OK, but you have to sit down in my car and talk with me!" He looked at me with a challenging gaze. "Otherwise I will drive! Your decision!"
I stood some seconds in front of his car looking down and searching for a way out. Then I resigned myself with a sigh and followed his "invitation". Slowly I went to the side door of his car and sat down in the passenger seat.
Midnight had passed and the young man had fallen asleep again. He had been to a soccer match at Fortuna Düsseldorf that evening and during the game had had too many cans of beer. After the game he had visited his girl friend, but they had began to quarrel with one another. Angry words were exchanged, tears flowed, and at last his girlfriend showed him the way to the door.
It had not been the first time that they had quarreled, "It has always been about drinking beer. She does not like it! But I do and will not stop it!" He had gotten more cans of beer at a kiosk and began drinking while driving his car. Finally, he was so tired, that he stopped the car and fell asleep. So far his story!
I had tried to comfort him, suggesting that it was perhaps only a normal quarrel with his girlfriend. He had looked miserable, "I love her so much!" At that, he had broken down in tears. Then we had become silent and fallen asleep.
Everyone has his own problems. However, at that moment my own dilemma seemed to me much more perplexing than his. I was tired and depressed and longed for my bed.
I listened to his breathing. It sounded regular and hopefully he would not notice if I were to leave him now. But what if he wakes up in ten minutes and finds himself alone? Will he drive?
I decided to take the risk anyway and opened the car door carefully. But just at the very moment I got one foot out of the car, a bright lightning flash illuminated the night followed by the heavy rumbling of thunder. Within seconds, a cloudburst unleashed torrents of rain on the earth.
"Damn!" I cursed. Why now? With a sigh of resignation, I pulled my leg back into the car and closed the door again. I felt angry and irritated. This is not normal What is going on? A strange thought crossed my mind, Could it be that a higher power had determined it?
What is to be done while sitting in a parked car during a rainstorm at the side of a young man sleeping off too much beer? I began to listen to the stream of my thoughts! So many odd things had happened in the last twelve hours. The "relatives" had announced the death of Jürgen, my purchase of the Bible, the talk with the young Christian, and now this strange scenario with that drunken young man sitting next to me. Was there a hidden sense behind it all?
Suddenly I noticed a poster on an advertising pillar just outside the window in front of me. Well, I presumably had looked at it before but without paying much attention to it. It was the only poster on the pillar and now in the darkness I could only read one word. It was written in big letters:
Paulus, Peter and Paul, and his conversion from Saul to Paul! Long-buried memories from my Catholic childhood flooded my mind. Saul had persecuted the first Christians in Jerusalem.
But on his way to Damascus to seek out more Christians, suddenly there was a blinding flash of light from above and a voice spoke out of the clouds! "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
It had been the voice of Jesus and Saul had converted to the Christian faith and called himself Paul from that time on. Strange, why am I now sitting just in front of this name? A Coincidence? The talk with the young Christian came to mind and his prayer, Jesus, please show him that you are really the Lord and let him find you!. Was there a connection between the poster and the prayer?
The young man beside me began to move and opened his eyes. For a moment he stared at me questioningly, but then he seemed to remember. "Hello," I said, "how are you?" He smiled weakly and said, "Oh, much better. But I long for my bed!" Then he turned the key of his car and started the motor. At once I was scared again. "Are your sure?", I asked him.
He nodded , "Yes, everything is okay! Where do you live? I will take you to your home!" Outside it was still raining and I knew I could not stop him anymore. "OK! Let`s drive!" A quarter of an hour later I opened the door to my flat. In another two minutes, as I laid my head on my pillow on my own bed, I fell at once into a deep sleep.
Early in the morning I got up feeling dizzy and restless. But I wanted clarity about Juergen’s fate! So, I set up the devices for a new meeting with the "relatives" on the kitchen table and sat down with a cup of tea.
When I laid my hand on the mini-table it began to move immediately. I could read on the fresh,white sheet of paper, Hello_Heiner_how_are_you_Willi_is_here
At once I felt better. But this time I was not in the mood for small talk. So I asked directly, "Has Jürgen died?" The mini-table moved again: Yes_he_is_now_here_with_us!
I took a deep breath. Then I said, "OK, so I want to play the promised game of chess with him. You remember?" There was a small pause. Then came the answer:
Yes_I_remember!_But_right_now_that_is_not_possible_He_had a_hard_and_long_struggle_of_death_and _is_very_exhausted I was dumbfounded. Normally I would have thought that after the death of the body everything would be okay in the other world. Obviously not! Suddenly a trembling writing became visible on the big sheet of paper: Hello_Heiner! Joy arose in my heart. It is Jürgen! I thought.
"Hello Jürgen! Good to know you are on the other side with my relatives." I smiled. "So you have time to recover till tomorrow. We shall play a game of chess then, and”, I joked, “you will loose as always! So bye till tomorrow." I waited for a moment, but there came no answer. So, I got up from the table and poured myself another cup of tea.
When I returned to the kitchen table I felt relieved. Now it was clear that Jürgen was with my "relatives". And he was accessible and we could stay in contact. Will he play stronger chess now than before? I smiled! I shall see tomorrow!
The evening before came to mind and young Christian`s words: Jesus is the only way to God! Again, I began to feel a little bit uneasy. "Is it really true that Jesus is the only way to God!" I asked into the empty room. The small table began to move again and in a few seconds I could read the answer: Jesus_ is_ one_ way_ to_ God_ but_there_are many_others_too
Ah, that`s it! I thought. Jesus was one, but not the only way to God. I was satisfied now and stopped thinking about that question. So I changed the subject and chatted on with "Uncle Willi".
After a while he suddenly started talking about another friend of mine and said something surprising. Not only surprising, but bewildering as well, and I knew that it was wrong. So I stood up and started walking up and down in my flat. Nervously I thought, It isn`t true! But Uncle Willi should know this. They seem to know almost everything. So why is he saying this to me? I was confused! Slowly I went back to the kitchen table and said: "Please_tell_me! What_is_going_on_here?"
The answer came immediately. The mini-table and pencil scribbled over the sheet of paper as it had never done before. I could feel, before reading the text, a vehement emotion behind it. I stared at the text on the paper: IF_YOU_CALL_US_AGAIN_SOMETHING_TERRIBLE_WILL
I was totally shaken! Frozen to the spot, I stood in the middle of the room and felt waves of silent horror running through my body. Confusing thoughts washed over my mind. At last, I walked back and forth in my living room trying to silence this sense of terror, and finally laid down on the sofa. No matter. I was unable to quiet my nerves, this dense feeling of oppression.
What was going on? Again and again this question pestered me. I could not come across any reasonable answer. After a few more minutes, I stood up abruptly, got my jacket, and left the flat.
I did not know what to do. Deep inside I felt a kind of increasingly oppressive fear. Things had somehow gotten far out of control. My immediate thought now was to retrieve my bicycle. It had remained near the Greek from the night before. Therefore, I went to the next bus station to get there.
While waiting for the bus, another heavy rain shower came down with thunder and lightning as during the night. And within minutes a four inch deep muddy stream of water flooded the street. It looked like a small river of mud. Never in my life I had seen such a thing! Even the elements seemed to be getting out of control.
Five minutes later the spookiness of the scene had disappeared and things began to seem normal again. The street remained covered here and there with watery mud but it was not hindering the traffic. Some minutes later the bus came and I got on. In a little while I reached the Greek place and opened the lock of my bicycle. Then I rode in the direction of the Old Town! I longed for the reassuring presence of people. Being among fellow humans, I would perhaps feel safer. At least so I hoped.
When I reached the "Old Town" of Duesseldorf, it was almost the same as always. The visitors of the "Church days" were only sporadically seen and most of the stands had not yet opened. So I went to my favorite pub and looked to see if any of my acquaintances were there.
But nobody was. Only some backgammon players were active. I watched them playing their games without interest and waited. But nobody came."Where are the others?" I asked when there was a lull in their activity. One of them shrugged his shoulders and said, "I don’t know! It’s the holidays. Maybe they’ll come later!"
"Holiday? What holiday?" I asked. I could not remember a special day. "Ah, a clerical one. Don’t know. Perhaps Corpus Christi!" "Happy carcass," said the other and both laughed. Then they started a new game.
It was enough for me. I could not stand to watch any longer and went back outside. Aimlessly, I walked through a small alley. What should I do? Meanwhile I had calmed down. Normal surroundings and familiar sights had provided a good balm for my nerves. I decided to ride back home.
I was just leaving the inner city, when I suddenly felt a great thirst. So I immediately stopped my bicycle and looked for a business or a kiosk.
On the other side of the street in the distance I could see a super-market. I watched the entrance of the super-market: No one going in, and no one going out! Suddenly I remembered what the backgammon player had said. Corpus Christi, which holiday would be today.
I looked around for a kiosk. Nothing! But my thirst was still there. And it was so strong that I couldn’t think of anything else. In some distance I saw people standing in front of the door of a big house. What were they waiting for? My eyes followed along the green front of the building and stopped at some big orange letters : Jesus Christus is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14.6)
For a moment I was stunned. Again that Bible verse! I looked higher to the top of the building and there spelled out in huge letters: JESUS-HOUSE
And suddenly, I remembered the night with Frank, the young man in the park, who had wanted to commit suicide. We had stood talking in the exact spot where these people were now waiting. His words came back to me. “Inside is a tea-room. Here we can get tea and biscuits.”
This might be a chance, I thought and decided to give it a try! So I locked my bicycle at a lamppost and went to the entrance. I had just grasped the bar of the big glass door, when suddenly a hand was laid on my arm. "You can’t go in there," said a friendly young man perhaps 25 years old but with a determined voice.
I took my hand from the glass door and stared at him with an uncomprehending glance. "Ah, sorry! Why not?"
"There is a concert going on in there by a Christian pop group. The hall is completely filled. We are not allowed to let any more come in!" He directed me with his hand on my back: "Look at all the people out here. They are waiting, too! Only if someone comes out, someone new can go in."
I looked at the waiting people, who were also staring peculiarly and with some unfriendliness at me. I turned around to the young man, "And who you are?" He remained friendly. "I am a member of the Jesus-house and at this moment I’m working with Jan," and indicated another young man standing on the other side of the door, "the doorkeeper!"
I looked from him to the other one and back again "Listen," I said, "I am not interested in the concert. I am just thirsty and only want something to drink. So please let me in!" For a moment he looked silently at me and then he suddenly said, "OK! Come in! But only you!" He opened the door a little bit and I slipped in. I could hear behind me loud and angry protests from the waiting crowd. Doesn’t matter, I thought, I am in.
Walking upstairs I heard hard rock music from above. I followed the noise. Suddenly, after climbing more stairs, I stood in front of a big open door. Deafening loud noise came from within. Nevertheless I walked inside.
Now I saw that the doorkeeper hadn`t exaggerated. The large half-darkened hall room was completely filled with hundreds of mainly young people, standing in the seat rows and beside, making cheerful, crazy noise.
Some were dancing and clapped uncontrolled with their hands, especially the young folks directly in front of the stage at the end of the room. On the stage, fully spotted by big headlamps, gave a band of five musicians their “best”, heating the folks permanently. Luckily I discovered a free place next to the wall and leaned against it.
Well , I didn`t like such noisy mass events in general, but I also wasn`t in a cheerful mood. So, very soon I drifted away into the realm of my private thoughts. I thought about Jürgen and the terrible threat from my "relatives". “If you ever try to get in contact with us again, something terrible will happen!“ Why had they threatened me in such a terrifying way? What had I done wrong? I couldn`t find any answer. It didn`t make any sense. Or a sense I couldn`t see. So, I tried to relax and forget about it.
Now, the lead singer on the stage was almost flipping out and the screaming of the crowd reached an almost unbearable level. This brought me back into reality. Was I really in a church? Suddenly on the stage and in the room all movement stopped. The lead singer took a microphone and started talking "The love of Jesus is the greatest power in the world and in heaven!" he said. Then he shouted, "He is the King of all kings! He is my Savior! Hallelujah!" All over the room came cheerful agreements and "Hallelujah!" and “Amen”.
This man called Jesus his Savior? I was surprised! "I was a sinner," I heard him saying, "but Jesus saved my life!" He made a significant pause, and then with an outstretched arm to the audience, "And he wants save your life also!" Again the room was filled with shouts of “Amen” and “Hallelujah!”
I was just trying to figure out, how his flipping-out behavior and Jesus could go together, when the hard rock noise started again. I couldn`t stand any longer and left the hall quickly!
"The Lord will come soon"
I walked slowly downstairs feeling quite a bit uneasy. Meanwhile, the entrance door had been opened and people were coming in and out. Just when I wanted to leave the building I noticed an open door to the right. Over it was written in black painted letters: BOOKSTORE The remembrance came back to mind: Ah, I came into this building for drinking. Perhaps I will find here! And so I changed my direction and went in.
It was a little shop with only a handful of people in it. I looked around and at one end I saw something that looked like a concession stand with coffee and cakes for sale. A minute later I was standing in the middle of the room, enjoying hot coffee and a sweet cake. I started feeling better. Just a moment of peace in all that chaos!
Suddenly, the woman who had served me turned around and looked directly at me with penetrating, intensely blue eyes. Then she said calmly, "The Lord will come soon!", and turned back to her work. I stood there in profound puzzlement and shock, as if I had just been smacked in the chest with a sledgehammer. Who has spoken to me through her? I asked myself fearfully.
I felt frightened and confused all at the same time. The Lord will come soon, she had said. Did it mean that I would have to die on this day? I felt weak in my legs and searched for a place to sit down. So, I went through a door that was opened outside to the street.
Surprisingly, the place directly in front of the Jesus-house was now filled with tables and chairs. Men and women were sitting at some of them, drinking coffee, and eating cakes. I sat down at the end of a table where a young couple and an old man were talking intently with one another. It was good to hear friendly conversation and warm voices. At least for a while I would be protected.
My thoughts went back:The Lord will come soon! Who had moved her to say these words to me? And who was the “Lord”? Could it be a message from my "relatives"? Or from someone else? I had no answer. Meanwhile I had watched the old man talking passionately to the young couple, who were listening to him with great interest. He spoke with such fervour and enormous detail that he seemed to be trying to convince them of something.
A strange thought or wish took shape in my mind Perhaps it would help me if I could talk with him. But immediately doubts came up. Could anyone help in this frightening situation? Just at that moment all three stood up sharing friendly amusement and handshakes and then the young couple walked away hand in hand. Suddenly, the man and I were alone.
He stood quietly at the other corner of the table. Now, he looked in my direction. It took some seconds before he seemed to have made his decision. Then he walked around the table, "Hello! My name is Carl. Sorry for asking, but is something troubling you?"
I was a little bit surprised by his direct manner of addressing me. Was my face an open book for anyone to read? He looked serious yet friendly, and I began to feel confidence in him. “Well, you may be right!", I answered. And again I was surprised by his next question: "Do you know our Lord Jesus Christ?"
Normally, I would have stopped our conversation right then, but it was no “normal” day! It was perhaps the day of my death! I needed someone to talk, some help! Thoughtfully, I answered, "Yes, naturally I know Jesus! But presumably not in the way you mean it!" He nodded sympathetically: "Should we pray together?"
I kept silence for a moment! Praying? When have I prayed the last time? In my childhood? I could not remember exactly. But, why not? I looked around. Some people were still scattered at some of the other tables: "Yes," I answered, "but not here!" He made an inviting gesture in the direction of the entrance of the Jesus-house: "They have a little prayer room there where we can be alone!" I stood up and we walked inside together.
The Visit of the Lord
On the first floor we walked into a small room. There were only a few chairs inside and we sat down. Then I waited to see what would come next. "Well," he suddenly said, "you can start with your prayer!"
Again, he surprised me with his direct manner. But OK, he was right! We had entered this to pray. I tried to concentrate, but I felt nothing other than tiredness and loneliness. And then, suddenly, I began to weep! All the burden of the last 27 hours seemed to be unloaded in that moment. It had been all too much for me! After a few moments more, I calmed down and my tears stopped. I said to Carl, "I cannot pray! I do not know what to say!"
The old man did not comment about that, but said: "Well, God knows that! So let us do it this way. I pray a sentence and you repeat it. So, it will the same as if it had come directly from you. God knows your weakness and will accept this.” And after a short pause he asked, “Can we start?" I nodded!
So, Carl began to pray: "Lord Jesus, you see me sitting here in front of you with a troubled heart." He paused, and I repeated the sentence. He went on: "You know me better than I myself. Please forgive me that I have ignored you for so long." How did he know that? Never mind. I repeated the sentence!
He continued with closed eyes: "So, Jesus, I will now give my life into your hands. Please forgive my sins and please take my life and lead me from now on! I will follow you!" What am I doing here? Giving Jesus my life, follow him ... do I really want that? Never mind, ...I can decide that later! I quickly thought to myself and repeated the words of the man. "Amen!" he said and opened his eyes. "Amen!" I said and felt nothing.
We stood up, he smiled and hugged me: "Now you are a child of God!" I said nothing. "Wait, my wife has a book for beginners in faith. I will go and get it." So he went out of the room and left me there alone.
I sat back down in the chair. Different thoughts came into my mind. OK, the old man had taken me by surprise. I hadn’t hadthe intention to give Jesus my life so soon. But on the other, I am in big trouble and this may be a chance! So why not?
I felt that I had to make a decision. Would my prayer be valid or not? A serious question! So I thought it over for some seconds. What do I have to loose? Nothing! But perhaps much to win! Yes, I said in my heart, from my side it is valid. And immediately, I felt deep relief.
The spoken sentence from the woman in the bookstore “The Lord will come soon!” came into my mind. And suddenly I understood and knew with clear certainty: It has been an announcement of the visit of the Lord Jesus! An announcement, which had now been fulfilled. The Lord had been here in this room a few minutes ago!
Soon the old man came back and gave me the promised book. It was about first steps in faith. He said vividly "My wife wants to see you. So would you come with me to meet her?" "Yes, why not?" I said, and we left the room. Two minutes later I was again in the large hall where the rock concert had taken place. This time it was only half-filled with people sitting and standing, some of them talking with one another.
Carl led me into one of the front rows, and then he suddenly stopped and said, "This is my wife Margot!" And to her, who had now just risen from her chair, "And this is Heiner, the young one, who has just become a Christian!" She, perhaps 20 years younger than her husband, smiled heartily at me: "Ah, you are the one! Welcome in faith! I am sure you will never regret it."
So, I talked with her for a while, when suddenly from the stage in front of us, singing voices and instruments could be heard. I looked up at it with astonishment and saw some young men and women standing there, some with guitars. In the back a young man was sitting behind a percussion. Now, singing began from the entire room. I may have looked puzzled, so Margot said: "Ah, the church meeting has started. I hope you will stay!"
I hesitated! To stay for a longer time in this place had not been my intention. But the singing was very peaceful and joyous, showing good harmony. Carl`s wife said "Later, there will also be preaching! You should stay. You can learn so much from it!" And so I stayed and singing went on. Many of the people were standing in front of their seats, raising their arms into the air and singing enthusiastically with closed eyes. "That`s called Worship of God!" whispered Margot.
Indeed, the songs were mostly about God, Jesus or the Christian faith. But they were totally different from those I knew from my youth. These songs were here very simple and cheerful. I liked them immediately and after a while, I joined in singing the texts, which were projected on a wall behind the stage.
Suddenly, maybe after half an hour, the whole assembly clapped their hands, shouting: "Praise the Lord", "Hallelujah" or "Amen". Then after a perhaps a minute the jubilation ebbed down and the whole assembly sat down. The worship team left the stage. The room lights were dimmed leaving only the stage lights for illumination. A man perhaps 35 years of age went up the stairs onto the stage. He sported an impressive beard and held a big book in his right hand. "That is the pastor of the Jesushouse!" said Margot. "He will preach now!"
He spoke slowly and with a soft voice. And he talked about a verse from the Bible: Except you are born again through water and spirit, you cannot see the Kingdom of God. (John 3,3) It was Nicodemus, a Jewish teacher, who had asked Jesus what were the requirements for eternal life. And this was the answer he got from Jesus.
The pastor spoke over an hour about this theme in different variations. But his central message was simple, "You have to be born again through faith in Jesus. Otherwise you are lost forever!" Honestly spoken, I may have heard that message before, but never in such a clarity! At some point of his sermon I realized that I was now a born-again Christian, too! And I felt happy!
So when he had ended with his preaching, there was soft music from a band followed by a Pastor`s call for those who want to become a Christian: "Today is the day, the Lord says. I have called you by your name. Do not hesitate! Come forward and give me your life!"
It needed some minutes before a considerable crowd of people had assembled in front of the stage. Meanwhile a choir was singing softly in the background and the pastor`s voice could be heard from time to time saying "Thank you, Lord" and "Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
At last the choir stopped singing and after a moment of complete silence the Pastor started praying. "Oh, God, you are great and very merciful. And you see us standing here in front of you. Oh, Lord! Please look at those who have followed your call and accept them as your followers as you have promised. And please guide and protect them so they can grow in faith. Watch over them, as we all know that the devil does not sleep in his constant attempt to pull them away from their new faith. Oh, God, you are so great and merciful and you love your children." And after a short, "Amen!" And all agreed, "Amen!"
Now, the pastor smiled and said cheerfully:”I welcome you all in the family of God. You are now a child of God, and He will guide and protect you. Praise the Lord!” And again the whole assembly started clapping hands and shouting cheerful proclamations.
At last everything came to a conclusion and the pastor said, "The hour is already late, so we finish now the official part of the assembly. But you may stay here in the building and have a few extra moments to talk with others, or to drink some tea in our tea-room." Tea-room! That sounded like an excellent way to finish the day with a cup of tea in a relaxed manner. I started toward the exit and had gone only some meters, when I suddenly heard the pastor`s voice again.
"Sorry, I forgot to mention: For those, who want a personal prayer, please stay here." I looked back. "Perhaps you have problems or you want confess sins such as robbery, adultery or occultism! Or if you have another reason, then please stay here. We shall pray with you!"
Occultism? What is that! I remembered, that I once had read in an esoteric store some book titles with that word. I hesitated and asked myself, Have I perhaps something to do with that occultism?
So, as I was about to go back in, I saw there were many people standing around the pastor already. No, I decided, I would have to wait too long. An idea came to mind and I thought it over. Then I bowed my head and said in a low voice, "Jesus, this is my very first prayer as a Christian. If I have anything to do with occultism, please let someone in the tea-room start talking about it. Then I will know for sure that I have something to do with it! Amen!" Then I left the hall!
When I entered the tea-room, I was surprised to find it almost empty. The room was well furnished with tables and chairs, tablecloths, candles, and baked goods. A nice young woman with short, red hair and freckles gave me a cup of tea. I looked around, undecided what to do. At the end of the room two elderly people were sitting, but for today, I had been dealing with enough older people for one day! I remained standing near the young woman, but said nothing.
Just at that moment a young man of my age came in. He saw the woman behind the counter and shouted joyfully, "Ah, Silke, good to see you!" She gave him a pleasant smile and said: "Uli, you’re back in Germany? I heard you had been on tours abroad with Youth With A Mission!" The young man now stood directly beside me at the counter, but ignored me. "Yes, I’m back with my team to serve here at Church Days. But you are right, I have been in Egypt!"
"In Egypt?" she asked with enormous eyes. "I have heard that it is very difficult to do mission work there. Difficult territory, isn’t it?" He nodded: "Yes, you are right! Once we found ourselves in a room where I immediately sensed the presence of the occult powers!"
Till this moment I had listened with casual interest, but now I interrupted energeticly, "Excuse me. You said occult! What does that mean?" They both looked at me with surprise. The young man hesitated for a moment and then he said, "Occult means things like magic, for example. But tell me, why do you want to know this? Are you a Christian?" I smiled, "Yes, for just two hours! And I want to know whether or not I am involved with occult things.” He did not bat an eyelash and said, "So why do you think that you could be involved?”
I shrugged my shoulders "Well, I do not know exactly. For example, I am occupied with astrology, tarot and I also had contact with my dead relatives." He raised his eyebrows and gave me his full attention." You had contact with your dead relatives? How did you do it? Pushing glasses?" I denied, "No, with a small table!" "Anyway," he said, "these are things that are not good!”
He looked around. Meanwhile the room had filled with people. “Ah, there is Mike!”, he said and pointed to a dark-haired man sitting alone in an armchair. “ I would like to introduce you to him. He can answer you much better than I can. Before he became a Christian, he was involved with white magic." We walked up to him and Uli said, "Mike, here is a young man …” , he interrupted and looked at me. “by the way, what is your name?” “Heiner”, I said. He continued introducing me. “Heiner has become a Christian today. He is not sure whether he is involved in occult things or not. Could you tell him something about occultism!" The man looked at me, then he nodded and said, "Please take a chair and sit down!"
Mike was a good looking man with a symphatic voice. I estimated him possibly at 35 years of age. So after having sat down he told me a little bit about his magic experiences. At last, he said, "Well, this was before becoming a Christian. Today, I know that it was wrong."
Now I started to tell him about my esoteric things and he listened without looking at me. But when I mentioned the contact with my "relatives" he suddenly looked right at me with a jolt and amazement! Then he said slowly, "Did you really think that these were your dead relatives?" I was astonished, "Sure! I knew them since my childhood?" He shook his head. "No, these have not been your relatives! You have been in contact with demons!" I was puzzled, "Demons? What s that?" Again he looked straight into my eyes, "Evil spirits! The servants of the Devil!"
In the same moment I began to understand. It was as if a bright light had illuminated my brain. "Evil spirits?", I repeated. "I have been in contact with evil spirits all the time? My god!"
Of course, this was the only possible explanation for the hard words at the end of our contact. My relatives would never have talked to me in such a way. But why did the evil spirits stop the contact? , I suddenly thought. Had I come to close to the truth?" Well, let us pray!" Mike`s voice brought me back into the present.
With Mike and Uli at my Home
Within 15 minutes we were sitting in Uli`s car driving to my flat. After his prayer Mike had said, "I think we should clean your flat. The demons will not go away voluntarily. We have to chase them out!” I had agreed. He was the expert! So he had asked Uli for support and Uli had decided to come with us, "Such things are dangerous and should never be done alone", he said to me.
It was after midnight when we reached my flat. We calmly climbed the stairs and went inside. Everything was as I had left it, I realized, with some relief. Mike said, "Ok, it is late. Let’s start!" I sat down in an armchair and Mike and Uli started praying in a low voice.
They started to walk through my flat and began praying in low voices. I watched them attentively and with a mixture of curiosity and worry. Their voices became louder. Suddenly I heard Mike saying " Demons, we command you to leave here immediately! In the name of Jesus: LEAVE!"
So,they prayed at every spot in my flat and commanded the demons in loud and harsh words to leave. For a few moments I feared they would wake up my landlords in the apartment below, but then I forgot about them. It has to be done, I thought.
Mike and Uli did their work seriously and I understood completely; this was not a game. This was a fight and a serious confrontation with evil spirits! Suddenly, their voices calmed down and their praying stopped. Mike came up to me and said," I think, it is over now. Your flat is free of demons!" "Hallelujah," said Uli, "Praise the Lord! He has started to do great things in your life." "Thanks", I said thoughtfully.
"Before we leave," Mike said, "we should remove all the things you used to contact the demons. Do you agree?" I went to my cupboard and got everything out of it; the small table with the pencil and all the written papers. I laid all of it on the kitchen table. “So many papers!?” said Mike and picked one them. It was that one where the "relatives" had announced the death of Jürgen. He showed it to Uli and for a moment both stared at it with incredulity. Then Mike laid it back to the others.
"Anything else?”, Mike asked, ”What about your esoteric books?" Again, I went to the cupboard and got all esoteric literature out of it. Now, a large collection of papers and books was piled on my kitchen table. "Is it okay with you if we take it with us and destroy it?" Mike asked. "Yes, of course, please do!" I agreed and fetched two big garbage bags. After a minute or two, both bags stood well-filled in front of us.
Mike looked at his watch. "Okay,” he said, ”we have to leave now! Tomorrow we have a hard day in front of us. So, Heiner, have a nice sleep!" I was stunned. They wanted to leave me behind in the flat? "No!" I said. Both looked at me with a surprised gaze. "No!" I repeated. "I cannot stay here alone tonight. I would like to come with you. Is it possible?”
They looked at each other and then Uli decided, "Okay! You have a sleeping bag?" I nodded. "So take it and pack up some bathroom supplies. We shall find a place for you in our camping school." He gave me an apologetic smile, "But there will be no comfort! You have to sleep on the ground like the rest of us." I nodded, "No problem!" Two minutes later we left my flat with the two garbage bags, my sleeping bag and a sport bag!
A dangerous Night
We reached the school camp long after midnight. When we walked through the schoolyard only a few lights inside the huge building were visible. "Some hundred youngsters are staying here for the night!" Uli told me. I was surprised: “Some hundred youngsters?”, I repeated. “Yes! Volunteers!”, he said, “ They are coming from all over the world, giving their time to Jesus and doing mission work here during the Church-days in Dusseldorf! “They are part of a worldwide organization called "Youth With A Mission" (YWAM),” Mike added, “ and Uli and I are leaders in it.
In the building we went through a number of floors and at last we came to a classroom "This is our leader room," Mike told me. "We have to be very quiet! Presumably they all are already sleeping."
Actually they were.. Mike and Uli walked over to their sleeping bags, and I put my sleeping bag next on a free spot in the middle of the room. A man, who had woken up, was watching me. "Hello," I said in a friendly manner. When I was also settled in my own sleeping bag, I fell asleep almost instantaneously.
After perhaps an hour, I woke up. It was very quiet in the classroom and moonlight was streaming in through the large glass windows. I felt vigilant and very wary in my mind. Suddenly, a clear command came into my head. "Go into the toilet!" I was slightly shocked about hearing that voice but didn’t hesitate. Slowly I got out of my sleeping bag. Then I walked out and searched for the toilet.
When I walked around the corner of the long floor there was a boy`s room. I opened the door and went inside. For some seconds I stood there in the middle of the toilet, undecidedly what to do next. Then again, I heard that voice in my head: "Turn around!"
Obediently I turned around and immediately my eyes fixed some written words on the wall in front of me:
Willi is greeting you!
For a moment I felt like loosing the ground. These were the same words “Uncle Willi” often had used at the beginning or end of the “table sessions”. They are here!, I thought with upcoming panic. Keep calm! You belong now to Jesus. They have no power over you!, was my next thought.So, I left the toilette and went back into the classroom.
I laid down again and tried to go back to sleep. But it was impossible. Too many thoughts went through my mind. How was it possible that this sentence of all had been written on the wall? Had the demons it written by themselves? And how shocking that they obviously had had still the power to lead me to this spot! Or was there another explanation for it? Had it been perhaps God who had me lead to that spot in the toilette? But why?
After a while, I was tired of thinking. So I put my hands behind my neck and stared at the the wall with the blackboard in front of me. It was bathed in moonlight. “Don`t worry!”, I said to myself. In any case, I was a Christian now! So what could happen? I calmed down. The schoolroom reminded me of my own school days. OK, so it had not always been good times, but in spite of that, the room gave me a feeling of a familiar assurance. Especially the moonlight had a soothing effect on me.
Suddenly my eyes were fixed on the wall in front of me, and what I saw now. made me shiver. In a game of shadows, a combination of the filtered moonlight and the shadows of the window panes' framing, on the wall in front of me was readable: tot (dead).
For a moment I laid there horror-stiken, then I jumped up and rushed over to Mike`s sleeping bag, shaking him awake. He looked at me with a perplexed look. “What`s the matter?", he asked. “Sorry, Mike,” I said, “ but strange things have happened. Please let me show you." He got out of his sleeping bag and followed me to the middle of the room. I pointed to the wall, where the word tot was still visible,"Look at this! Do you see it?" He nodded slowly.
Then he followed me into the toilette, where I showed him the writing on the wall. I explained him what immense meaning that sentence had for me. He understood it immediately. Then he said. "Okay, let us go out and pray!" Outside on the floor we chose a corner and Mike began to pray, "Dear Lord, we do not know what is going on here! But Heiner is now your child and under your protection. Therefore, we pray, that these attacks are stopped now. Please let Heiner sleep till morning without fear and another interruption! Amen!" "Amen!" I agreed.
We went back to our sleeping bags and after five minutes I fell asleep. The rest of the night I slept soundly and without any interruption.
Inner Peace and back home!
There was a lot of commotion next morning in the school. Noises and cheerful laughter could be heard from outside. Meanwhile in lour classroom some sat on their sleeping bags, reading their Bibles. Others arranged their personal affairs or had a small breakfast. Mike came up to me, "Morning, Heiner! Did you sleep well?” I nodded and said, “Hello,Mike! Yes, everything was fine. No further attack! Thanks for your help!”
He changed thesubject, ”Uli and me are going to Jesushouse now for breakfast. You can come with us, if you like!" I thought it over for a moment, then I answered, "No,thanks, but I would like to have some time for myself." "Okay", he said, "I understand. But Jesushouse will be open all day. So, you can go there later. It is a good place where you will be among other Christains, who can help you if necessary."
“You will not be there?" I asked. "No, Uli and me will be in town for mission! So we shall meet again tonight here in school, if you like."Okay ", I said, "I will be here!"
The next two days I spent most of my time in the Jesus-house. Everything was new and exciting for me. Many extraordinary things happened in that time. One of them was the encounter with Thomas.
On the afternoon of the second day I had sat down in a corner of the tea-room to relax. I had closed my eyes for a while, when suddenly someone touched my arm. I opened my eyes and saw a young, slim man standing in front of me. “Hello”, he said with a smile, “I`m Thomas, the doorkeeper from yesterday, who let you in.” Now I recognized him and I smiled back, “Yes, I remember! Please, sit down!” I offered him a place beside me.
Thomas sat down and said: “You have become a Christian, I have heard!” “Yes, indeed, but who told you?” He laughed: “Well, that´s not a secret in Jesus-house! I have heard it several times! But I didn`t know the person to the story. Now, someone showed me you sitting here!”
The next half hour I told him my story with all the esoteric and occult things, the announcement of Jürgen`s death and my convertion. “By the way,” I said,” thank you very much that you have let me into Jesushouse. I don`t know what would have happened if you wouldn`t have done so!”
Suddenly he became very serious. “Yes,” he said,” this was a strange thing. Ten minutes before you came I suddenly got a strong inner impuls to replace one of the doorkeepers on duty. I felt that this impuls came from God, and I was obedient.”
I looked ar him with surprise. “Yes,” he said,”and then you came. We had strict orders to let no one in. And normally we wouldn`t have let you in, although you were very obstinant! But suddenly I had again that strong impuls. An inner voice said to me: Let him in! And so I did.”
“So, God gave you the order to let me in?” I asked amazed. “Yes”, he said, “and you can be sure that the doorkeeper, whom I have replaced, wouldn`t have let you in!” He laughed: “Obviously your time had come and God was decided to save you!”
I was really touched. “Wow, that`s called God`s grace, I think!?” “Yes!” ,he said, “ have you already confessed your sins?” Again I looked with surprise at him: “Confessed my sins? I have prayed with Mike and Uli.” “Well, that`s not enough!”, he said, “ you should speak with the pastor of Jesus-house. He is just now in his bureau. If you like, I ask him for a meeting.” I was not really convinced, but I said: “Okay, if you think that this is necessary, please ask him.” And so Thomas left me to ask the pastor.
Ten minutes later I was sitting in the pastor`s bureau. The pastor, two elder and Thomas listened to my story. When I had finished, the pastor said: “Well, Heiner, you have done evil things. Astrology, Tarot and Spiritism are really great sins in God`s eyes.” He read a bible vers according to this theme. “So, you are here to confess these things. Right?”, he continued. “Yes, for sure!”, I answered. “Then let us pray,” he said.
And so I confessed my esoteric and occult sins in a prayer, and then the pastor and three others prayed for me, with their hands on my head and shoulders. A deep warmth streamed through my body. Finally the Pastor said. “And so we speak out God`s forgiveness above you, Heiner! Amen!”
All four smiled and hugged me, and I felt as if a big burden had been taken from my shoulders. I felt so light and peaceful as never before in my life. “Thank you all for your help,” I said and then I left with Thomas the Pastor`s bureau.
The Church days passed and on Sunday the school was no longer a sleeping place for me. All had to go back to their hometowns and it was time to say good bye to Mike and Uli. I thanked them heartily for all that they had done for me and they gave me some last good advice and wishes for my future. "Keep faith in God and stay close to Jesushouse," Mike said, "the people there can help you to grow in faith!" Last handshakes and embraces, then I left the school.
On the way to my bicycle I suddenly felt exhausted and lonesome. But what a wonderful time laid behind me. Everything had changed. Three days ago I had been in big trouble and now I was a Christian!
Soon after midday I arrived at my flat. I felt a little bit uneasy, but then I walked in decisively. Everything seemed to be normal. I relaxed and threw my sleeping bag into a corner. "Time for a nap." I thought and laid down on the sofa.
Within two minutes, the doorbell suddenly rang. "Who is that?" I asked myself with amazement. But then I stood up, went over and used the buzzer. Some moments later I opened the door. In front of me stood Jürgen, smiling and saying, "Hello!" "Hello," I said with an inviting gesture, "come in! There is much good news!"
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