Back in November I attended a conference where I met a psychologist with whom I was eager to follow-up, as she also seemed. After several attempts on my part, she called me in January and asked if she could meet with me in February with an "unusual request." So I waited another month and finally heard from her again, most eager to meet.
From the first moment we met, Tatiana started telling me that it was a deep compulsion that had been driving her to contact me for some time, and that she had been unable to resist it. When she then asked me if I were a believer, I was sure she was coming for some personal help, maybe to get spiritual advise as one psychologist to another. Not so fast, brother. Instead, she started telling me about how her life, which had become almost meaningless, had turned around since last August when she started getting to know better her upstairs neighbor. This lady had taken her to all these monasteries and had shown her some amazing phenomenon, including the healing of some people through clearly supernatural means. Her adult son and daughter had joined and had been healed of some things themselves.
Tatiana showed me some photos her son took on her digital camera from a cave he and friends were playing in some distance from here. After a few shots, the pictures begun to have a curious haze in the middle of the frame, which, over the course of several more shots, began to concentrate closer and closer to his head, eventually looking like an honest-to-gosh halo.
She told me this lady claims to be a beleiver too, though Tatiana told me she smokes like a factory and cusses like a soldier. The gift only seems to be available, it seems, when they are together. It's not available for Tatiana's husband however. "Some people she says they won't allow her to help."
And just who are "they" I wondered. "Oh, the archangel Michael, Gabriel, several others." She finally gave a name for it all - channeling.
She pulled out her key chain with a cedar doggie on it, which she dangled and asked it whether I was believing her. I prayed fast, and it swung in different directions, giving her mixed answers. She asked me to ask it what I wanted to, but I declined. I told her I could see that she has a gift in spiritual sensitivity, but that perhaps there might be a need to investigate the source of the spiritual input she was getting.
"I quite understand your questions. I would want you to have them. But I am assured by now that they are from God. I did, after all, approach this through Jesus," she assured me. And all these places that were open to the spirit world were at Orthodox sites.
"But you also told me you now understand better than ever that all the main religions are the same at their core," I responded. "And the fact that Orthodox locations can be connected with this kind of activitity only proves that they got a foothold there, not their ultimate source."
Bottom line: this neighbor of hers felt since the moment she heard of me that she needed to help me, so she sent Tatiana to ask if I would come meet her.
"What does she want to do?" I had to ask.
"I don't know, other than that it has to do with America."
This lady not only knew nothing of me, other than that I am an American. She did, however, tell Tatiana that they would not help Diana with her injured Achilles heel (Tatiana leared about that when we were arranging a meeting time and place.)
The only point in the conversation when it seemed that I had opened a door to her personal doubts about this stuff was when I corrected her that the God of the universe loves everyone too much to play favorites and deny His healing to some for capricious reasons.
The ball is in my court. Do I want to meet? My question of myself is not so much "what does the Devil want with me?" but "what is God doing here?"