I do not like to believe that Evil exists. It would be so much easier just to assume that only Good surrounds us, that we can ignore God or accept God, but either way, Life is Good. That is what I would like to believe, but it is hard to do so when one is attacked, or seems to be attacked, by what would be difficult to label as anything other than Evil.
Whether I was attacked by Evil as an atheist, I do not know. I may not have recognized an attack had there been one. On the other hand, maybe Evil was comfortable with me the way I was. After all, I was not a threat.
After my conversion, however, a couple of events happened that were difficult to ignore or to pass off as anything other than Evil. Considering that I am by nature somewhat oblivious to what goes on around me (making for the stuff that my son Doah used for his book about all the embarrassing and odd predicaments I have always found myself in, such as accidentally poisoning a house guest and striding off to work not fully clothed), it is perhaps not so amazing that the ways in which I have felt attacked by Evil post-conversion have been overt and growingly forceful.
Twice, not long after my conversion, as I left work late at night, the only person around, I distinctly felt as if Someone were sitting in the back seat. Both times, I whipped around and saw no one but still felt a dark presence. In the event that it might be something of an evil sort, for that is precisely what it felt like, I spoke aloud, "Whoever you are, please do not skulk about in the back seat. Come up front with me and sit in the passenger seat. We can pray together all the way home because that is what I intend to do." Each time, no sooner had I finished speaking than the sense of darkness and evil dissipated.
Then there was the time that it seemed like I was being stalked when I was taking my evening walk at Old Mission. Every since I castigated That (whatever That was), I have not had another experience of the same. (The story is a bit long for including here. If you are interested, please see the post on Blest Atheist.)
For some time now, I have no longer been attacked in the open, at least not recently that I have been aware of. (I am conscious of the fact that Evil can attack in very sweet, seductive ways that may not be noticed as being evil in nature, and I have to assume that I am every bit as susceptible to those as anyone else and try to continue to improve my ability to discern the nature of the experiences, temptations, and "directions" that are in front of me). About six months post-conversion, though, I began to have deeply disturbing, dark, godless nightmares, which I understood as Evil's way to reach me when I was at my most vulnerable: asleep. Now, I am not a person who knows how to be sleepless. Although I sleep, on the average, probably fewer total hours than the average person, I do sleep. I fall asleep easily and, unfortunately, very soundly. No one can wake me up for any reason when I am asleep, a problematic trait when my kids were small and ill at night. My husband, Donnie, was always the one to tend them. (The only exception was the two years that Doah was having apneic episodes. I would sense the instant he was not breathing and was immediately wide awake to give him CPR. I had no explanation of that unique phenomenon at the time. I do now: God clearly wanted Doah to live, and I had to be instrument for that, so He woke me up again and again and again.)
When the horrible nightmares struck, I began to pray that my dreams be filled only with thoughts of God. The first night I prayed that, the terrible dreams did not appear. I awoke refreshed, with the sense that my dreams had been wonderful. (With the exception of those black nightmares, I have never been able to remember my dreams.) The second night that I prayed that my dreams be filled only with thoughts of God, the terrible dreams did not appear. Again, I awoke refreshed, with the sense that my dreams had been wonderful. Since then, I have prayed for dreams only of God every single night, and every single night since then God has answered that prayer. Thank You, God!
Our Lady of Fatima [Flickr]
21 hours ago