A Walk In The Park
I just moved to a new neighborhood. There are lots of parks, and there’s this one walking path that kind of snakes it way through all of them. It’s a cement path for both walking and biking. Most of the parks are long and narrow.
They are kind of placed in between various residential neighborhoods. A couple of them have small streams, and ponds. So far I’ve seen a ton of ducks, swans squirrels and rabbits. And of course people walking their dogs.
There are also a lot of churches in my neighborhood. I’ve seen at least six within walking distance. Since I usually walk early in the morning, they are always empty.
Last weekend I went for a second walk, it was a gorgeous afternoon, after I’d finished with my work. One of the churches I passed had a full parking lot.
From a distance it looked like it was that busy time between services. When people are coming into park and kind of waiting around for the previous people to leave so they can get a good spot.
But when I got inside, I noticed it was more of some kind of parking lot activity. When I got even closer I noticed a very nice smell. There were a bunch of booths set up and people were selling food.
Something Smells Good
As soon as I got really close, the smell of all the food really hit me. Normally it’s not so difficult to not eat when you don’t want to. But whenever you are in a local festival situation, it’s hard to resist.
You have both scarcity and social proof working against you. Scarcity because you tell yourself this is only a one time thing. And since it’s a one time thing, you don’t want to miss out on this. You want to enjoy this as much as possible.
Social proof because everybody else is eating. And if it’s for any kind of good cause, like a fund raiser, it almost feels like a sin to not participate in this.
What’s Going On Here?
But then I saw few people walking towards this meeting room. They had a sign out front saying it was open to the public. Since I was already in a festive mood, having already decided I was going to eat some unexpected and deliciously smelling junk food, I figured in for a penny, in for pound.
I sat near the back, as there were already plenty of people. The guy started talking, and he essentially told everybody his Jesus origin story.
He said he was close to suicide a few years ago. He’d been fired from his job. His credit cards were all maxed out. He was running out of money. Just the thought of doing illegal things to get money for drugs or booze put him in a very depressed and suicidal state.
On The Edge
He had no hope. He doesn’t actually remember praying, but for some reason he turned the TV on and started flipping around. He saw this preacher that seemed to talk directly to him.
I know you’re in pain. I know you’re suffering. I know that you are in bad state. But I promise you, if you accept Jesus into your heart, if you allow Him to take your suffering you will be healed.
I know you are thinking of suicide, I know your mind is filled with dark thoughts. All you need to do is pray with me now, and Jesus will heal you.
There’s a guy who lives downtown somewhere. I don’t know if he really exists or if he is a myth. But he has powerful healing powers. Not spiritual healing powers but actual, physical healing powers.
But it’s how he chooses whom to heal that is the most interesting. He tells the people he heals why he heals them, so they may help others.
And the people that he’s healed have verified medical records. This isn’t some kind of superstitious storytelling. This is based on first hand accounts.
Please Fix Me!
If people are in pain, and they just pray for healing, then he won’t come. He only comes to those who have accepted their pain. That have accepted that their pain may never leave them. That see the pain as not only suffering, but to serve some kind of larger purpose.
It reminds me of the Belly of the Whale idea from Joseph Campbell. From the story of Jonah who was in a literal belly of a whale. Or from Jesus who was in the tomb for three days. Or the trials that Hercules had to make in the underworld.
This idea of needing to face your inner demons is present in nearly all mythology. That unless you can defeat the demons within, you will never be able to defeat the demons of real life.
Defeat Demons Within
That only by being able to face and conquer your inner darkness will you ever be able to shine your light to the world around you.
So when people accept their pain, and simply try to understand what it is attempting to teach them, this guy appears, lays his hands on them, and heals them.
Sometimes this happens on the street. Sometimes this happens in their homes. Sometimes this happens in hospitals.
Accept It – Release It
But it only happens after they embrace the pain. Face the pain. Accept the pain. Life is filled with both pain and pleasure. The more pain you are capable of embracing, the more pleasure you are capable of experiencing.
He said he felt kind of silly, but because he was in such a bad way he did it anyway. He got down on his knees and literally put his hands on the TV. He accepted Jesus, and his life turned around.
He quit doing drugs immediately, and had zero withdrawals. He had to live on the streets for a little bit, but he never drank or did drugs again. He slowly pulled himself up got a job and started to save money.
And That’s How I Got Here
Eventually he came to this church, and after putting himself through divinity school, he is now an assistant pastor.
That’s essentially what this festival was about. The members bought and cooked the food on their own, just to share their ministry with the neighborhood.
Most of the food was insanely cheap. I ended getting this huge baked potato with chili, cheese, bacon and sour creme. The thing was extremely filling, and only cost $2.
Tons Of Cheap Food
There was a bunch of other people selling equally delicious smelling and affordable food. I was glad I got out of there eating only a baked potato and some chicken nuggets. And some ice cream.
I’ve heard there are plenty of foxes on these trails, but I haven’t seen them. The other night I’m pretty sure I was being followed by a raccoon that was probably hoping I’d toss it some free food.
I’ll have to remember to bring some peanuts with me next time, just in case.
Mind Persuasion has plenty of books and courses to teach you how to speak hypnotically and persuasively.