I blocked a number from my phone seven days ago from someone with integrity in most areas of their life who is truly powerless over keeping their commitments with me. On Sunday we were planning time together. He said, "I'll call you Tuesday" which led to 10 days with no call, no text, no communication.
Nothing unusual; I have known this angel for over three years; "I'll see you at two" meant a nine o'clock arrival, "i'll call you tomorrow" meant a text in a week... Result? Lots and lots of pain and prayer on my end.
At first, without me realizing it, this led to something like a "NASDAQ ticker tape" relationship with life. While talking to someone else, a subtext was often playing comprised of thoughts about when a call, visit, text might come in, when to reach out, what to say, what I should have said/done, in other words, denied but very real self-centerednessness and mental obsession.
The next phase began about two years ago when washing the dishes. Standing there at the kitchen sink with my rubber gloves full of soap, I became aware of the loud, multi-faceted sounds of a very contentious committee - when no one else was in the room but 'lil ol' sudsy me... I was graced with Power to stop, pray, write. By the time all the racket was on paper, there were about twelve different arguments, analyses, attempts at persuasion, reflections, rants ranging from soft, compassionate, self-deprecating approaches to furious finger pointing rages. Insanity.
The initial humility kicked off a two year effort at prayerful solutions. The objective? freedom from mental slavery.
Since about the same time meanwhile, raccoons, opossums, and the family cats GB and Sammy have been agitated almost daily in the early morning hours before dawn: raccoons came in in pairs, opossums snuck in and out, the cats chased one another, whined, scratched.... The invasion of the animals also kicked off a three-year effort at prayerful solutions of a different nature. Nonetheless, the objective was the pretty much the same same - freedom and control.
Balaam's Donkey and the Angel (Numbers 22: 31-33)
...The donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road,
with a drawn sword in his hand.
And the donkey turned aside out of the road and went into the field.
And Balaam struck the donkey to turn her into the road.
Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path
between the vineyards with a wall on either side.
And when the donkey saw the angel of the LORD,
she pushed against the wall and pressed Balaam's foot against the wall.
So he struck her again.
Then the angel of the LORD went ahead and stood in a narrow place,
where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left.
When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD,
she lay down under Balaam.
And Balaam's anger was kindled and he struck the donkey with his staff.
Then the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey,
and she said to Balaam,
"What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?"
And Balaam said to the donkey,
"Because you have made a fool of me.
I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you."
And the donkey said to Balaam,
"Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day?
Is it my habit to treat you this way?"
And Balaam said, "No."
Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam,
and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand. And he bowed down and fell on his face.
And the angel of the LORD said to him,
"Why have you struck your donkey these three times??
Behold, I have come out to oppose you because your way is perverse before me.
The donkey saw me and turned aside before me these three times.
If she had not turned aside from me, surely just now
I would have killed you and let her live..."
Since I blocked my phone, the cats have slept the night through. The change was dramatic, sudden. (The raccoons and opossums got left behind when we moved in September 2017.)
God's angels agitate on God's behalf. Some angels I see, some I don't. As long as I continue to live in God's will to the best of my imperfect ability, they will continue to seek my attention and persist until they have been heard in my heart. It's not unconditional!
"For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up
lest you strike your foot against a stone...
"Because he holds fast to me in love,
I will deliver him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble..."