Eden and I stepped out of my room. My eyes opened slowly. Something didn’t feel right. I felt annoyed, unsettled, and slightly angry for no reason. I was resting my head in Eden’s lap when I came to because of these negative feelings. I sat up; my head was pounding. I grunted, upon waking, like people do when their sleep was not restful. I looked at Eden to see how he felt, but he just watched me closely. I could tell he was concerned. He cleared his throat and gestured for me to look towards the window.
I saw that we had arrived, but the fog was horrible. It appeared to be alive and pounding on the window. Ghastly hands scratched the window as if it wanted to come in. I stood up and approached the window carefully, trying to see more clearly. It seemed that the fog could understand me. Each time I would move my head one way, it would move in the same direction. It wanted me! I could feel it. It desired me. A face started to form from the fog, but I turned away quickly.
Eden knew what I was thinking, “Yes, Micah, we have to walk outside now.”
I refused, “I do not want to go outside in this, Eden. Where am I? Is this good? Who are you? Why did God send me here? He is trying to kill me! He left me here!” I became irrational, “I command you to get out of my room, in the name of Jesus.” The fog started to slip in under the window seal; I could feel it. I turned to the window as it plagued my mind with betrayal, wrath, despair. I turned to Eden and began crying for help during the harsh words I said to him through my anger.
“Eden, help me! Something is wrong with me. I hate you; you betrayed me!” My words grew more in hate, and my cry for help became louder.
Eden grabbed my shoulders and blew on my face, “Wake up, Son! It’s just the fog, it’s only fog. You have got to snap out of it, or we will not leave this house. This fog is your first challenge–to survive the illusions by the demon prince.” His face changed into a hideous form by the fog. The illusions became so strong; it played with my trust. Someone whom I knew since I was young had now brought me to a place to die. The feelings were so strong. Through a tone, twisted and dark from the fog, Eden commanded me to wake up.
I had to dig deep inside His truth. God does not move in shifting shadows of betrayal. I spoke out loud, “No! God would never bring me here to die! He would never betray me! Father keeps his word; he always keeps his word.” As I said this, my mind strengthened, and my vision cleared. I could see Eden hold my shoulders, watching my sanity return. However, the fog did not leave; it hovered in my room like dust. I placed my right hand on top of my right shoulder to affirm that I was ok. Eden was very concerned about my mind. He held my face in his hands and blew again, then gave me a slight smile.
“Good. You beat this realm’s illusions. Guard your mind, Micah. This fog is not going away, but it does not have to affect you.” He paused a moment and flapped his wings, pushing the fog back just a bit to give me more clarity. “This is all I can do for you right now, Micah; we are in the Prince’s realm, its domain of chaos.” Eden said with a stern voice, “Listen to me, do as I say. This realm is dangerous; stay on the path and do not let go of my belt.” Eden tied a leather belt around my waist for security. He said again, “Do not stray from the path and keep this belt on you. Remember, you have beaten this fog before, you will defeat it again. Do not let it play tricks on your mind. Do you understand me?”
I reluctantly agreed to his instructions. I did not want to be here, but I knew I must see what there is to see. As soon as I walked out of this door, further into the Prince’s realm, I would have to stay focused. “Ok, Eden. I am scared, but I will do this.”
Eden pulled my head into his chest to comfort me, “Your Father loves you, Micah. Don’t forget that! Let me know when you are ready, and we will walk forward.” Eden kept me close to his chest until I said I was ready. I could tell he could feel my burden and the effect on me of seeing such things; he is a good friend to have.
“I am ready,” I said to my angelic companion. Eden smiled and turned towards the door. He placed his hand on my bedroom door knob, and I held onto the belt. I never walked until he walked and I determined to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus in my heart. Eden opened the door, and the fog overwhelmed my bedroom, and we stepped out into the Prince’s realm.
Each step felt like my feet were sinking into the mud. I could see worms scurrying around by my toes as I walked forward. I didn’t focus on the worms, however; I had to focus on the Lord, and I stayed close to Eden as he led the way to the black tower.
This realm was like a greyish haze; I could barely see my surroundings. I could see the trees of this realm that looked like hands grasping for life; the broken branches were like fingers clawing to the surface from death. There was a slight light coming from the sky like a lighthouse, but it was searching for something. I did not want to let fear rule my emotions, but I was hoping it wasn’t for us. I didn’t ask Eden; I didn’t want to know the answer. Sometimes the fog turned into faces of my family members who looked very angry with me. Occasionally, they would speak to me in a scolding tone.
I saw the face of my mother and father. Their twisted demonic voices said, “You are stupid, Micah, you shouldn’t be here. This place will kill you. Get out of here! Run! Let go of the belt. I am so angry with you, Micah. You know better than to follow this life. We always knew you would be the one to run off and get caught in sin. Your Father and I are disappointed in you; you are not free and we know it. You will never have our support.
Another face who resembled my brother said, “You have always been the better one. God shows you His favor and not me. Everyone always saw how awesome you were, and now you are here in this place. You abandoned me, just like I thought you would. You choose ministry over me. I have never been as good as you, and you never stuck up for me when our friends wanted you instead of me. How could you, Micah?”
My heart began to grieve; My body was reacting to the stress from the lies delivered from the fog. I wanted to ask Eden to help me, but I didn’t want to break his focus as he navigated the dense fog. “Oh, God, please help me?” I cried out to Him, “Please help me? I know this guilt and shame are not you. I know you didn’t bring me here to judge my poor actions towards my brother. I am sorry I didn’t know what I was doing.” I held onto his belt tighter. “No! I will not accept this; I will not allow this guilt! I am not guilty!” I turned to the face who resembled my brother, “You are not real, Your words are not real. I love my brother, I will not turn against him, and he loves me. I am not listening to you.” I understood the purpose of this fog. It is to turn people against each other, specifically those in a godly relationship. As my heart strengthened, so did my sight in this dark realm.
Eden continued to lead the way towards the tower, which now that my vision started to clear from the strength of my will to accept the truth; I could see the shadowed fog trying to hide the tower. My skin crawled at this high, commanding structure that carried a personality of dominance and cruelty. Its pits gave a stench of rotting flesh. Demons crawled up and down its structure like snakes moving up and down a tree. These demons were made of sharp, black stone and their teeth were like iron claws. Their red and yellow eyes watched for anyone who would approach the tower. Their personalities were like alligators hunting for prey. They hissed, a hypnotic tune that would draw its meal to their teeth.
Eden stopped walking, “Micah, this is the black tower. The Prince of Persia trapped my friend here. I was training during this time, but I remember the stories Michael told us in our sessions. This realm is known as the Quagmire, a realm of fog, deception, lies. It casts illusions to bring chaos and war. The Prince Of Persia dominates this realm with nightmarish dreams; he eats the waste boiling in his pits.” Eden’s voice trembled, “I have heard so many stories, and now I am here for the first time, guiding you. ” He smiled towards me to reassure that everything will be ok. His eyes looked intense now as he gazed at the tower silently.
The appearance of this tower was indeed black but made out of some kind of gangly flesh. Even its magnificent structure towered into the realm’s dark, smoky sky. The black tower was a single structure that had rooms of darkness, but one room slightly glowed. I assumed that was where the angel was trapped. I could see claws protruding out from it like bones sticking out of its flesh. Some sort of blood flowed down the tower towards the pits below. A haunting blue light glowed from the bottomless pits under the tower. I heard monstrous growls coming from the tower and shadows of horrifying creatures shown from its blue light. I stood close to Eden; I was scared again. I wanted to go home.
Eden’s wings surrounded me, “Micah, it’s all right. Father wouldn’t give you this understanding if you could not handle it. Come on, we have to get to the tower. ” Eden and I continued our pace, but he quickly covered me with his wings as thundering footsteps approached from deep within the fog. Eden’s wings cast a camouflage as a giant demon patrolled the area. I could not see it; I didn’t want to, but I could feel its evil. Through Eden’s protection, I noticed that this beast was indeed a monstrous form, hideous in demonic energy. Shadows followed him; however, I could only see slightly from within Eden’s wings.
“Is that him?” I whispered. “Is that the Prince of the Quagmire?” The small rocks from its surface trembled with each step. I could hear the chains of this demon, but again, I am unsure because I couldn’t truly see it from under Eden’s wing.
Eden’s wing tightened its hold on me. He did not answer my question. He focused on keeping me safe from this imminent threat. The ground shook as the demon approached with a loud, crushing sound of terror. I covered my ears, and Eden’s firm stance intensified. He finally said, “No, this demon serves the pits; he feeds those creatures locked in the pits.”
My eyes widened, “What kind of food does he feed those monsters?” I asked.
Eden didn’t answer again. When the demon passed over us and back into the dark fog, Eden opened his wings and searched the darkness to see if we were indeed safe. He said, “We can go now. Stay close to me.”
Eden, I asked him, “What food does this demon feed to the monsters in the pit.”
Eden took a deep breath as I could tell his answer to my question was heavy, even for him, “Micah, demons are slaves to themselves, even. This giant demonic being throws himself into the pit, and they eat him until he is barely able to function, and then the monsters throw him out. He is the keeper of the monsters in the pit, but only a slave to them. There is no freedom in the fallen realms, Micah, only domination and cruelty.” He turned towards the tower, “Come on, we must see the rest of the story. “
We came to a bridge made by the blinding fog that kept the tower. Eden released a powerful light from his wings to clear the fog away so that we could cross. “Quickly now. I will keep the fog away while you cross first.” He said with haste, “Quickly! I do not want to attract attention.” Eden loosened the belt connected to him so that I could cross without him and he could keep the light. I could tell that he was using a significant amount of energy to keep the light shining, “Cross, but do not let go of the belt. I will come after you. Now go!” I didn’t question; I just obeyed. I crossed the wobbling bridge, only holding on to the belt. Voices and illusions tried to fill my head with desires. Fantasies murmured in my thoughts from the fog’s attempt to get me to let go of the belt. I didn’t let go; I stayed focused and obedient to my instruction. I didn’t touch anything. The belt kept my balance! When I came to the other end, I waited for Eden.
I waited on the other side. I didn’t want to move without Eden. I held the belt close to my heart, waiting for him. Even the fog’s density obstructed my sight to see the light Eden was emitting from himself. Eventually, he crossed and pulled me close to him to comfort me. He tightened the belt around both of us and suggested we continue.
“Come on, we are nearly there.” Eden unsheathed his sword; his wings arched up, “Micah, no matter what happens, hold onto the belt. Demons know we have entered into the past. They will attack us from the tower. Hold onto the belt.” I closed my eyes only for a moment to prepare myself. Suddenly I saw a vision inside my mind. I saw Jesus’ beautiful face smiling at me. His eyes of safety and love assured me all would be ok.
I could hear his voice, “Micah, I am the belt of truth, hold onto me. I have overcome the Quagmire and its prince. Just stay focused on me; these shadows cannot harm you.” Suddenly the vision ended. I felt an energy in my stomach likened to having a good meal.
I touched Eden to tell him of the vision; he turned to me and pulled my head in to rest on his chest. He said with relief, “Micah, I know. You saw Him, didn’t you? I can feel it!” He rested for a moment as if I was strengthening him. Was my relationship with Jesus increasing the angel’s power? Jesus’ power and presence sustain everything. His words bring life.
Eden straightened up and turned towards the tower that was now closer to us. I noticed something I had never seen before in angels. Eden, he was injured. His right-wing lost light. There was no flesh wound but a spiritual injury that seemed more real than a flesh wound. I could tell he was hurt. I touched his wing slightly; I didn’t want him to know I noticed. I could feel he was tired from the journey, but why? He never spoke to me about it. I wanted him to know I saw he was genuinely trying so hard to keep me safe.
I realized then that angels give up so much to obey their Creator. They take care of us, even keeping their injury a secret. It was the first time I saw that angels were not all-powerful. Though I knew that they weren’t invincible, it showed me how much they need the Lord too. They are different than us, but they still need their Creator, my heavenly Father. Instead of walking behind him, I walked next to him, watching his focus. He noticed I was staring at him, which startled him into a slight smile.
“I am ok, Micah.” He looked on as we walked. His hand was gripping his sword tightly. “You stand next to me this time. What changed?”
I answered, “I see you differently now than I have before, Eden. You risk so much for me. Thank you! Will your wing heal?”
Eden chuckled, “Yes, it will heal Micah once I leave this place and bathe in the river of light.” Eden’s eyes looked slightly painful; he was keeping it together, “No, I am not afraid, Micah. Like how you feel, darkness hurts us too. We are both creatures of light, not made for this place. Let no darkness reign in your heart. “
Eden paused and placed both hands on my shoulders. “You see, there is much we have in common; we feel just like you. Jesus also felt this darkness before He turned himself in to be crucified. This darkness is the same that covered Adam and Eve when they disobeyed God. You were never meant to dwell in this darkness, Micah.” Eden squeezed the back of my neck firmly, “Come on; let’s keep going.” Even so, I still was concerned for my friend, who was injured.
*To be continued*