This is the story that the Churchite System does not want you to hear. The following events are not allowed to happen by any yardstick of an underling of any Pope or Demonination I mean Denomination. Let’s just call all of them Demon Nations and get it over with. Jesus was not against the Roman government but his biggest enemies were the religious hypocrites of His day.
So there I was in Tokyo, getting high off of life and spending long hours under ancient trees while listening to video game soundtracks and reading entire books of the Bible, when some unthinkable events occurred. First off, I had my last stint with the churches before being exposed to the strange mysterious group called The Family. I gave every church brand a shot, even almost becoming Catholic thanks to the influence of G.K. Chesterton’s book The Everlasting Man. If there was ever an iconoclastic book, that would be the one! I decided to try and see about switching schools to Sophia University since they had an amazing teacher there who had the G.K. Chesterton Award for 2003 sitting on his desk, corresponded with C.S. Lewis and attended J.R.R. Tolkien lectures. Talk about a living legend! Father Peter Milward was his name, and he carried everything I thought I wanted to be at the time. These are the names that carried the torch of modern Christendom, after all! To be his fulltime student at that time seemed to be the ultimate chance for my 20 year old self. However somehow I missed the deadline by one day and ended up doomed to go back to the States which was a huge let down. Then again, after receiving the news I found myself in Father Milward’s private library and surprisingly he had time to speak with me. I didn’t tell him that I had just missed the deadline, but somehow the Lord arranged for this meeting to take place because he took me on a whole tour of his library and showed me a letter addressed to him from C.S. Lewis. In that short interchange during that rainy dreary day it felt like some kind of torch was being passed to me even as a door was being closed. Gently the Lord was saying, “here is the last of this order, and you are not to stay here.” And yet I had no idea what this meant. Whew I’m getting high just typing these words.
SO many times I’ve seen God do this now, the more I pray and release my life into His hands. He puts you down only to lift you up and bring you into an entirely new zone, but He doesn’t even bother explaining to you what He’s doing. You have to pay close attention to what He’s doing with your life and then only later you’ll find out the whole picture. So many things happened at that dorm, I could go off into many segways here but just to list them briefly, during the course of that year I : A) Found my grandfather’s book Deliver Us From Evil (by Don Basham) in my dorm. B) met Jeff Hutchins from Atlanta who had been attending his grandmother’s church Easter Sunday in our home town of Naples Florida on the same day I was there last year, although we didn’t meet then. C) Had my first several out of body experiences D) Met the Family
With the interest of time I think we can dwell on part D as this is going to play into many of the future chapters, and hopefully will provide an outline for all that is happening. To provide a kind of dramatic visual for all the things that were happening then, I should like to use a rather violent and dark Japanese Manga that I do not suggest squeamish youngsters read, and that series of cartoons is called Berserk by Kenshirou Miura. A Japanese friend introduced me to this story which is a loose spin off of Zelda meets Evil Dead, mixed with some of the most realistic Medieval battle art ever drawn. Mysteriously, every time I took home another issue of this book the chapters would follow events in my life, almost like it was written for me.
My gosh is it the amount of coffee that I just consumed or are my hands shaking from the memory of all of this again?
The story follows a lone soldier who goes from battle to battle and encounters numerous supernatural enemies. All this takes place against a very photo-realistic and raw physical backdrop with an insane attention to detail. Sometimes it is the mundane details of everyday life, even in medieval times that makes something supernatural all the more vivid and amazing.
I’ll skip many of those mundane details that were happening between my close Christian friends of those days (Daniel Thompson, Paul Emberton and Jeff Hutchins) but I was blown away every time I’d open the next chapter and find parallel events taking place in Berserk to my own life. The spiritual warfare was so raw and vivid, even the Enemy attacks late at night and other random occurrences, you could almost cut its tangibility with a knife at times. OK Bad grammar, I’ll edit later. It felt like Gats (the main character) swinging his sword through hordes of demons in the forest until dawn. . . but then with friends it suddenly becomes so much easier and the sense of camaraderie is unparalleled.
All this came to a climax when I met Stella, a girl who was 100% Japanese but had also been raised in a mysterious “International School” from which she learned an uncanny American accent better than any Japanese born Japanese I had ever met.
It happened to be the day after my meeting with Peter Milward and being shocked at how the Lord seemed to have some other plan for my life other than attending a Jesuit university. I was walking with Jeff on the way to getting a hair cut as my hippy flag was not acceptable in his mind to the posh party held by his posh Hong Kongese friend in downtown Roppongi Hills the following week.
So there on the way to the local barber I ran into a group of students heading to the Yotsuya campus from Ichigaya (Sophia was split into two, sorry needless detail there) and I was pulled into a conversation with one of the guys whose father was a pastor. Then I found out another student, Stella also had father who was a pastor. Next thing I knew, we were sitting at Starbucks talking for hours together with my friend Paul who is now married to a Japanese girl I believe. Another needless detail. Gosh I feel old, recalling “the good ol’ days” lol.
You could have felt the electricity in the room, as Ai and I got to know each other. This girl had something that was so familiar, and even her mannerisms reminded me of my family’s to an uncanny degree. I had been church hoping and looking for people who spoke my language but this person spoke my language better than i did, it felt. In the days following we eventually began dating and my vision of what Christianity and Church could be was metamorphasized even before she told me her “evil dark secret.”
What was that evil dark secret? Well it played directly into every nerd fantasy I’d had back then and even until today. It became a mix of Berserk and Metal Gear. But that’s going to take a lot more writing and I’m all outta words!