While I was helping with a memorial at the church today, I met a very unusual person. As the family was heading to the gym to have a meal, a woman came up to the front door of the church and knocked. We don't usually unlock those doors because most people come in through the side doors. (you can exit them, just not enter) But we opened the door for her, thinking she was with the funeral party. It turned out that she was going door to door selling organic vegetables and fruit.
There were several clues that I wasn't dealing with an ordinary person, but some of them I only saw in hindsight. My first clue was the way she was dressed. She was wearing a sort of hippie skirt with embroidery and mirrored embellishments on it, with a pair of jeans underneath to keep her warm. But some people just dress that way, so I didn't think anything about it. She came in the building and noticed the paintings on the wall and asked about them. One was a painting of Christ knocking at a door that has no handle. My husband quoted the scripture to her in Revelations that says, "Behold I stand at the door and knock..". She was so interested in what he said, that she got out a small notebook and took notes. There was another painting of the second coming of Christ on the wall. I explained the meaning of that painting to her, and again she took notes. Then she introduced herself to me. She told me a very unusual first name. I said, "I've never heard that name before." She said, "Well, actually, it's my birth name spelled backwards." That was another flag, but I didn't really think too much about it. I have several friends who would be considered "free spirits", who are very spiritual people, but also a little on the fringe of society. So even though I may not agree with all of their beliefs, I appreciate their openness and I find their beliefs interesting. But this woman was definitely one of the more unusual I have met.
Over the course of our conversation, she told me that her mother was from another country, and that her parents met in a cult. She said it so matter of factly that the red flag didn't really go up. She said they believe God is in everyone and everything. She said, "Maybe the second coming of Jesus Christ has already happened. Maybe I'm Jesus Christ." I said, "No, because He was a man." She said, "Is he caucasion, or is he without race and gender?" I said, "Well, actually He was a Jew, and will be resurrected the same person He was." I said, "Also, the scriptures teach us that when He comes again, everyone will know. It won't be a secret thing that only a few people see." She was very interested in what I had to say. She told me that she has a cable access show, and that she does radio broadcasts of religious discussions, and wanted to discuss some of these things. She also explained that she is planning to upload some of her shows to youtube. I asked her how I would find those videos, and she gave me some search words, so it will be interesting to see what she has to say. :) I asked her what church she is with, and she told me an odd name. When I did an internet search of her church, I found that it is a modern pagan cult. It's interesting to me that they actually admit they are a cult.
I have to admit that I liked her very much, despite her weirdness. She was open and engaging and very giving and friendly. She seemed somewhat intelligent, but I could sense some mental instability. It didn't really sink in until I was on my way home that she is a member of a cult. Then it all made sense. She was brought in to the area to sell foods to make money for their commune. She asked if she could eat the meal with the family. She said her great grandmother had just passed away Sunday, and that attending this funeral might make her feel a little like she had attended her grandmothers's. Her grandmother lived in Brazil, so she won't be able to attend. I really felt that she wasn't only anxious to share the time, but she was probably also hungry. She took a large plate of food, but only ate part of it. She took the rest to share with others.
As we parted, I wished her luck. I really meant it. I felt sorry for her that she is kind of a lost soul. In some ways she is a free spirit, but in other ways she is a lost one. I wished I could help her. But can you reason with a cult mindset? I hope the best for her.