The Demon in the Toilet
I was blessed to have the opportunity to take a class in Spiritual Warfare from Steve Seamands when I was a student at Asbury Seminary. He reminded us that in ministry it was important “not to look for a demon behind every bush,” but he failed to mention the other places demons might hide.
I belong to a home church. One Sunday we shared breakfast and coffee at a cabin by the river. Afterwards we gathered together to do lectio divina with Matthew 8:28–34 (NIV):
When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?” Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.” He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.
After pondering and contemplating the text I excused myself to use the restroom. As I turned around to have a seat, I realized that there was an ugly brownish black remainder left in the toilet. My first impulse was to immediately flush it. But then I took a second look, though I’m not sure why!
Upon further inspection, I thought I saw a tail! My next reaction was a blood curdling scream to Tom, the husband of the home. Of course, Tom came running in to the bathroom and I went running out.
The sound of “eww” was heard as Tom got a good whiff of the decay coming from the mystery object in the porcelain throne. Next we heard through the wall his request for a plastic grocery bag.
A few minutes later, we discovered that a chipmunk had decided to make the toilet his water fountain but instead must have gotten trapped and drowned.
We had just read about the demons being driven into the pigs and drowning. Little did we know that we had our own “demon possessed chipmunk” who drowned as well!
Some might think that church needs always to be a serious occasion, but, we were all sure that Jesus was enjoying the laughter and the funny comments that ensued after the chipmunk‘s proper burial in the trash can.
So, what is the moral of this story? Don’t look for a demon behind every bush, but be sure to check in your toilet!