In the late seventies I started working with the Hmong right after the Vietnam conflict. I was given the task of resettling the thousands of refugees that wanted to come to this country. Finding the people places to live, jobs, health care and spiritual resources for more than 23,000 people.
The various families would ask why we did this kind of work and I would reply, “Because we are Christians” and not say anything more. Eventually families wanted to know more about who and what is a Christian. Which led to us starting the first Hmong American Baptist church in the nation.
Now this didn’t sit well with one particular Shaman. Every time he saw me he would give me the “eye” and whisper under his breath. Eventually we had a conversation which didn’t go very well.
I told him we were on the same page. We both wanted to help his people get resettled, to try and obtain some kind of normal life so there could be a future for the Hmong people here in the United States.He let me know that wasn’t going to work and he would do everything in this world and the spiritual realm to make sure I suffered.
Time passed and I saw less and less of my spiritual antagonist. Finally after more than a year he came to my office and wanted to talk. This is the story he told. He said that night after night he would perform certain rituals to make sure I suffered. He explained that he would walk in the dream world seeking my life strand so he could cut it. He told how he would saw and saw at the golden cord hoping to sever my soul so it would wander in the spiritual realm. But…it couldn’t be done and each day he would become more and more exhausted. So, he wanted to know what magic I had and if he could purchase the secret.
We talked about Christ. We discussed the promises of God to keep His believers safe. How he too could have the grace, the peace the security that every Christian has by entering the Kingdom of God. He walked away wondering why I refused to sell this Good News.
I believe Saint Patrick must have had a similar problem with his flock when he prayed…”Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me. Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger”.
Stay on this wondrous mysterious path our Savior has set for us…