I was walking over to my lesson after church when I was stopped by a woman. This has happened multiple times to me in Korea where someone stops me saying something about blessings and tries to give me an unsolicited fortune reading.
This woman started reading me right away and I felt as though she was mostly accurate and naturally I was intrigued but not that intrigued and wanted to keep walking but she kept talking and I was not convincing nor forceful enough to make an exit (I had a bit of time until my lesson). Plus I was curious about who these people were that keep stopping me. She told me there are many different religions and that she is from a 사당 (google translation: shrine). Korea has a deep shamanistic history and so I think there are likely many sects, some cults, some ghosts.
I didn’t understand half of what she said because there were words outside of my Korean vocabulary but select phrases stuck out and in retrospect, upset me because they articulated and fueled the fears cultivated in my months in Seoul.
She asked for me to buy her a warm drink and I said fine and so we walked in my direction and stopped at a Dunkin’ Donuts where I also offered to buy her and her companion donuts. The woman said her purpose isn’t to score free coffee (even though she asked me to buy it for her) and they did not look to be needy but I figured they could use coffee and donuts. I did not stick around, though the woman clung to me, and left feeling really bothered. I didn’t mind the ten bucks I spent on them but it was annoying that my mind was distracted for the valuable hour of my lesson.
I believe the spiritual realm is at play in our physical world and it’s plausible that certain people are gifted or possessed. The thing is that whether this woman was accurate or not, whether her words had any value or not, is irrelevant to me and has absolutely no bearing on my life because I am free in Christ. While I waited for my lesson, I took out the bulletin from church and read over the scripture from the sermon:
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. -Colossians 3:3
It was a relief. As a Christian, I operate in a system of favor and grace where I am free from generational curses and move independently of shamanic divination, released from the suffocating structure of Korean patriarchy and redeemed from the injustices in my family history. But I’ve been going off the rails lately and forgot—I let myself become spiritually very vulnerable by not communing with Jesus. Some dark spirits tried to come at me in such a state but they are no match for the Holy Spirit.
I’ve heard the term spiritual warfare and knew about it like I knew about the South before I moved to New York and met a bunch of people actually from the South—without doubt that it existed but in theory. Now I have a more concrete understanding of it: I went face to face with some demons and I bought them donuts. It was a scary encounter. I know that my mom is always interceding for me, in addition to family and friends that continuously pray for me. I’m thankful for those prayers.
The woman quoted the axiom “eyes are windows to the soul” making me think that I should get sunglasses to draw the shades on these windows. I’m going to go get myself a pair of dark prescription sunglasses soon. I’ll be able to see more clearly when I walk around outside and keep out unwelcome peepers, as well as UV rays. Spiritual sunglasses from my neighborhood shop.
[EDIT] My dad called me to say what’s this about spiritual sunglasses—no you don’t need sunglasses except to protect your eyes from UV rays—you need to mature spiritually. He was concerned after hearing my story from my mom and hasn’t read this post but he’s right that I do not need to hide. I don’t want to be a spiritual baby anymore. I want to mature as a follower of Jesus.