Liminal Light

This is a testimony and significant part of the reason why I am so adamant about no smoking at Titus 2 or around my home. Written a couple of years ago, I have shared it a number of times with women in recovery. Kicking nicotine along with other chemical dependencies provides significantly greater long term sobriety success according to multiple long term studies.

“I have written in the past about randomly smelling stale tobacco smoke in the past and, after medical consultation, Christian counseling and discussion with others who have experienced the same phenomenon, I had recognized that it was the spirit of fear that I was discerning that seemed to be stalking me in spiritual harassment and oppression. I was able to pinpoint the start of my experience of the smell to a particular encounter with someone who was clearly experiencing an oppressive spiritual attack. My friendship with this woman through work led her to seek me out in a time of personal emotional and medical and mental health crisis. I felt a strong caution in my spirit to “be careful” when she came into my home seeking help. Based on what she was experiencing, I asked her if she believed it might be possible that she was being harassed by a demonic spirit. She said, “Yes.” I ministered to her through prayer and spiritual guidance over a period of several months until she was able to get medical care and get stabilized. She was diagnosed with glaucoma, diabetes, an auto immune disease and depression. After several months she regained emotional stability and somewhat improved medical health and subsequently qualified for disability income. Two months after beginning a healing journey with her I began to smell a tobacco smoke smell at oddly random places and times with no apparent cause. It would come and go for over three years before other events led to me to the realization of what I’d been experiencing.

If the presence of the Holy Spirit can lead one to have a sensory equipping from God used to discern the presence of evil, like the presence of a spirit of fear, it makes sense He might also use a sensory equipping to discern the presence of an angel of the Lord….And, in fact, I have had that experience, too, several times. One particular Tuesday In September 2018, I went to the home of a Christian friend and mentor to pick up a donated bookcase. As I walked from the curb to her door, I smelled a sweet fragrance that was very potent and pleasant. I stopped and walked around her front yard trying to locate the source, thinking it might be a sweet Tea Olive tree or some other kind of shrub or vine, but I found nothing. She walked out of her door and asked if I was looking for something. I told her that I was looking for the source of a wonderfully sweet fragrance. She wasn’t aware of anything in her yard or the neighborhood that could have been responsible. I told her what I had just experienced and we quickly concluded that it was a manifestation of an angelic presence. We both had experienced similar unexplained presences of a sweet fragrance at moments of great peace and affirmation from God. I had been experiencing a strong presence of the Lord’s peace that day after a particularly long counseling session that broke new ground in a recovery process. I think that angelic manifestation was a confirmation of the recognition that God was definitely doing something new, especially in that particular case. I recall two other specific moments of smelling that sweet fragrance and looking for the source of it in something physical. But both times no other human was around and an investigation of the plants or other potential sources in the vicinity turned up nothing. The last time it had happened was a couple of years before one morning as I exited Lynn Haven Church and walked toward the parking lot. The fragrance met me as I walked out under the side doors of the portico entrance. I looked around the landscape for something blooming or fragrant, and then walked to my car. It has seemed to generally occur outdoors and has seemed to simply “join” me as I walked.

God gave us our physical senses that work well in addressing a variety of physical, relational, and emotional needs. But God may also
use them for spiritual sensing, too, to signal spiritual realm comings snd goings around us.”

A friend observed:

“I have had this happen to me in the last couple of years . I seriously thought I was crazy and probably looked crazier as I would search for the origin of the smell to no avail. This explanation is consistent with my experience. Concerning the situations and circumstances, that would make sense if I look back . It has occurred quite frequently lately.”

I replied:

I know that feeling of “is anyone watching me? They must surely think I’m crazy!” when one experiences such a spiritual experience for the first time. After one becomes more “at home in the land of the living” (i.e.,within her own Holy Spirit surrendered and awakened self) she realizes that she is being given the privilege of glimpses into the realm of angels. It becomes a less jarring experience and one in which one may simply receive the gift of the Holy Spirit Presence (and whatever accompanying insight or vision He gives) with gratitude and humility, asking “How may I glorify God with this experience of worship?” Sometime the only thing one can do is “treasure these things in her heart” because there are so few people, we think, who will understand and share our joy. But when we are bold enough in safe community to share such things about how God draws near and speaks in our spirit/soul, we are often surprised by how many others have experienced God’s abiding, too. I think, when we get more at ease with the awareness of God’s Presence at a liminal level, as we live at the borderland between the physical and spiritual realms, He begins to make Himself known in more ways, within the ordinary coming and going of our daily activities. He truly becomes a Companion and Friend.