I was having coffee recently with two female friends. Linda* was telling us about a man who was pursuing her romantically. She felt very uncomfortable with his behavior and was trying to figure out how to handle it appropriately. She was afraid to confront him. It suddenly dawned on her that the situation reminded her of when she was a child and was abused. It also reminded her of when she spoke up as an adult regarding sexual harassment she experienced at an organization where she worked. In both situations, she had no voice. She tried to speak up and instead of being defended, the situation got worse. It brought tears to her eyes.
“I can relate. Something happened to me when I was young and I felt the same way. I told my mom and she did nothing. For years, whenever a man would stand too close to me, I would immediately get tense and feel very uncomfortable,” Yesenia* said.
“Maybe the Lord is allowing this man to come into your life to stir up these issues – so you can be healed,” I said.
“I hope so. I thought I had put this behind me – I’m surprised that I got so emotional just telling you about it right now. That must mean there’s more healing for me to do,” Linda replied.
“You know, there’s a spirit behind that man that’s making you uncomfortable,” Yesenia said.
“I know! I was thinking the same thing! His behavior makes me feel intimidated. Last week, we were both at an outreach event and someone put their hands on both sides of my waist briefly. I felt something touch my butt. When I turned around, he was the only one nearby that could have done it. It made me so mad but I didn’t want to make a scene,” Linda vented.
“Man, I would have been angry! How dare he touch you like that without your permission!” I interjected.
“That’s a very intimate way to touch a woman. He crossed the line right there,” Yesenia sympathized. “I’m sorry that happened to you.”
“That’s sexual harassment AND intimidation,” I said. “Intimidation is a spiritual force. It often comes with a spirit of Control.”
“Yeah, someone else told me that he’s very controlling. I’ve seen that aspect of him sometimes. He used to be so humble, but lately he’s become very opinionated and seems to know it all. That reminds me of my ex who abused me,” Linda remarked.
“I bet this is a challenge of your identity. The enemy wants to see whether you really know who you are. You used to be the woman that men could take advantage of – but not any more! As you allow the Lord to heal your heart in this area, you will become more confident. And I bet that guy will leave you alone,” I said.
Just as we were discussing the spiritual forces behind this man’s behavior, a stranger walked into the coffee shop. He started speaking loudly as he approached our table. He was cursing and making sexually explicit comments. He got right in our faces. We were shocked. He looked disheveled and unkempt. It is obvious he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Nothing he said made any sense.
We felt so uncomfortable that all three of us grabbed our purses and walked toward the exit. Linda turned to him and said, “I feel bad for you. I’m sorry you’re in pain.”
He called her several vulgar names, yelling them as we left. He was really creating a scene. I looked around and there were no employees behind the counter. Where was the manager?
We got outside and found an employee sweeping the outdoor tables. We told him to find a manager and get rid of that man because he was harassing us. As we left, we saw through the front window a manager and that employee talking to the man.
Linda was shaking. Yesenia was angry. I was concerned but not afraid.
“He called me names I’ve heard before. It really shook me,” Linda confessed in a quiet voice. “But I also saw how broken he is on the inside. I feel so bad for him.”
We walk her to her car and watched as she drove away. Yesenia and I walked to my car. The man walked toward us. I got in my car and locked the doors. As I was pulling out, I saw the man following Yesenia to her car. I stopped and waited for her to get in and leave. He was not far behind but thankfully we both were able to drive away without further confrontation.
Yesenia called me as we drove home.
“Do you realize what just happened? That was spiritual sexual harassment! That guy was out of his mind and he came straight over to our table, saying all those obscene comments. It was targeted at Linda.”
“Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. What are the odds that just as we were revealing the spiritual forces behind her current situation that some random guy comes in trying to intimidate us with such sexually explicit comments? And did you notice that there was a policeman there just moments before the guy came in? He disappeared – I guess he left after getting his coffee. That makes me think about authority. If he’d been there, that strange guy would never have gotten away with his behavior. Identity and authority are linked. When Linda recovers her true identity in this area of her life, she will have the authority to stop this harassment she is feeling from this man in her life.”
We paused and pondered what had just happened to us.
“Wow. God is so good. He even uses what the enemy meant for evil to bring about His purposes. I’m so glad we were together,” I said.
*names changed to protect privacy
Does that story sound crazy or believable to you? It’s hard to believe – unless it happens to you. That guy was under the influence of demons. He came in and confirmed that what we were talking about was accurate and important. If it wasn’t, he wouldn’t have come.
The dark side hates to be revealed – just talking about it brings it to the light and reduces its power. Now Linda knows what’s going on and what the Lord wants to work on in her life. That helps her because now she won’t be so worried about this man in her life. Instead she will be focused on allowing the Lord to heal that place in her heart that is afraid to confront this man’s behavior. This will strengthen her in her identity and give her the confidence she needs.
I am so thankful that the Lord joined us for coffee that night! He said he would be there whenever two or three are gathered. 🙂
Has anything ever happened to you like this? Feel free to share it in the comments below.