By Chris WittsThursday 8 Aug 2013Morning Devotions with Chris WittsUncategorizedReading Time: 0 minutes
There is a touching story shared by General Evangeline Booth,one of the first international leaders of The Salvation Army. It began on a wet,dreary night in London,England. Evangeline stood outside the courtyard of a temporary prison. She was waiting for the prisoners to appear. Among them was a woman with wild eyes,matted hair and bloodstained,ragged clothes. She was screaming and violently resisting arrest. It took several policemen to restrain her. Feeling compelled to reach out to the disturbed woman with the love of Christ,General Evangeline Booth described her course of action: “What could I do? Could I offer a prayer” There was no time. Could I give her money? She could not take it. Could I sing a song? That would be absurd. In just a moment the divine opportunity to do something would be gone,so I stepped forward and kissed her.” In that instant,the wild woman pulled away from the grip of the policeman,put her hands to her face and cried: “Who kissed me? Who kissed me? No one has kissed me since my mother died.” As they escorted her away,she strained to get a look at the Salvation Army officer who had shown her such affection.
General Booth was unable to get the picture of this distraught woman out of her mind. The next day she went to the prison to visit with the woman. Upon her arrival the warden informed General Booth: “We think the woman has lost her mind,for all that she does is ask: ‘Do you know who kissed me?'” Evangeline Booth entered the woman’s cell and informed her that she was the person who had kissed her. The woman,overcome with emotion,began to pour out her story. She came from an impoverished family and was orphaned at a young age. When she was a child,her dying mother had taken her little face in her hands,kissed her and comforted her with kind words. General Booth’s kiss had triggered these memories. Life was harsh for this tender soul,but that day,behind the prison bars,General Booth introduced this woman to Jesus Christ,the one who would set her free from her spiritual bondage and bring new hope into her future. The woman’s peace was restored and her life was transformed. She later became instrumental in introducing many others to Jesus.
In the Gospel of Luke a similar story is told of Mary Magdalene,a woman who was also in spiritual bondage. Mary was a woman of high standing and comfortable circumstances,but she was considered by many to be demon possessed. Some biblical scholars have suggested that she might have been afflicted by a mental disorder or by violent epilepsy. Whatever the case,her peace of mind and self-control were destroyed. She must have been a disturbing sight with her matted hair,glaring eyes and sunken cheeks.
When Jesus’ compassionate gaze fell on the wild-eyed,cringing woman of Magdala,He saw in her the ministering angel who would eventually be a blessing to His own heart (see Luke 8:2-3). In His authoritative voice,He commanded the tormenting demons to come out of her. Then the miracle happened. The woman’s broken,deranged and nerve-wracked mind became tranquil and calm. Just as Jesus calmed the troubled waters on the Sea of Galilee (Luke 8:22-25),He also had power over the emotional and spiritual storms that raged in troubled minds.
Bystanders must have been amazed by the woman’s transformation. Her sanity was restored and she was made whole. She became the beautiful doll that God intended her to be. Eventually,Mary Magdalene would become one of the most devoted woman disciples of the Lord Jesus,her Bondage Breaker.
The power of Jesus is still bringing peace to troubled minds and helping people experience deliverance from spiritual bondage. If you know someone who is troubled in mind or spirit,reach out to them as General Booth did,and point them to the Prince of Peace.
Questions for Further Reflection:
• Reflect on these two stories of spiritual bondage. What do they have in common?
• Read Philippians 4:4-7. Who is the Bondage Breaker?
• Read John 14:15-31. What provision has God made for His people? What gift is offered in verse 27? Do you have that gift in your life?