GLIMPSES OF ANOTHER WORLD
I knew a young girl who had been playing with an ooijah-board with a group of teenagers. One day when they were playing with it, something dreadful happened. The whole group started to scream and roll about - they had been possessed by demons. An ambulance was called; it took them to a mental home in Brookwood. An Anglican vicar was asked to exorcise the demons. It was claimed that most of the young people had one or two demons, but that the young girl had fifteen. Therefore it took longer for her to be "exorcised". She went home, but continued to suffer from deep depressions.
One day she phoned me, but I was away until the evening. Then she told a friend of mine who answered the phone: "I can't wait that long, I'm going to commit suicide." And she put the phone down. My poor friend was desperate; she did not know the name of the girl and she did not know how to contact me. When I arrived home, the mother of the girl phoned and told me that her daughter had been rushed to hospital. She had come home from shopping and found her daughter on the floor with her wrists slashed... The girl's life was saved. But I told her that she had almost committed a terrible sin.
About a year later, she suddenly dropped in on me and said: "I must do confession with you." I told her that since I was not a priest I could not take her confession and that she ought to go to London and see one of the Orthodox priests there. She was not Orthodox at that time. But she answered that if I did not listen to her confession she would again try and commit suicide because she could not face the long journey to London. Remembering what had happened before, I dared not refuse her. So I went upstairs to my bedroom and brought down a beautiful big icon of Christ and put it in front of her. "Now," I said, "it is Christ the Lord Who is listening to you, and only He can forgive sin." She nodded and started her confession. I had decided that, not being a priest, I would not say anything like "your sins are forgiven" at the end. While I listened to her, I was deeply moved by the honesty and depth of her confession. I recognized that I had never made such a true and penetrating confession. It was long - she had obviously been preparing for it with her whole soul, because she never hesitated about what to say next. Then she stopped, and, to my utmost surprise I said: "Christ has forgiven you." She looked up, and a smile like that of a little child broke through the tears on her face. She then went home full of joy.
In the meantime I wondered what my priest would say about my having said these words and I decided to tell the bishop. The next day was a Saturday, and I received in the post an icon-print of Christ sent by Abbot Elias of St. George's monastery in the Lebanon. Christ is holding an open Bible, and something was written in Greek on the opened pages.
The next day I went to church and asked the bishop to tell me the title of the icon and the words written on the opened pages in the Bible. While he was looking at the icon, I told him about the girl and what I had said. The bishop looked up and said with a smile: "The Lord Himself has answered you. This icon is called the Wisdom of God, and the words on the opened pages are: 'The sins that you forgive are forgiven you, and the sins that you retain are retained.' So you were not wrong in telling the girl that Christ had forgiven her sins.”
I knew a young man called Paul who was a heroin addict. When I met him he was in a terrible mental state, weak and listless. His arms showed the marks of the injections he had given himself. I tried to talk to him, but he was in despair about himself. I phoned the psychiatrist who was treating him. He told me that Paul was a hopeless case. He had destroyed himself, he had no more will power, and would be dead within six months. I sighed and said that I was sure that he was right in his medical diagnosis, but that if Paul would turn to God, with Whom all things are possible, he could be totally cured. The psychiatrist got heated and said that that was impossible. Paul's brains had been damaged, and he advised me not to waste my time and energy on him.
Late one winter evening the phone rang. It was Paul telling me in an incoherent way that he was going to commit suicide, but that he had phoned me from a kiosk first to thank me for having tried to help him. I tried to keep him talking, and asked him where he was. All he would say was: "I'm phoning in Guildford from a public telephone box." Then his money ran out and we were cut off. I told my husband what had happened and he decided to go in his car to Guildford and search for Paul. I could not come with him as our little son was fast asleep. It was a freezing cold night and it was raining. I pointed out to my husband that he had never met Paul in his life. But his faith was very strong, and a voice within him convinced him that he would find Paul before it was too late. He rushed to the car and set off. In the meantime I prayed earnestly to God to prevent Paul from committing suicide and to help my husband find him. I repeated this prayer over and over again, as I stood in front of the icons.
About 20 minutes later, I heard my husband's car, and to my amazement Paul was sitting next to him. He was in a terrible state, and I took him straight upstairs to the spare bedroom to let him sleep. He was sobbing.
When I came downstairs I asked my husband how on earth he had found Paul, and found him so quickly. He shook his head in amazement and told me how he had raced towards Guildford. There were no cars nor people on the road. Having come to the large roundabout in Guildford, he had no idea where to go. Straight ahead would take him to the town centre, which seemed the sensible direction to go in. However, a voice within him urged him to take the left turn, which passes between two huge fields. He then came to a small roundabout and was again not sure where to go. This time he felt that he should turn right. On the right side of the road was the lonely figure of a man walking. For some reason he could not understand my husband knew it was Paul. He opened his window and shouted at him: "Paul, come here!" He did not ask him, he ordered him. The young man stood still, then crossed the road. Only now could my husband see that he was young, because in the winter darkness he had only been able to see that it was a tall man. He opened the door of the car, and Paul stepped in, sobbing. He did not know who my husband was or where he was being driven to until he came to our house.
The next morning, Paul had still not come down and it was almost 12. My daughter was visiting me, and of course she heard the story and got worried that Paul may have committed suicide in our house. But I felt calm, I was sure that he had not committed suicide, he was just exhausted and needed a good sleep. And in the early afternoon he came downstairs, calm and sober.
I put the icon of Christ in front of him, and told him to ask Christ for forgiveness and to ask Him to cure him of his heroin addiction. I told him what the psychiatrist had told me, and reminded him that with God all things are possible. He brought Lazarus back from the dead, although he was already a decomposing and stinking corpse. Paul listened gravely. Suddenly he believed in God and felt hope in his heart. He put his hands on the icon and talked silently to the Lord. He made a promise and felt that he would keep the promise, because God was going to help him.
He then left our house. I have never seen him again, but I have heard from friends that he has been cured, has a job and is mentally normal. His brains do not seem to have been permanently damaged.
It must have been an angel who guided my husband so swiftly to Paul's rescue. It seems that our guardian angel works together with the guardian angels of other people and that they send messages to each other.
From the Memoirs of Olga Moss, the wife of Vladimir Moss. Posted by Vladimir Moss on Facebook.