Chapter Twenty Three: A Girl Named Suze
We had gotten a letter from a girl on our way to school. She had written,
“I’m sorry your heart hurts, and I know why. You gave up too early, your chase for meaning, matter and more. You matter more than this, and I know it is true…”
She was in seventh grade, and we met her on the bus early one morning. Our violin was in our hands as we had to take the early bus for orchestra practice. She said her name was Suze. They lived in a house with three acres and she had a horse there, but it belonged to her neighbors. One morning the sound of joy flooded into our heart as this young teenager leaned over and told me,
“Do you want to know a secret?”
She didn’t know I was a slave programmed to kill, but this phrase opened up an internal doorway to the river that flowed into the abyss of my heart where The Secrets were held. She said these words and opened a dialogue box, placed her letter in it, and it said just that. It was not the first time Suze and I had talked, but it would change all the rules and save my life.
Just a week before that moment of joy, she sat down in the seat next to mine on a frosty November morning. She said, “Nate, I think we should talk about something I don’t understand.” She did something so unexpected and so unpredictable: she touched my broken skin with her flawless freckled flesh. She picked up my left hand and saw the bruises on my knuckles, the split sores and blisters that peppered my palms. “I want to know where these came from and you have to tell me the truth. You don’t need to be afraid; I promise I won’t tell; I just see those same things on a lot of the boys’ hands in this town, and I want to know where they come from.”
I screamed out internally desperately trying to tell her about The Blade, the Boy, and the Child who fights grown men in the cage. She looked deep I could feel it: there was a sadness and a desperate need to know. She wanted to help us, and I know it is true. She was a helper, a healer, a kind one named Suze, but we were programmed to lie, and it was all we could do. We laughed and said, “It’s because the boys in this town are all stuntmen on the playground. We are daredevils who will climb anything no matter how high.” I automatically added, “My buddies and I play on the monkey bars until our palms swell, and sometimes we fall on our knuckles when we land in the dirt.”
She saw right through me, knowing my answer was not true. I bruised my knuckles two days earlier when I punched one of those other kids’ skull. Bare knuckle fighting is not like the movies: knuckles crashing into skull bones are going to leave a mark. He was still breathing after we’d stopped and for that I was thankful. We fought in a cage they built for large dogs kept in kennels. Twenty feet long and thirteen feet wide, they shoved us in there and prod us to fight. They prod us with shock sticks that emitted sparks on our skin when we resisted; sticks normally used by ranchers in the area to drive cattle into the places they wanted them to go. We “fought” for twenty minutes; it was just a sparring match of different methods and techniques as neither of us was given a blade to bring it to an end. It was a sport for money as gambling is legal on The Reservation.
Suze didn’t know it, but she had moved into a town like hell, where men were monsters who peddled children and slaughtered babies to summon devils and murder hope. This city I lived in was a “high place” where demons and men came from the desert to dance and delight. It had a strategically located airport which facilitated many of the plans of “he who shall not be named” and their Familial interests. It was at the school where so many of us went that they picked children and made them into a sport. They selected the ones who were furious fighters or seductive “screwers,” as whatever the clients desired could always be accommodated. I was their product perfected by both; these perverts had been using me for years, and I had gotten used to it. What more could they do than what had already been done? My dissociative soul split almost daily and I didn’t know why.
Suze stared into my soul, while I got lost in these thoughts. How could I tell her all these things? It would break her heart if they did not kill her for knowing. The man who lives two doors from her paid for these things. He watched us fight a teen that kicked us in the back so hard we could barely walk. To cover my limp up, they made me tell my teachers that it was from jumping off the playground too many times “performing my stunts.” Weeks before this, I’d felt like my feet had exploded when they beat them with paddles. It shatters the soul when they slap your feet so hard they blister and boil, so many nerves stinging away. The Brutes did this to me while they programmed backdoors and booby traps, which would trigger fury, rage, and murderous pain.
Then in a moment the atmosphere in the bus changed. I was not a child of God but a son of Belial, and I knew how to rid us of these questions. The girl sitting next to me was now shivering and cold. I knew it was not from the weather but from the demons in my heart that do this when they manifest. It came from the opening of a doorway from this realm to theirs. FEAR, DEATH, PAIN, SORROW – they are servants of the Dark One who were placed into me on that trapezoidal altar of gold inlay, stone, and wood.
Many eyes stared at Suze they poured out their fury and pain, and yet the girl did not care. Suze just sat there and stared as I tried to make her leave; I spoke a curse against her: “Run away and flee this place. Run away and never look back, to be tormented by demons who will make sure of that.” This curse had worked on everybody before. People, especially Christians, fear these demons so much it is scary, but here sat this girl unwavering. She looked deeper still, her eyes piercing my soul. They saw past my shields, dams, and inner walls. She saw my heart not in pieces but as a whole. I knew that when her eyes had seen my heart, and she did not run away, it was something that had never happened before.
Everyone who looked deep ran away before they saw our abyss, but not this thirteen-year-old girl who wore glasses and sometimes lisped. She said,
“I am sorry, Nate, for what has happened to you. I will pray for you tonight like I always do. God told me to. He said, ‘Pray for that boy no matter what he says.’ So I do, Nate, because I know God loves you.”
Like a match to dynamite, the atmosphere shifted from The Kingdom of Darkness to the Kingdom of Light. It was an explosion of power that caused my demons to tremble and I saw that they were afraid for the first time in my life.
She said this as my demons screamed, “RUN, RUN, RUN AWAY, GET AWAY NOW NO MATTER THE COST!” They are the words of these KEEPERS who activate this program and send us scurrying up to the front of the bus and away from her eyes. We hide and are not allowed to look anywhere but the ground, “TRANSPORTING PRODUCT KEEPS ITS EYES ON THE GROUND, OR IT GETS POUNDED DOWN.” We obey, and she lets us run away. We’d never seen power like that; who knew there was power which did not hide from our dark ones and could turn the tables against us and say such kind things.
We saw her the next day, and she walked past us towards the back of the bus. We breathed a sigh of relief as our Familiars calmed down. We never saw her work her way down to the seat behind mine. My head was leaning against the window, fogging the glass. Halfway to school, we heard her whispers, and it changed our life. She said those words and opened up our heart. She said, “Can you keep a secret?”
I don’t know how she knew to say these things, but they opened up that programmed part which wrote down a letter of the words she spoke next. The message would be placed in a box; this would be sealed and floated down the river to be sent to the abyss of my heart where the children keep secrets.
“I’m sorry your heart hurts, and I know why. You gave up too early, your chase for meaning, matter, and more. You always mattered more than this and I know it is true. God told me to tell you these words when I prayed for you last night. He told me there is always hope no matter what color the robe is that they put on your back. He knows your name, Nathan, and He will bring you back.”
These were words of rescue, a life raft of redemption, thrown into the midst of our chaos. She said these words as the demons exploded; they screamed at her through us as we stood to our feet, cursing again.
We bellow out, “*&#!* I hate your soul!”
I wanted to cry inside as they made us run again to the front of the bus. We heard her weeping, and it broke our heart. We were robots and wanted control of our body and the will of our soul returned to us. How could she know these things we told no one? We broke her heart, and she never talked to us again. She moved that next year and I don’t know where. We were made to forget the words she spoke. The Brute found them when we told him so. We always told them whenever he asked us so. He made us “never remember and always forget” that Suze ever existed and that God ever cared. We lost our hope and cried all day. We wept not knowing why.
It didn’t matter because she obeyed The Holy Spirit and prayed for me still. She walked by us each morning on that early bus, and smiled anyway. She smiled at me every morning for nearly a year. She sat by a fifth-grade boy only a handful of times and yet that thirteen-year-old girl saved my life. She prayed for a boy who was killing men for money, degrees, power, and control, to uphold The Secrets sworn during The Oath. She was a child of God and now so am I. She breathed His Words of hope into the abyss of my soul.
A thirteen-year-old follower of Messiah saved my life in the fifth grade, what she didn’t know was that my father worshiped the light bearer (Halal Son of Sheher) in secret but went to a charismatic “spirit-filled church” down the road. The dispensationally indoctrinated pastor of that church once came into my room to try to cleanse our house. My “Christian parents” called him to ask for help. They told him I had been having night terrors for weeks and they wanted it to stop. My parents didn’t tell him it’s because my great-grandpa was raping me in the hours just after midnight, long before the dawn.
The pastor came into our little house and after sitting down with my parents and me, he decided to go and look into my room. I could feel the fear smash into him when he stepped into our defiled space. He paced around our room and then he stated that he discerned demons were in my room. He said this was what was causing my night terrors, not the fear of the clock striking two. Even when that brute of a Family member didn’t come and have his way with us for weeks, we would scream, panic, and kick. We thought he was coming and begged him to get out. Most nights no one would come through the door, but all too often he did.
The pastor discerned that the demons were coming from the wall I shared with my grandpa. He prayed and said they were inside the poster I had hanging up of a Jurassic Park T-REX bursting through a wall. I’d saved up my money for two months and bought it at Universal Studios when we’d been taken there the previous summer; it glowed in the dark. After hearing the pastor’s words, my dad grabbed our poster off the wall and threw it out in the trash.
I saw it crumpled, wrinkled, and torn. It was my favorite thing in the room; it brought me courage in the darkness and was my only night light. I could see it in the trash from my bedroom window. I looked at it after the pastor left, feeling like he did something right. I, however, felt like he had taken my only hope. That poster meant more to me then he could have comprehended. The poster didn’t have the demons on it; the man who lived in the room next to mine did. My grandpa slept there, and when he didn’t sleep, he came and brutalized, manipulated, and controlled me. I believe that powerless pastor had good intentions, but he never stood a chance against The Kingdom of Darkness. He was a sheared sheep led by the wolves.
That night we gave up hope. Hours later, Grandpa came as the clock struck two, and we split off a piece of our soul too big to survive what he did. We tore away a chunk of our heart and threw it in the trash outside. That poster was our nightlight, but instead, we had darkness fill the madness of my room. We wanted to die that night. We wanted to leave this awful place they call life and be welcomed into a new one. We wanted to go and never come back, to run from this hell and get into heaven instead. We tried to find peace, but our only hope had been thrown in the trash.
We did not want to die, but we didn’t know what else to do. We gave up; we couldn’t take another minute of this cruel world, and we surrendered to the split. We knew it would be more painful than ever as we had so little left to tear.
Our heart was left bleeding on the floor when we finally woke up. The sun was not up yet, and we still had “to clean ourselves up.” We woke up that morning believing this was all there ever was. That maybe Dutch, my friend who lived down the road from my house, had to endure incest at night. We had to assume this was normal, just like any person who wakes up with another bruise on their face justifies it away as another drunken mistake.
My heart was stuck there, and I didn’t want it back. I left it in the trash, crumpled, torn, and in tatters. We watched the dump truck pull up a few days later. Our hearts sloughed into the compactors open jaw as the man pulled a black handled lever and crushed our soul. He drove off as if nothing happened; his tires bore the weight of a heart now even more broken. I watched him turn the corner and move on to the next house; I think he eventually dumped it in a mound outside of town.
What do you do when they buried your heart in a dump eighteen years ago? What do you do when the lion’s share of your heart was torn off of your soul and made to pass through incestuous fires? What do you do when you wake up and have to limp to the bathroom for the second time that week? You survive and get tougher than you thought possible, or you give up and decide to die. We refused the latter and had always done the former. We were survivors.
Before I could pack my lunch, I had learned how to leave the rape, rage, and ragged edge parts of my soul in the trash outside. The men with their trucks, shovels, and bulldozers could do what they did best; bury our heart somewhere no one wanted to look. No one wanted to look at the horror or the hell that was my life any longer than was necessary. While this may work with trash, it does not work with trauma, torture, and regret.
It was not my choice to make my heart break; it had been programmed into me since I was conceived. My whole life I’d been conditioned to break along the lines my abusers scored into the surface of my soul. Some cracks broke cleanly along the prepared points of pain; others shattered splitting off shards that were sharp and deadly. One piece tore to ribbons and was left to be used as the dumping grounds of our inner world.
The Father saw us in that ragged state, in that place of pain, crumpled in a heap, He provided us a new heart of hope when He showed us the truth. That morning we woke up after our grandpa had done his deed. We’d walked to the bathroom and showered off. We dressed quickly and ate a bowl of oatmeal before the house stirred. We checked our violin and rosined its bow. We put on our shoes and walked out the door. We stood on the dirt across from our house. We shivered against the cold as we stared at our crumpled poster in the trash. We knew something terrible had happened but had “always forgotten” what. We saw the bus turn onto our street and readied our hands. We stepped onto the stairs as our bus driver, Sue, opened the door.
There were no seats open in the first nine rows, so we picked the tenth. We sat on the left like we always did, hoping to hide our heads on the window’s frosted glass. The bus rumbled on as we gazed at that poster and thought it was trash. Our life was trash, and we hoped we might die. The bus made more stops, and before we realized it, a girl sat down next to us. We looked over and saw her then. Her smile was electric and full of life. She looked over at us for an introduction and said,
“Hi, my name is Suze.”
A thirteen-year-old girl saved my life that morning. She did not know I had given up last night, but Jesus did. He sent His beloved child to protect that tattered piece of my soul and keep it breathing. She spoke such kindness to us, and her prayers kept my heart beating. She did not run from me like the other Christians but anchored herself in The Messiah. She had something the church has lost: child-like faith and a reckless love for the lost.
I write these words in desperate prayer for her and for our church. I pray she reads these words some day and knows what she did. I knew her for hardly a month, but she did more in that month than I have done in years. She spoke her words of faith boldly. The Lion of the tribe of Judah sent a teenage girl to save my heart on a cold morning many years ago. She prayed and prayed for us; we know it was true. She prayed over our heart, and those prayers kept it hidden and safe. I don’t know where she went or moved off to but no matter the place, I love you, Suze. I pray your faith is broad and bold, and your courage is too.
I am alive today because someone was willing to pray, someone looked closer and saw a hurting heart and our bruised knuckles. In all the years of my life, she was one of the few. She saw us with The Father’s eyes and was not scared or disgusted. She helped us know there was still hope for the hurting, abandoned, fatherless sons and daughters. She met the needs of an orphan, and The Father is so proud. She obeyed His Words and spoke The Truth.
Yahweh knew our names, and He was coming soon. He rescued us that morning as He always does. His joy broke through our burdens and pain. His light scattered the darkness and set us all free. We don’t need a glow-in-the-dark T-Rex poster to escape to if we have made His refuge our dwelling place. We have hidden under the shelter of His wings. We no longer hunger and starve because His Word is our daily bread, and we have grown capable, strong, and full. Our thirst has been quenched by the Living Waters flowing from The Father’s throne; we have confidence now and can enter into His presence with a boldness of faith, knowing The Lamb’s blood has purchased us forever.
We are sealed by The Holy Spirit and have been given a mission from The King. We are told to go into all the world making disciples by preaching The Good News to every creature. If they are a fifth-grade boy whose knuckles are bruised or the man who locked two kids in cages for sport, they both are prisoners of pain, torment, and shame. I know the true Lord Jesus, and He came to redeem them all. We are His treasured children and its time you all know this is so. We pray people will listen but understand that most won’t. We pray without ceasing knowing our prayers have power, and The Father hears and answers them all.
Save your people, Father Yahweh, we beg you now; help set them free. Set this powerless church free from its shackles. May they learn the truth: that power comes from obedience, holiness, and perfect love, which casts out all fear. That pastor was like all the others, a man who was a disciple of the doctrines of men rather than the commandments of His Creator. The Good News is not that sinners can be saved from hell so they can live a meaningless, powerless life to one day go to a happy heaven. The Good News is that the prodigal sons and daughters, the lost sheep of The House of Israel can be made inheritors of The Almighty God of heaven and earth, and with that freedom comes new hearts that walk The Way Jesus taught.
We can be clothed with power from on high like Stephen in Acts 8 or Peter who feared a child’s persecutory words one day and boldly proclaimed obedience to his Master when he faced whips and scourges a few months later. There is power in the living Vine, the Body of Messiah, just not in our churches. There will never be power in our churches; there will only ever be power in the followers of The Way.