Witches, Warriors, and Wiccans
Goths. So many people and so little time. So much love, but seemingly small steps. The abused and traumatized. Atheists, and wiccans. Vampires and medieval warriors. Toddlers and teens. Homeless, and sadists. Goths who are heroin addicts, agnostics, head shrinkers, witches, and masochists. Mothers, psychiatrists, seamstresses, grandfathers, students, engineers, professors, counselors, teachers, businessmen, and fathers. I think I was more surprised than anybody when God called me—a white, blonde, non-European, English-speaking, female -- to the world’s largest Gothic festival in Leipzig, Germany. What was He thinking?! As it turns out, He was thinking quite a lot about His children.
They’re all His—every single person at the Goth Festival. They may not believe it or know it yet, but He does. His desire as a good Father is to do a "great reveal" to them. To reveal to them that they are His beloved children – they are not just a label. Their profound identities are in what He says about them. He says to them, “You are a treasured son/daughter. You have been bought at a high and costly price. You are a uniquely, beautifully created child. You are loved not for what you do or don’t do, but because I chose you to exist.”
When asked "why" they come every year, their answers are similar. Many times it is the music, freedom to be themselves and not be judged, and the fun of dressing (or undressing) the way they want. However, many others express answers that reveal the deeper issues and needs of their hearts. They say things like, “It feels like home,” and “This is my family and I belong and fit in here.”
There is nothing new under the sun as the enemy still tries to counterfeit the originality of God's family. Sons and daughters, built for relationship with the One and Only Father, are contented by a fake, shiny, twinkling, loud, imitation in a desperate attempt to belong and find a home…even for only four days a year.
They love their "freedom". The freedom to do as they please. They feel free to dress as an animal or dress in only a loin cloth. Free to imbibe, to smoke, to get wasted. Free to wear chains on their clothing. Free to be bound with actual chains and be led around like a possession by another human being. Free to "show-walk" as they try to prove to themselves and to others that their outside adornment makes them important, valuable, and worthy.
Yet God sent me to be His heart. To love them. To care for them. To say, "A night may come when you wish God was real, even though you say He is not. On that night, ask Jesus to show you He is not dead. He will. You are His child and He is well aware of you even if you don't know Him. He is for you. He is not against you."
For Him they don't need to dress up, or degrade themselves. He already treasures their lives, knows their value, and sees their beauty and worth. His heart is to touch their hearts. To hug and kiss the recovering heroin addict who believes he has found a savior in his girlfriend. To cry with the homeless man who was sexually abused by a male and a female as a child and whose first girlfriend died in his arms. To talk with the 65+ year old man dressed in a loin cloth whose entire body was tattooed with pictures of many gods, including Jesus crucified – a man whose mother is still alive and still praying for her little boy.
God reached some while I was there. It was beautiful. It felt amazing as they said "yes" to Him. May He bring them far and fast as His day draws nearer. In others, He planted ideas, truths, and thoughts. He watered the seeds sown previous years and I saw the plant grow in front of my eyes. Several were so close – their hearts trembled at the idea that they actually have a Father in heaven who dearly and truly is for them. A heavenly Father who greatly desires to show His love if they will only be brave enough to trust someone again “and let go” of guarding their hearts so the hurt cannot penetrate. These are the ones He sent me to. It's the ones He always reaches out to: the broken, captives, and prisoners.
So He gave away innumerable hugs of acceptance. He gave away kisses of affectionate love. He gave away words of truth to challenge lies. He gave away tears of mourning with those mourning. He gave away delights of joy as His Spirit brought peace to the inside of them and they didn't understand, but they could feel Him. He is such a good Father and He loves them....and it is this Love that compels Him (and me) to continue to reach out to his sons and daughters. He knows in His heart of hearts, that their ultimate joy is to believe that He is and to get to know Him – not just about Him.
- Humbly submitted in love by Kay Baskerville, a 2017 team member.