At the end of the service, a couple people gathered to figure out what was going on with him. One lady discerned that there might be something demonic at play, and she started commanding it to come out of him. Brandon immediately leaned forward in his chair and basically passed out.
A group gathered around and several of us laid hands on him, praying and commanding the spirit to come out. At one point we laid him flat across the seats. The lady strongly rebuked the demon and Brandon started coughing, and sat up like he was going to cough something out. But then he laid back down and we knew it hadn’t left him. This basically went on for the next 2 hours. He was in and out of consciousness. Sometimes his arms would thrash around, sometimes he would speak in gibberish.
Eventually the convention staff kicked us out and we had to carry him outside. We laid him on a concrete bench and continued, even though it was cold and now it was after midnight. At one point one lady looked him right in the eyes (we were trying to figure out the status of his salvation at this point), and asked, “Is Jesus Lord?” This was the most intense part of the whole night because when she asked him that, Brandon’s face contorted into an expression of total rage and defiance, and it looked like he was about to spit in her face. One of the other ladies said “You will not spit on her!” And he obeyed. But when she asked him again, “Is Jesus Lord?” the same exact expression came over his face again.
During a moment when he was somewhat lucid, someone asked, “Brandon how are you feeling?” He paused and mumbled, “…I feel like you guys really care about me.” Everyone laughed and it was a much needed moment of comic relief. Other times when he seemed to be himself, he would say, “It’s not going to leave,” and everyone assured him that it would.
Through some spiritual warfare training we remembered that demons like a fight, and sometimes the more attention and focus you give them, the more they’ll take. So we stopped all the rebuking and just started speaking over his future and declaring God’s presence on him. I asked him, “Brandon, what do you want to do with your life?” He immediately started talking about how much he wants to help people, and he came fully into his right mind and started talking and responding normally. We talked for awhile, said a final prayer, and then Brandon stood up and said, “Let’s get outta here, huh?” We all laughed again and one guy gave him a ride to the shelter where he was staying.
You’d think this experience would give me a healthy fear of the demonic, but actually I came away with such an overwhelming sense of God’s love. There was something about seeing 10 people all stay with him till 1am, praying over him, anointing his cuts with oil, covering him with their jacket when he started shivering… some of us cradling his head, others holding him up each time he would sit up to cough… some standing off to the side, singing… one guy literally carrying his limp body in his arms when they told us to leave the building… Honestly the next morning in worship I was just crying and crying because it had been such an overwhelming picture of God’s unreserved love and grace, not just for Brandon, but for me, for us.