"Well, I didn't sleep at all. I was seeing 'ghosts' last night."
Looking at me with her dark intense eyes, Justina raises four fingers as quotation marks. She doesn't think I believe in ghosts. And I don't. She's not the first of my students to tell me about the ghosts in there houses or their grandmothers house or in their aunt's house in Mexico. I had such a hard time explaining to them what I believed about angels and demons and "ghosts". I think I told a student once during morning prayer time I wasn't going to pray about something I didn't think was real. Gosh this stuff is so foreign to me.
"There was a little boy. He was in my room and I saw him and got scared and pulled the covers over my head. I thought, no, I need to sleep in here. Through the blanket I saw his little feets going..." and she makes little scurrying motions with her fingers this time. "My mom saw him, too. She came to the door and I said 'did you see that?' and she said she did."
At first I was writing her story off as an overactive imagination situation. I am now beginning to think there are demons in this girl's house.
"I saw a girl in the bathroom, too. She so little and was sitting next to the, er... sink, eh?" She's not sure if she got the right English word. "She just sat there looking at me and I turned the light off and then on again. And she was still there. Then turned it on and off again and then she disappeared."
"When that happens, Justina, you should pray and ask God to make them go away. Or better yet just say Jesus' name. God doesn't like these things to be bothering you. If you have Jesus with you, they won't hang around."
"Yea," she casts her eyes downward like she doesn't believe what I am saying. And then, continuing to relay her story, "he has like a little...mohawk and like these eyes, like an Egyptian, and..."
I interrupt her. "Justina, if you don't like it, just ask Jesus to be in the room with you and he will be there. God doesn't like for you to be scared by these things."
I wondered about demons living in a house; the possible reality of it.I could barely get my mind round the conversation I was having. There is more I don't know about my students lives than I thought. Then, the other teacher comes over to the picnic table. "I told you to pack up five minutes ago already. Lunch is over, please go inside."
All the girls around me picked up their lunches and were gone. I didn't think about the conversation again until I was cooking my supper tonight. My kids need more prayer than I've been offering up. And so little time left to be with them. Oh, life! The ways you work.
(Her name isn't really Justina.)