That One Time I Accidentally Channeled Someone

Several years ago my ex-husband asked that I please call the cable company, because the picture on our TV would freeze from time to time. Given that it was football season, clearly one could see the urgency in making sure this task got done.
Upon calling the cable company, and running through their gauntlet of STOOOPID tests, they scheduled a day and time for a tech to come out and fix my television problems.

I pray in the morning, before I step out of bed. Usually, it’s a “thank you for a good night’s sleep, letting the kids sleep all night long, thank you for this day, our health and letting us all be together and safe. I’m excited Lord, for all that we’ll do today…” and SOME days, I add “I’m excited about whomever you’re going to bring into my life, and may I be a light that directs them back unto you.”
I’ve noticed, that on the days, where I tack on the, “I’m excited about whomever I’m going to meet, and may I direct them back to you,” part of the prayer, that God DOES indeed, ALWAYS bring someone into my path, who needs a little extra sparkle.

On this particular day, it would be Ethan, the cable guy.

Michael, my ex-husband, took the kids to school that morning, which was PERFECT, because then I could be home for the duration of that ridiculously HUGE window of time the cable company demands, for the tech to arrive.

8:15 a.m. my doorbell rang.

I opened the door, to a man in cable uniform, a fancy pants tablet, a utility belt, and a badge with his picture on it, claiming that he did indeed, work for the cable company. I was grateful, for this picture ID, for if I judged him on his appearance, I might think he was a serial killer… or rapist. Or at least some kind of skin-head racist, who was surely here to kill me, not fix my television problems.
You see, “Chad,” (as his ID read) stood about  6 ft 4” tall, 350 pounds, as wide as my doorway (dude was HUGE!), with big brawny arms, tattoos on every inch that I could see, and a big bald head- not my head fetish bald- SCARY bald.

If I saw this guy on the street, I would cross the street to AVOID him.

I so wished Michael was still home. But alas, I am a grown up (at least the universe keeps telling me so) and must take care of myself.
I took a deep breath, extended my arm, and introduced myself, “Hi! I’m Crystal Phillips! You here to fix my TV?” I cheerfully said, trying to hide my fear, and giving him my biggest smile ever.
“Hey, I’m Ethan… err, I go by Ethan, it’s my middle name, but my ID has Chad on it.” He seemed to suddenly get nervous, fumbling to show me his ID.
“Okay, “Ethan Not Chad,” come on in, I’ll show you which TV is giving us the problem.” I tried to joke, to lighten the mood (plus, I default to jokes, when I’m nervous or scared) and gestured for him to come in, making sure he stayed in front of me, as I pointed him to the room where the TV was.
I explained what had been going on, and Ethan went outside, to take a look at my wires, box and satellite dish.
I was grateful he was outside, because it gave me a chance to take a moment to calm down.
He was huge. And scary looking.
Whenever I read my daily devotion, or the bible, I get a very slight, pleasant “chill” down my spine. Like, when your mom walks up behind you, lays her hands on each of your shoulders, and tells you she loves you. That ‘surprise,’ sweet love – feeling. That feeling always comes over me, and I’ve learned to identify this as ‘being on His path,” or in other words, ‘doing His will.”
While Ethan was outside, I prayed a prayer of calm, in my head- and a peace, along with THAT chill, over came me.
And I knew.
I suddenly remembered my, “I’m excited about whomever you’re going to send into my life today,” part of my prayer, and knew that it was Ethan who needed “it” today.
Now, mind you, I’m not a bible-thumping- holy-roller. I don’t walk around preaching The Word, as I am NOT an expert at the book. I’d rather lead by example. So, when I “was told” to minister to Ethan I was thinking, “really?! How am I supposed do that?! He’s huge and scary! I’m scared!!! No!!!”
But the peace and that chill stayed with me.
So, despite not knowing how the HECK I was going to squeeze in a conversation about God to THE CABLE GUY, I waited for the opportunity.
Ethan came back inside, and told me he did jimmy with the wires, and fixed some hardware problems with my box. He ran some tests via the remote, but when those all came back fine, he asked to see some gray box.
I told him I had never heard of this alleged gray box he speaks of, but that I would try to find it.
I suggested we move my TV forward, as it was the central unit, and possibly the grey box was somewhere unseen.
We moved the furniture and TV, and found the illusive magical gray box that would fix all of our problems.
It was in a strange place, so Ethan had to get down on his knees, to get it and fiddle with it.
He struggled, HARD, to get back up from his kneeling position, and though I tried my best not to look at him judgmentally, I’m afraid he could read my expression.
As he struggled, he said, “yup, when you get to be my age, your body doesn’t work as well as it used to.”
I tried to control my face and voice (to not sound sarcastic, but with genuine concern) and asked, “you don’t look very old to me. You’re what, in your late 30’s?”
“I’m 42,” he said, standing up, dusting off his hands.
“Um, 42 isn’t old… did something happen?” I asked.
“well, let’s see, I’ve survived four car accidents, and been thrown off of 5 motorcycles.”
(I couldn’t believe the last part of that sentence came out of my mouth! That is SO not how I usually talk!)
Ethan’s head went back a little, and he took a good, hard look at me and said, “yeah. I guess he does.”
He paused for a bit, which made me uncomfortable… I was almost sorry I said the last part and then he continued, “I wish he’d hurry up and let me know what that was though, ‘cause I’d sure like to know!”
Then I felt that chill.
This was it.
I prayed in my head to God, “please don’t let Crystal mess this up.”
“well, there’s a reason you’re here, and when you figure it out, get to making the world a better place.” I said, finishing my sentence off with a massive smile (there should have been one of those twinkles on my teeth and a ding, like on those mentos freshmaker commercials- at least that’s what it felt like to me)
Ethan squared his body to face mine completely. His stare was hard, and again I felt uncertain about what I’d said.
“yeah. Well, I’ve only prayed once. That was all I needed and I don’t need anything else.” He said, hard, and matter of factly.
“we all need God more than once Ethan. You should pray. You should pray every second, over every single tiny thing, ever. It even says so in the bible. “pray always,”  I told him.
“I’ve only prayed once, for the life of my son. That’s all I’ve wanted, or needed. I don’t need to pray for anything else.” He said, his body language softening, at the memory of that difficult time.
He went on to tell me the story of his now 9 year old son. Of how when his son was a baby, he discovered a lump on his head that turned out to be some rare form of leukemia and that he wouldn’t live more than 6 months. How he prayed fervently and desperately for the Lord to spare the life of his son.
“that’s all I’ve ever wanted, or needed. I don’t need to pray for anything else.” Ethan said, tears now steadily streaming down his face.
“are you kidding me?” I thought, in my head, to God, “are you seriously kidding me?! We have this tough guy in tears! Yay!”
“that’s so wonderful, that your son is alive and healthy now. You must be so grateful for that!” I said, in response to his story, trying to get him to focus on the good, to stop the tears.
“yeah. I think that’s my purpose, being a dad.” He said, wiping the tears from his face with his huge hands.
“yeah it could be.” I said.
“I love my son so much. I don’t know what I’d do without him.” He said, looking off to the side, trying to collect himself. “Woah, don’t say that! Be careful!” I said, trying to shush him (again, completely surprised by what I just said, and what was spewing out of my mouth) and continued, “number one rule, Ethan, “have no other god’s before me” don’t ignore your relationship with God, and hold your role as a father to such high esteem. We can have child idolatry as well. Remember what God made Abraham do?! He wanted children so badly, and loved Isaac so much, that God tested him, by asking him to sacrifice his son? Be careful where you put your focus. Love your son, yes, of course, but make sure the Lord is first in your heart. You put him and yourself in danger.”
(again, Crystal was shocked that Crystal was saying these things)

I felt as if what I was saying was also for me, “be careful where you put your heart”
Ethan listened closely to what I said, and nodded.
I asked him how many children he had. He said he has a daughter he’s never met, but hopes to meet one day. That circumstances beyond his control made it so.
He teared up again, as he told me his story. My heart went out to them both. Ethan told me he thinks of his daughter every day, and he hopes to find and meet her.

Chills ran down my spine again, and I said, “Pray. And you will.”
My body trembled when I said that. I was shocked. I felt as if I was more of an observer, than a partaker, in these conversations. It was very bizarre… but WONDERFUL, at the same time.
(It’s FUN, being able to play these games with God, and get to do things WITH Him! He can do all this stuff himself, but He CHOOSES to use us sometimes to help Him! It’s so much fun!)
Teary eyed, Chad gently grinned, and said, “Yeah. Maybe I will.” And again, wiped his face clean of the tears with his huge hands.
“Ethan, the Lord knows the desires of your heart. He knows about your daughter. You will meet her, when it’s right.”
“What if it’s not right?” he asked.
“Listen, there’s a verse, that says something like, “parents, if your child begged for bread, would you give them a serpent? You would give them what they ask.” I said.
“What if it’s not right? What if what your child asks isn’t what’s good for them?” he asked, quietly and desperately.
At this moment, I so wished Michael were there with me. He knows the bible like the back of his hand, and he would have had some perfect verse for Ethan. I’m like a kindergartner when it comes to the bible.
I was grateful that the words of my mouth were not my own. And as I spoke them, I felt I knew, on some level, they were true. I continued, “Ethan, when the desires of our heart are righteous, and good, they will be answered when and if they are aligned with the Lord’s will. It is right for you to love your daughter and want to meet her. If she knows, she will wonder about you. And when it’s right, you will meet her.”
Ethan listened, and nodded, with a kind grin, and tears in his eyes.
I stood there and smiled, taking in this giant, “Lord, forgive me, for judging him and being scared of him at first.” I thought, as Ethan continued to work on the cable.

He checked all my boxes, and ran a bunch of tests, and he got my problem resolved.
What was funny, was that he didn’t leave until almost 11. He HAD fixed my problem, almost at the beginning, when I noticed his poor knee condition. I think he just piddled around, to keep talking.
I make no apologies for this. If you’re going to be around me, for more than 45 seconds, I’m going to get your life story. I’m probably going to fall in love with you, and we’re going to be BFFS FOREVER.

After finishing up his paperwork, and getting my signature, Ethan gave me his personal cell phone number. Not uncommon, as all cable guys have done this, saying, “here, here’s my number, if this gives you any more trouble, call my cell. Don’t waste your time on the phone with the cable company, they’ll have you on there forever. Just call me, and if I can’t come right over to help, I’ll walk you through it on the phone.”

I was very grateful for this, as I SO loathe the amount of time it takes being on the phone with the cable company, trying to ‘troubleshoot’ problems.

I said, “Thank you, “Ethan Not Chad,” very much. I really appreciate this. My husband will be VERY happy he can go back to watching a normal screen for his football.”

Chad stood in my doorway, taking up the entire space, gently and kindly grinned at me, extended his huge hand to me, and said, “Thank you, it was nice meeting you, Crystal.”
I happily shook his, saying, “No, believe me, it was MY pleasure! I will absolutely keep you and your daughter in my prayers. If you get a chance, please stop by and let me know how that goes.”
Chad nodded and walked out to his truck.
I stood, watching, and prayed for he and his daughter…feeling they will meet.

I text Michael, letting him know the cable guy was gone, and he called me when he got my text.
“how’d it go?” Michael asked.
I told him this story, and said, “when he was so doubtful about prayer, all I could think was how badly I wished you were here, so you could have said something awesome and thrown a good bible verse at him!”
Michael chuckled, and said, “Well, if you only call your Daddy when you’re in jail, he’ll probably help you the first time. Maybe even the second time. But if you don’t talk to him every day, and have that relationship with him, he probably won’t get you out of jail anymore after that. Or, you could just develop a good relationship with him, and trust he’s with you, every time you’re in trouble.”

I said, “See! That’s what I mean! You would have been perfect, being here!”
Michael said, “Nope. You were supposed to be there. You did the right thing.” He chuckled and said “that’s my sweetest sweet… don’t know a stranger, do you baby?”
I laughed and said, “You wouldn’t have believed it! Dude was HUGE!! And I couldn’t believe he was here, and that he cried like that! It was CRAZY!!! I almost asked him if I could take his picture, ‘cause I didn’t think you’d believe me!”

It’s a privilege, to be used… and it’s humbling, when the person who needs, ‘it’ is NOT someone I would EVER go up to. It’s humbling, to be reminded that EVERYONE has a story…. Has a need… that we are not to be judged… we are to be LOVED.
Since this day, I’ve come to realize that was my first real Channeling. Where my words were not my own, but the person to whom I was speaking needed the message and the words are always exactly what the person needs to hear.  I often wonder… if I would have made different choices in life…if these gifts would have started way earlier in my life, at a more comfortable pace? Either way, I’m grateful for the memory of this event.

I’ve not heard from “Ethan not Chad,” but once in a while this memory will pop up and I do pray that he has met his daughter. His message came through so pure and clear and felt so Holy.

The Lord can do ALL things, by himself. He created every single tiny thing. It’s EXCITING and a PRIVILEGE to be loved by a creator who WANTS  a relationship with us. Who wants to know the desires of our hearts. Who loves us, even though we’re imperfect.