Faith Story: The Noxious Weed and the Angel's Voice
October 16, 2010 at 1:48 pm
My name is Mark Lajoie. I've been doing all of the posting about Living Waters since we started our website and I was praying and hoping that others might want to make some contributions. Well, lo and behold, Chuck Trella has stepped forward to witness. He was with the sound crew back in the early 80's or so and he and his children have become musicians and artists in their own right. He listened to an old song of ours that we just posted, "He That is in Us", and recounted an amazing story. Here it is:
"Wow - I had forgotten about this song. Which is shocking because I had an experience out at UMASS that I don't think I've shared with any of you. I was feeling really down one night in the early Fall after moving out to UMASS for my first semester. A period of struggle with my faith and life in general. A guy on my floor and I had been hanging out and he convinced me to try a hit of his "finest" - umm - illicit weed substance. (Something I am really not proud of btw.)
Anyway - I went back to my room and decided to go to sleep. So I put Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" on the turntable (remember those?) and laid down in my bunk. My roommate was out for the night. So I am lying there and listening and started to hear all these really high pitched counter melodies that grew louder and more disonant as it went on. (These are not there on listening now.) Anyway - it began to grow very irritating and I was going to get up and go turn it off but . . . I couldn't move. I started to get worried wondering if there had been something more in the ilicit substance than just nature? I started getting really scared. Then - I began to see shapes - shadows swirling around me - and felt like I was being pressed down into the bed - like something was holding me down. I felt like I wasn't breathing and like my heart stopped. Then suddenly I was outside my body - looking down and seeing myself lying there and all these dark shadowy shapes flying around me and the room spinning. I gotta tell you - I was REALLY scared and getting totally freaked out. I litterally thought I was dying and that I was being dragged down into the pit of hell.
Then - the line that Denise sings in this song broke though into my consciousness - "Oh yes - yes I know . . . resist the devil and he will go..." It was like the voice of an angel. I started praying the Hail Mary and Our Father - and suddenly I was back in my body, the music, motion, everything stopped, I could breathe, and move again. I prayed and praised God thanking Him for rescuing me and it was shortly after that - that I really gave myself over to faith in God and Jesus. Up till then I'd always been around it but was sort of going through the motions. I loved how I felt when I was with LW, and folk group at St. Zepherin's in Cochituate MA, but I was always struggling with my own inner prayer life and belief. LW - Mark in particular - but ALL of you in so many ways were one of the main influences that helped me stay Catholic and stay faithful to God. It helped lead me to the Newman center at UMASS - and eventually to my wife and many dear friends to this day from UMASS. THANK YOU for your openess to God's Love and to letting me (all too briefly) be part of it all with LW. Blessings and Peace to each and every one of you!"
And thank you, Chuck, for being brave enough to offer this story "so that you may believe"!