Ghosts that vanish!

Mr Ghost

An enthusiastic convert who seemed to be making great strides, but suddenly and without warning, “Mr Ghost” disappeared under the radar. Phone messages were ignored, text messages unanswered, commitments broken. He scurried away when greeted by a church member on the High Street. His unspoken message – ‘leave me alone’.

Duck to water

Ghost was first introduced to the church when he attended a men’s breakfast at the manse. Rhino had rather forcefully insisted that he attend! Ghost, although un-churched and not used to such gatherings, took to it like a proverbial duck to water. He confidently greeted everyone and didn’t seem at all phased by their Christian talk, and even praying at the end.

Charming Ghost soon had everyone ‘eating out of his hand’. He stayed behind to talk some more with pastor Ostrich. Ghost committed to coming to the nest service on Sunday, and expressed a deep interest in the Christian faith. He confessed he was very open to such things, especially as his mother had recently died and he was seeking answers.

Arriving early on Sunday, with Rhino, he helped put the chairs out. Ghost listened, absolutely riveted, it seemed, by the service, and at the end he asked to speak to pastor Ostrich in the office. To everyone’s absolute delight he gave his heart to the Lord there and then. Everyone hugged and congratulated him. He immediately committed to attend the mid-week prayer meeting and the bible study.

Ghost excitedly listened to the church extension plans. As it happened he was a contractor and eagerly promised his assistance free of charge. For fully two weeks Ghost immersed himself in church life. He was early everywhere, shaking everyone’s hand and picking up church lingo like a veritable ‘pro’. Anyone would have thought he was born and bred there!

Vanishing Act

High hopes were held for Ghost’s development – maybe he would be a leader one day. But then, on his third Sunday service, during which he seemed agitated and restless, he fled before the end without any explanation. And he was never to be seen again.

Ostrich made a couple of gentle approaches by phone. Rhino, was not accustomed to being brushed off by anyone, knocked on his door three days running with no response. The curtains were closed and it seemed no-body was home. Ghost had vanished without trace. No-one from the church saw him working, shopping, or out and about. There was some speculation that he was seriously ill, or even dead! Ghost doesn’t appear to have any other contacts in the town. Once, Ghost was spotted on the High Street but he turned and ran. Sadly for the church, and for Shirehorse in particular, Ghost’s offer of providing some building help never materialized.

Before long folk gave up trying to contact Ghost, and the mysterious episode was consigned to history, almost as if it had never happened!


Dan Holland is a UK missionary with Through Faith Missions (‘TFM’). He wrote “Through the Tunnel – Free at Last” published by PUSH Publishing, as his personal testimony.

Recently Dan has produced two short books – “Caring for the New Christian” and “Growing as a New Christian” (for local fellowships, and for the new ‘convert’, respectively). Links here:

The above article, and any that follow, are based on characters highlighted in both books.