Photo courtesy of Heather Eure
The building sits to the north. Flags and a cross. A place I was warned could destroy my faith. I didn’t enter there.
Instead, I hid behind stained glass, beneath a cross of my own. I sat in my cushioned seat. I took notes, with my pencil and my heart. I didn’t dare believe there was truth beyond the red carpet. I didn’t dare speak.
No tongues. No prophecy.
Then, I met a man. A man who had no knowledge of these rules, and the notes I scribbled didn’t make sense to him. He slammed the top of his Bible with his palm. Not out of disrespect for its Author. But out of outrage for those who used it to bind hearts and lives and tongues.
She doodles in her notebook. Black and white. With such beauty. Who knew? She swirls with ink. Each stroke a prayer. She doesn’t even know the power of her gift. Her Spirit-inspired ability. All she knows is that she’s speaking and that He’s listening. If any of us dared to try to understand what she’s saying, we could not. But He does. And He delights.
Have you heard how dangerous it is? This prophecy. These tongues. These words I was told to avoid when it came to spiritual gifts. Yet, the prophet writes. He speaks and preaches by the power of the Holy Spirit. (What? Holy Spirit? Is that another thing you can’t handle? Neither can I.)
And I am undone.
She prays. I save her texts and e-mails because they are extraordinary. She does none of this for her own praise. She is bent on responding to what He’s doing and what she sees. Oh, what she sees with these eyes that read past pretense and bullshit. And she calls it what it is. She stirs courage in me.
I still haven’t entered the building to the north. But sometimes I wonder. I wonder what I would find there. Would I find God there?
He keeps showing up in places I was told He would never be. He’s been appearing in places I never thought to look. And those beneath the steeple and stained glass are beside themselves, tearing up the red carpet in a desperate attempt to preserve the lies they chose to believe and feed to those of us in the cushioned seats.