Sunday, November 18, 2012

Of Tongues And Prophecy

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.

A prophet.

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.

I am grateful for the rule-breakers. These rebels. I’m not even sure they know they are doing it. For they are simply responding. Open to what God is doing. Living a life of tongues and prophecy.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Lessons Learned This Week (Some of Them Learned Again)

That it’s okay to be late to church, sit toward the back feeling completely depleted, and experience acceptance.

That I can get just as much done in the Denver Seminary Student Center as I do in the office, even while unexpectedly running into tons of people I know. (My boss has not approved this as a regular schedule for me, though I may try…)

That spending time with old friends is just as good as therapy. Laughter is a strange, effective medicine.

That there is little that can’t be mended in an Irish pub when you're surrounded by good friends—old and new.

That I really do love what I do with writing and drawing others into inspiration and honesty; this long-awaited calling is a gift that I hope does not end with me and my passions.

That it’s possible for a 45-minute discussion about tithing to end with mutual understanding and respect.

That relationships can come before structure and rules.

That the Eucharist brings you face to face with your most difficult feelings and you will be given an opportunity to forgive in the moment the bread is handed to you. (It also helps to have a friend put their arm around you as you walk back to the pew, because they know every emotion that just welled up you.)

That while hurt often comes at the hands of others, so does healing. If we hide after the hurt, the healing can’t begin.

That it’s probably not a good idea to stay up until 2am two nights in a row when you’re recovering from two illnesses.

That rest really is the greatest asset to creativity. I slept in both mornings this weekend and took a nap this afternoon.

That, given the chance, little girls will wear Halloween costumes and crowns every day after school. And all weekend too.

That there really is satisfaction in making something with my hands, whether it’s homemade pizza dough with my husband or braiding my girls’ hair before church.