I have a wild friend. She’s a breath of fresh air and I think of her as a gypsy-of-sorts. We have many things in common, sans organized corporate religion. She doesn’t like it and I kinda do. And even with this one thing we don’t have in common, I confess—I’m not always a fan of it (church that is); but I am a card holding member of mine, which I love. And I do my best to make that club, of churches everywhere, good and just. I try to do my part at my church—being involved and not just showing up for a service. After all, it’s about the people and our love in action, not the building, the coffee shop, or the “show”.
So back to my friend, I haven’t figured out what religion she subscribes to; as best I can tell it’s a mod-podge make it up as you go monotheistic quazi earth based religion. How’s that for a melting pot? Our life stories are similar; church raised and loving Jesus. Went to a Christian school and dated good boys. And like me, along the way, she just fell out with church and went on a spiritual walk-about. And she is a-walkin’ and I totally get that hike! Dabbling in this, that, and the other; been there, done that. As such we have much to talk about when it comes to spirituality, Bible talk, and God matters; I absolutely accept who and where she is on this path. And I’ve grown comfortable with this because she has not rejected God, she still digs Jesus – she’s just wandering… and she pulls out a Tarot deck from time to time – and while that’s not cool, she still knows and prays to God. Albeit, a bit generic and very untraditional. But I get it. And I’m starting to think, and feel pretty humble, that God intentionally placed her right on my little narrow path.
So here’s the deal, I’ve been praying for her. I let her know. She’s thankful, because life is rough right now and she could use some blessings. I wish I had the guts to invite her to church, but for now I’m a wimpy evangelist when it comes to that stuff. One day as we were talking about life’s good things and crappy things, she says, “can I pray for some good healing energy for you?” My first and natural response was “YES!” And right then and there we prayed. I said “Amen”, I thought of God, she thought of…I don’t know…and then my mind started spinning.
I considered my response and what I joyfully accepted from her. I wondered if I had been careless.
Now, as far as I know, no one turns down a prayer, but you would if someone asked, “can I call upon the dark knight to bring you power from the underworld?” I mean, that would freak you out right? But that wasn’t what she was doing, yet it really got me thinking about my wonderful wild friend and her request, because I DO want good and healing energy from God. And if I subscribe to the theology that there is only ONE true God (which I do) then her prayer to the “universe” is no-harm, no-foul… right?
I began to think of that great Bible story from 1 Kings 18—Elijah and the Baal worshipers at Mount Carmel (which would also be a great name for a dessert). The short story is that Elijah makes a bet that his God will call down fire to his alter and that the mod-podge worshiper’s god will not—thus proving who is the ONE true God. And of course unwimpy Elijah is used by God to show the mod-podge worshipers their need to choose “God” and not dabble around. It’s a great story and reads rather comical. This story came to my mind because I honestly had nothing to fear about whom my friend was praying to. Because there is only ONE true God, and he’s my Dad, my Abba.
Overall, I was wondering what my Abba would have to say about me holding hands with this gypsy and accepting prayer from her. Had I done the right thing? Did I condone her mod-podge spiritual practice? Or did I make her feel accepted and loved? The latter seems so much more important. And did God use this moment to create a new door in which I can now be a less wimpy evangelist and pray face-to-face with her? And because we do talk about God and Jesus—I wondered if ultimately, in the end, her prayer was actually to my God. Her God. Because in all my wandering years when I would pray, I felt I WAS praying to God—I had just become a bit estranged with Him. And even if her prayer wasn’t to my God, maybe the Holy Spirit grabs that prayer to a quazi generic god, and wraps it with grace and sends it on to my Abba. And maybe, just maybe, God will trust me enough to let me be a “little light” to help her become less estranged with Him. Because my God is that big—and if God is for us, who can be against?