Gypsy Prayers

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?

Copyright © 2009- 2010 Sherry Meneley . All Rights Reserved . . . soiled wings

12 thoughts on “Gypsy Prayers

  1. helo Soiled Wings , i review your blog , be a nice blog and perfect. Good for me. best review for Music / Story Videos and Jesus CEO content. i will visit to read and review your website.

  2. Sherry,

    yeah I would struggle with this myself. I don’t want to offend folks and push them away from the true Gospel, but I also know this is the kind of “first step” that Israel would fall into on their path to worshiping other gods. I know God was pretty offended by that, calling them adulterous and worse.

    I find that I’m getting more and more offended by these generic ecumenical prayers I’ve been hearing lately. I’m not offended when someone outside the church prays this way, but rather when folks inside the church do. We give up the power of God to avoid offending man.

    It’s one thing when someone outside does something, how can we do anything but feel broken for them since they walk without light, but we must know that there is only one God. “Hear Israel, the Lord is your God, the Lord is One.”

    • Thanks Nick – nice to see ya again! Totally agree with “We give up the power of God to avoid offending man” <— I just hope that a conversation eventually leads me to nudging her into my church, so she can be with a friend, at a safe place, with the one true God.

  3. howdy Soiled Wings , nice blog and perfect. Good for everyone. a lot of Ten Words and Philippians 4:4-9 content.

  4. You know it sounds that you’re more of a lighthouse than a little light. We have a lighthouse at Pencarrow Head and people are always drawn to it (except if they are on ships). They walk to it, run to it, bike to it , they take photos of it and they look to it for guidance. I guess that’s why Jesus calls us to be salt and light in the world. I bet your friend has already started to experiance the Jesus and is drawn to His light in you. Keep on shining.

  5. Dear Sherry,
    I love your transparency and honest sharing of your own inner ponderings/inner conflict. I have a feeling I am a lot like your gypsy friend, though I still call myself Catholic, even though I have stopped attending mass and don’t buy into a lot of the doctrine put forth by the institution. I have modge-podged myself around the Hindu, Buddhist, Pagan, Yogic, Shamanic paths and perhaps I am lucky, but God seems to have given me the ability to see the unity between these seemingly differing paths, rather than the separation. I too believe in ONE God…by whatever name we choose to call him/her/it. God is way bigger than what we puny humans can comprehend, describe or define, and I am content with not knowing the exact what for, hows and why. God is God…period! And the good universal energy your Boho friend seeks sure sounds like God to me….at least by my puny comprehension!

    It is a true gift to your friend that you are able to be open, accepting, loving, compassionate toward her chosen path even when it seems to differ from yours. Imagine what the world would be like if we could all be so compassionate toward one another in our perceived differences!

    “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Freedom” (1 Corinthians…something)

    Lauri Lumby

  6. Beautifully told (and I had to laugh how you threw in dessert) 🙂 JUST INVITE HER – I’ll bet she’s waiting for you to ask!

  7. I love this blog (which I only found a week or two ago) and how you don’t shy away from the hard questions. This was a great post. Yesterday at church we found out that a couple who attend were getting married – we always thought that she just kept her unmarried name. Turns out they have been together 25 years, and never tied the know. We were surprised; my wife was shocked (how could they live like that for so long?!), but to me they have all the signs of a godly couple, plus 2 great kids. Just goes to show that there are way too many variations on this great theme we call Christianity.
    best, Dan

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