Yesterday at college, we were visited by Mike Pivalachi and Nicky Gumbel. In the evening sermon, I had a little foretaste of what the spirit had in store for me as Nicky Gumbel preached. God either gives me a little more than I anticipate as he did on the Alpha weekend a couple of years ago or he warns me gently with part of the present that I am going to receive before-hand, which seems to be what happens of late. So it starts with a gentle shaking and hairs standing up on the back of my neck and it travels to every fibre.
We are then invited to rest back as a community and wait and so we wait and we wait and there's heat and light in the blackness of my eyes and more warmth coming in wave after wave after wave and tears as if from nowhere. We are invited to minister to one another but I can't really move, only to my knees and then back up again. But there is someone behind me, ministering to me, praying over me, asking for the spirit to rest on me perhaps because I am aware that hands are near me and there is a fire in my back and my neck and travelling down my arms - a heat like you sunbathe under, or sit by after you've come in from the cold, if I was on a beach, I'd apply sun tan cream. So I rest, just rest in it, and it is warm and it is wonderful and it is a taste of what heaven will be like, it's chasing away my monsters and it's engulfing me with love and I am perfect in its sight and it loves me, loves me, loves me and I never ever ever want to leave this place and I don't, not for a while....And then I come back...to the floor... to the ceiling...to the walls...to the the place...to the temporal and the constrained and the limited and my sinfulness and my awkward body and face and matter in all its glory and depravity... I become aware of the people around me, some are shaking, others standing and crying, others speaking in tongues, others silently praying, soaking in the spirit and I am hungry, so hungry for more...I want to stay up all night and read the Bible...I want to run out onto the streets and dance with people...I want to absorb God's statutes by osmosis so that they drip from my very pores and I am full, so full of hope ...thank you God .... More please!
But God insists I'm gentle and he's helping me. I have met a friend, who I take to college for evening services. And she is 'a child's drawing of a stick figure with zigzag waves of pencil and yellow scribble all around her - the light'. It is dripping from her pores, her love for God and she helps to release something in me - the charismatic, the reckless loving one, the joy, the exuberance, the delight which is otherwise hibernating, afraid it might offend... thank you God!
And thank you God for giving me a husband who I can share this with, who wants to go on this journey with me.
Oh Lord, I'm a bubblin'-over!