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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Linette and the Little Black Blob

The little black blob appeared in the home of Ron and Linette shortly after a woman she knew dropped by the house for a visit. That woman had been playing with a Ouija Board in her former location. Linette knew that playing with the OB could open portals in the spirit world, so everyone who knew her knew that she wouldn't approve, including this lady. Linette is an evangelical Christian who has no interest in playing games with the spirit world.

Nevertheless, when the woman left, she left behind a 'hitchhiker,' a deposit of something spiritual, but not Christian. Linette began to notice that when she got up at night to get a drink or use the bathroom, a little black shadow would appear here and there. She ignored it, or told herself that it was her little black dog Boo Boo. Boo Boo used to follow her around at night.

One day Linette was dancing around the house singing a worship song that she had recently written. She was having a great time, totally focused on the Lord. Ron was in the other room and it was daylight, so lack of vision was not an issue, but perhaps it was lack of focus that made her think that Boo Boo was wanting to go out. The little dog would stand by the door and she would open it, so that's what she did. The little dark shadow went out, and she closed the door. The problem was that when she turned around, her dog and cat were sitting right behind her, looking at her intently. Stunned, she thought, 'What did I just let out the door?' Needless to say, she didn't see the little shadow after that. Her attempt to recall when she started noticing the shadow brought to mind the lady who came to visit after having played with the Ouija Board. Was there a connection? What was evident was that the shadow had never been Boo Boo, and furthermore, there was something about an atmosphere of genuine Christian worship that caused the presence to leave.

When I was in seminary, the Old Testament professor kept talking about 'crash helmet Christianity.' Wouldn't it be wonderful to experience it, he kept saying. About the third time he mentioned that phrase, I raised my hand and said, "If crash helmet Christianity came to your church, you would reject it. You'd throw it right out the window. The fact is, that kind of Christianity already exists and you don't want it." I reflected on the old Pentecostal church where the neighbors would occasionally call the fire department out to the church during a service, because they would see flames on the roof. The trucks would arrive only to see a bunch of crazy Pentecostal praising God. I thought about the stories of the Azuza Street Revival (They Told Me Their Stories, by Tommy Welchel) in which limbs grew out and the blind were made to see. There is Kaitee Lusk, who received a message from God to fly to the Philippines and lead Ferdinand Marcos to Christ. She did so (Eternal Makeovers) by pure faith. She found him on his death bed, with a breathing tube down his throat, but she led him to Christ shortly before he died. Members of the bodyguard and of the Marcos family followed suit. More recently, there are two DVD's made by Darren Wilson (Finger of God and Furious Love) that are so radical that even I am amazed.

I'm in a wonderful church right now that I really love, but it's not what you would call crash helmet Christianity because you always know what is going to happen next. Great worship songs, funny video, greeting, sermon, announcements, collection, all in an hour and 15 minutes.) There are major blessings here and there, but you don't need to fasten your seat belt when you sit down in the chairs. At least not yet.

Back in the seminary class, discussion arose about miracles and unexpected events occurring in church. One woman said that her father was a Methodist pastor. He didn't deny the possibility of miracles and deliverances in church, he just didn't want them to happen in his church. I assured her that he need have no fear, it will never happen in his church. It happens where people are desperate to see people saved and delivered, so much so that they want whatever it takes to make that happen... in their church and outside of it, too. That's what I long for, not because it brings attention to this person or that, but because the Holy Spirit can accomplish in 5 minutes what we could do in 5 years. Salvation, deliverance, discipleship, love, that is what it's all about.