Church Hurt, Seeing in the Spirit, and the Meaning of Love
My Story: Part II
When I was twelve I learned that the things I saw were the result of a gift. This changed me. I thought I was losing my mind. I thought that the devil had decided to ruin my life. Now I had a gift that I could use to bless people, and I dove into it with my whole heart, soul, and mind.
I practiced seeing in the spirit every day. I wrote down hundred of notes on things I saw. I spoke with the prophetic leaders at the church almost every week. I ready every book I could find about the prophetic. I went to prophetic training meetings every week. I grew as fast as I possibly could.
I shared about the things that I saw as often as I felt I was supposed to. Sometimes this went great, people were blessed and encouraged. Sometimes this did not go great, people were confused or scared. But I figured I'd work out those kinks before long. I was just a kid, I had plenty of time to learn. Then something happened that threw a wrench in my accelerating engine.
There was a particular leader that I was growing closest with. He took a special interest in me, took me under his wing, helped me find my way with the prophetic. This went great at first. He was very kind and understanding, always willing to help.
Be Careful of Who You Put in Your Inner Circle
The first sign of a problem was subtle. I was at a youth trip in the mountains and, while I was there, I saw a lot of demons around the kids there. I called him to process this, but he sounded instantly annoyed.
"I think you've just been eating too much pizza," he said, "Why would the devil bother with a bunch of kids anyway?"
I couldn't tell if he was trying to make me feel better or just blowing me off, but something felt strange about the interaction. "Too much pizza" was his sort of code phrase for when someone wasn't discerning something accurately. While I wasn't against the idea of me misinterpreting what I was seeing, saying it so flippantly about something I was seeing with my eyes felt even more disconcerting.
"Why would the devil bother with a bunch of kids" was equally confusing. I mean, why wouldn't he? Are you saying young people aren't important? Are you saying he only has so many resources?
My main problem was that his response weren't lining up with how I was coming to understand the language of heaven, though I couldn't have articulated it this way at the time. Something about what he said felt wrong. I didn't want to argue with him though, he was older, he was more experienced, he must be right. Still, something about the conversation eroded part of the trust that had been building between us.
Cannot Know Everything
The Bible is full of unanswered questions. The book of Ecclesiastes if full of these questions, Job is a book almost fully dedicated to an unanswered questions, many psalms explore the pain and confusion of living with these mysteries, and even Jesus left many parables unexplained and many of the truths He taught about the kingdom unclearly defined.
If it is our goal to eliminate all mystery, then we will inevitably come to conclusions that are incorrect, incomplete, or actively grind against God's design. These kinds of answers will only drive a person toward the cliff of unbelief faster.
Also, though I love the church with all my heart, we have to acknowledge that she is not yet the spotless bride she is called to be. I have loved every church I've been a part of, I have been blessed by every church I have been a part of, and I have been hurt by every church I have been a part of. Some of this was caused by individuals, some of this was caused by unhealthy cultures and systems within a particular church, some of this was caused by broad cultural trends in the global church.
Then what do you do when you see a friend or loved one sliding toward the cliff? You stick close with them, and you love them. If that sounds like an overly simple answer, then you're not hearing me yet. Love is a trying and costly endeavor. Love is sitting in the middle of pain with someone who is hurting. It is fighting the fear that drives you to try to control them and their decisions. Love is coming all the way down to where someone is at and staying with them.
How do I know this? It's what Jesus did for all of humanity. He came all the way down to humanity's level. He lived a human life. He sat in pain and suffering for us. Love looks like a lot of things. This is one of them.