Saturday, May 5, 2012
an unusual bookmark
This morning was lovely in Georgia, a cool breeze came through the porch as I prayed the Liturgy of the Hours.On page 991, at the top, is a small black ant.He must have been praying with me one morning and hastily I may have closed my book ,and there he remains.I have seen him several times before and just can't seem to flick his dried little body off the page.
This page ,this reading, is just so profound for me that maybe that's why he wound up there.The reading is from Ezekiel and it jumped out at me today and said,"Tell the story".So I will.
It was in the late 70s that my friend Eva and I ,seekers together ,attended a six week workshop that focused on the burgeoning, new Charismatic Movement in the church.Sitting together on folded chairs, we looked around.There were thirty or more people of all ages sitting in a hushed circle of sorts.Candles gently lit the room and we began with some easy praise hymns.
Eva and I were approaching this gathering with not a little scepticism.We were curious but did quite a bit of chortling together at the thought of "tongues",interpretation of tongues and the other purported gifts of the Holy Spirit working in the group and then this:a voice in my mind said these words as clearly as I write them.It has been over thirty years and they remain."Sharon,open yourself and listen".I turned from my friend and listened as a young man stood and spoke in an unknown language.He sat down and these words flooded my mind."You are my people,I am your God .I want unity among you."Then,I was stunned as these words were repeated when another man stood and said them, the same words,out loud.Tears flowed down my cheeks and didn't stop for a long time.Gift,indeed.
I will never get over that night and what it told me of who God is and how much He wants to talk to us.This is the promise of that night and that Canticle of Ezekiel :
"...I will give you a new heart
and place a new spirit within you,
taking from your bodies your stony hearts
and giving you natural hearts.
I will put my spirit within you
and make you live by my statutes,
careful to observe my decrees.
You shall live in the land I gave your fathers;
you shall be my people ,
and I will be your God."