You could feel in the room that this is a place where the presence of God is cultivated, the aged saints sitting at the end of the table are people who have walked deep paths of faith and served long in the work of the Lord, Lay people who have helped in every arena of the church, who upheld the arms of those serving in the pastoral office and have lived a life of prayer. Alberta’s body now fighting Parkinson’s disease but her mind and spirit are still vibrant and can still recall scripture and Dave her husband who with great tenderness attends to her. So we gather the 8 of us to spend some time with the Lord on a Sunday morning.
Tamah leads us with her beautiful Alto voice so rich and sweet…”Praise the Lord , Praise the Lord, let the people rejoice, oh come to the Father through Jesus the Son and give Him the glory great things He has done…”
The song sparks a thought in Alberta that we should read Psalm 18 and so David does in that deep voice of his and I can feel the calling of the Holy Spirit to listen and hear what those lyrical words have to say to me today…I feel the tears and my heart agrees with the conviction of that same spirit, something I had been ruminating over begins to work itself out. Isn’t it amazing how just the reading of scripture out loud can impact us in that way? Everyone shares and my husband (trying not to be the Pastor but he cannot help himself) talks about where David is in his life when he writes this psalm…more sharing, talking and hearing God’s words for us today:) I love the insight that Alberta and Dave Mills bring to this conversation the weathered people of God who have lived a life of faithfulness to God and others.
It is time to pray, and David sitting next to Tim begins to intercede in tongues and then speaks prophetic words of truth over us…they are of course more confirmation of the words that have been spoken over and over again in these last few months and as Tamah puts her arms around me to pray in my ear, I weep. It is as though I can sense her arms around me are HIS arms extended. When I regain my composure I sneak a peek at Tim and he is leaning back in the chair and he is weeping too. How powerful the way God creates us to be able to access Himself and each other at the alter of Prayer.
And then he asks… David McQueen, the superintendent of schools in this mountain community, for Prayer…like the David of the Bible he fights daily with Goliaths who want to wreak havoc in the lives of students and a community. The darkness in the county is huge and he is weary from doing battle on so many fronts. My husband moves to place a hand on his shoulder and before I realize it I am walking across the floor to lay my hand on his shoulder too. And that is when I feel it that electric power of God that runs through me as conduit to minister, to touch David’s heart…I feel that language rise in me…both in volume and power soon the spirit is interceding and as the power of intercession works its way through my thoughts and out of my mouth for a time in tongues and then into English they begin to soothe David’s heart and he break into tears. All around the room everyone is praying in that ancient language that is both mysterious and beautiful.
It is the work of that language that speaks to a heart in ways nothing else can and I always marvel at it and myself.
I like movies…and Rascal Flatts…and I on occasion use words I should not…and if I were being truthful I would really like a tattoo on my right ankle that would speak to the journey of these last few months…These are not old fashioned tent revival Pentecostal behaviors.
But none the less I am Pentecostal in that I believe in the language of mystery, I believe in the power of this kind of intercession, I believe that God does the work in and through us long before we see it in actuality before us. I believe the language of tongues does the work of Heaven and here in this setting where it is allowed to reign and it is practiced regularly I am free to operate in the prophetic gift of truth telling and doing battle against the darkness.
The words the Lord gives me for David are only confirmations of what the Holy Spirit had already been whispering to him. But it is the sweetness of that confirmation where HOPE can refresh the heart of the battle weary.
When I am finished my husband leans in and speaks to David of Daniel from the Old Testament and draws parallels from that life to the current one that David is walking…as Tim speaks there is understanding and clarity being breathed into our friend. The Pastor in Tim using scripture to undergird and encourage…the office of Pastor complete in its work.
There were no stage lights or smoke machines, no Video announcements, no cups from the on campus coffee shop and no satellite campuses But there was a presence, a sweet fragrance, a holy shimmer of the God who see’s and knows all that we face and who promises that where 2 or 3 are gathered He too will be in their midst.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.