Okay, when I started playing, I was sceptical of people who suddenly ask you to give “a prophetic word” to the person next to you, as Rachel Hickson did at St. Aldate’s.I was sceptical as I wrote, but, in fact, a highly meaningful, writers’-block-breaking “word” was then shared with me.
So on Friday, I was at a conference led by Patricia Bootsma of the Toronto Airport Fellowship, with more playing with the prophetic. We were asked to give words and images to people, sometimes those next to us, and sometimes those who stood behind us, sight unseen.
There is something presumptuous about this putting on the spot. What if God does not give you a word—what should you do? Would the person be disappointed? I actually panic that I will not have something to say. But, in fact, God did give me words and images each time, and I hope they meant something to the people I shared them with.
The “prophetess,” Patricia Bootsma, was down-to-earth, and, interestingly, seemed to be leaning into the spirit, hearing what he was saying, as she spoke. She was tuning into the flow of words and images, as I do when the tap for a poem or blog post or essay is turned on, and it’s flowing, and I am writing fast as if to dictation—and then how annoying it is when a child or spouse walks into the room, and the flow is lost, forever. Similarly, Patricia got annoyed with people writing as she spoke, or chattering in the room in which she was tuning into the spirit and listening.
I had my first Charismatic experience when I was 17, three decades or so ago. And I have never had a prophetic word spoken over me which used information the speaker could not have got, except supernaturally.
So Patricia comes up to me, looks at me, and says, “You have a daughter.” “Yes,” I say, “two of them.” Then she says, “I have a word for your elder daughter. She is going to be a leader, a leader in the Church. Satan has brought many things against her, but she will overcome. And your prayers for your daughters will be answered.”
I was stunned—particularly as this was the destiny I had seen for my older daughter, Zoe, from a young age, and because she has been having a rough time recently. What a wonderful word of direction and encouragement, spoken from someone who did not know me, or know I had daughters.
The other prophetic words from conference attendees were “You shall run and not be weary; walk and not faint,” which was the word and image God gave me in response to my request last week. (And I went for a 40 minute run today, got my best time ever, and was not weary!!)
Then we had to share a character from Scripture with a person who stood behind us. The person shared Joseph on the throne, meeting his brothers who betrayed him, forgiving them. Joseph is a key figure for me, and I have blogged about the lessons from his life numerous times.
Interestingly, the room was full of friends and enemies from my old church, which had been a painful, toxic experience for me, in which I had been betrayed, lied about, and slandered, while leading a women’s group. And those two women were there.
I sat at lunch with a group of women from my old church, including an African immigrant, who, among other back-stabbing, fabricated an entire conversation I supposedly had with her, and went with it to my co-leader and the rector’s wife. It took me ages to get over the shock of those sheer lies, and to forgive.
And then, I saw her again on Friday, and it was Phooey. I no longer cared about what she had said. I no longer cared that she got what she wanted (I resigned the leadership in a fit of pique, and she led the group in my stead). I was no longer shocked at the slander and lies. I was like, “So what? Who cares?”
I suppose it was because like Joseph I had been fruitful in the land of my suffering. That the things they had meant for evil God turned to good. Phew, when you are divinely enabled to forgive, and it is all done and dusted, what a relief that is!
I looked around the room and saw friends from my old charismatic church, about 6 of whom I’d had many lunches and teas with in my house, and theirs. I was wondering if I belonged in that charismatic church, rather than my new regular evangelical church.
And so the last image shared with me, again by someone who didn’t see my face, was of a wall being built, and there is one space missing, one brick missing, and that was me. I was reassured that I do have a role to play, a ministry in my new church which will slowly be revealed to me. I am co-leading a group, and I will pray for wisdom to share, and love.
So, interestingly, the random prophecies where we shared words, images and verses with people we did not know (and sometimes whose faces we did not see) worked—not because of any prophetic ability on our parts, perhaps, but because of the goodness of God, who is always speaking, is never silent, and really desires to communicate with his children.