Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Speaking in Tongues

I'm still trying to process an experience I had in church on Sunday. There was a point in the service where the pastor asked us to hold hands and pray together. This was especially helpful to me because my heart has been heavy with a family issue over the past few weeks. So, I'm holding hands with my group and praying for strength when the woman next to me sees that I'm upset and begins to pray for me. That was fine. I can always use more prayers. Then, as she starts to get revved up, I hear something like...

"Boom shack alacka sheemus"

On reflex, I opened my eyes. Did she really just say that? Then, I admonished myself for the chuckle that I felt coming on. "Lord, please forgive me", I said. I have never heard anyone speak in tongues up close before. And to be honest, I felt a little uncomfortable, and I don't know why.

I'm an introspective person, so, public personal displays aren't really my forte. But, I can't judge another persons expression to the almighty. Occasionally at my church, someone will shout or yell "Hallelujah". I often wonder what it's like to have that kind of feeling wash over me. When I feel especially humbled or blessed, the tears will flow, but, that's about it. Am I not really feeling it? I'm inclined to believe that God made me the way I am and that's fine. I still can't help but wonder what it's like for the people on the other side.

Is speaking tongues a gift? Or is it like skatting in jazz. You just make up words to express a feeling? I know it's viewed differently by different denominations. I want to be clear that I'm not making fun of that woman. After she prayed for/with me, she said, "everything is gonna be ok." I believe that. Surely God put her in my circle for a reason and I respect that.

The funny thing is, I watch all of the supernatural movies and I know that miracles and unexplainable things can happen by the grace of God. When I see things happen in real life, why do I question it? Was this one of those events?

I have to ponder this some more.


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