Thursday, August 13, 2009

Presently

I'm presently reading The Visitation by Frank Peretti. Again. I've lost count of how many times I've read this book over the years since I bought it. Had to have been...yeah, not sure. It was released in 1999, but I know I didn't get it until it had been out a while. Overall I'm a fan of Peretti's writing...although there have been a couple I got so into that I couldn't go to sleep with the lights out afterwards! This one isn't one of those, although I'm definitely into the book.

Each time I read it, I discover something new....understand bits and pieces better.

I've been putting this reading off for a while. Can't really explain why. My eye had fallen on it a few times since unpacking my books at the beginning of June...but no, I had to read three other series first [for the curious: Firebird Trilogy, Prairie Winds Trilogy, Legends of the Guardian-King series] But when I was placing the last book on the shelf, I went ahead and grabbed Visitation. And it is hitting home like it never has before.

In short: Antioch is being visited by a man that looks like Jesus, almost but not quite claims to be Him, is doing miracles left and right, and pretty much winning over the town. But not everyone is buying his act, mainly the protagonist Travis Jordan...who started out as a fired up Pentecostal preacher...and is now resigned, looking forward to teaching 6th grade in the fall. The story flashes between the present, and Travis' past, his teen years, meeting his wife, their first pastorate, etc...and how right now, he's pretty much disillusioned with the entire church scene. And yeah, he's still hurting because his wife died...despite all the prayers and faith healers they went to.

Now, I've not lost my spouse. I've never been a pastor. But regardless, a lot of Travis' past hits a chord with me.

Because I've been in the same types of services...dealt with the same types of people...been that type of person he's had to deal with!...dealt with the same disappointments. I'm dealing with being 'outside' the church looking in. I've been put down because I'm different, like the youth at his first pastorate...because "this is the way we've always done things and this is how we're gonna keep doing them..."

Like his sister Rene says early in the book, I might have left the church, but I never left God. It's all just...stuff. {that's not a direct quote, sorry the book's in the living room and I'm too much of a bum right now to go get it!} There's a difference. Church stuff is nice...but it's just stuff. It doesn't replace a relationship with Jesus...but it can displace it. The stuff can kill you if you let it...along with all that judgment from others if you're not doing ALL the stuff, ALL the time, the right way [their way].

And it was killing me. All the judgment from the last church I went to, my best friend's judgments [although she would deny it]...the pressure to fit someone else's mold of what a good Christian girl ought to be instead of being allowed to be the woman God made me...was suffocating me. I know that I hear from God...I might not be the best at timing, or knowing when something is just for me or for sharing...but I know that I know that I hear from God. But because I'm a single woman that was going to church where their were nor strong women anointed in hearing from God, I made a lot of mistakes that weren't forgiven - at least not by certain aspects of leadership...or friends.

Well, I can't get over it for them. That's between them and God.

In the meantime, I can allow Him to heal what's been broken...grow what He's planted in His time...and learn from the spot I'm at.

Even if I do feel a little like a flower trying to bloom in the desert.

There's something in that, I think. Maybe I'll post more on it, and this book some more later. Right now I've got to stretch my legs.

And Jean-Luc: a lot of my poems get written at 2am! I might be a sort of day shift person on the job, but at the heart of me is the night owl!

1 comment:

Jean-Luc Picard said...

That book must really be a favourite of yours. I can see how you relate to it.