When a speck of gray dust floats over a white fluffy shag rug, lodges among the fibers and accumulates un-vacuumed, the rug yellows. People living with that rug grow accustomed to this sheen until the dirt accumulates and the rug is no longer white or fluffy. The people living there may discard the rug and replace it with a better, clean floor covering. This happened to my soul.
Feeling unloved, unhappy, unwanted, and angry, I entered the chapel where my family and I had worshipped years before, but had stopped attending for some forgotten reason. The day at work had been tiring, and disheartening. I did not want to return to my home where more stress waited. I drove wearily along roads I remembered as if in some sort of a daze and ended up just outside this chapel.
Cars filled the parking lot outside. Something was happening. My curiosity and something more powerful nudged my psyche enticing me to discover what was going on. Joyful music accompanied by happy hand clapping invited me in. I entered.
“Welcome,” a face I remembered smiled. “I’m so glad you came by today.” Her hand slipped into mine and escorted me to a pew half way down the aisle. I stood with everyone else, but my hands didn’t clap.
Something touched my shoulder. I turned to a smiling face that said, “It’s good to see you back.”
The lady beside me handed me a hymnal with the page open to the song they sang. Then we sat and the pastor stood. “Today we welcome Brother Phillip Jameson, who has a wonderful story to share about how the spirit of healing has changed his life and can change yours.”
The spirit of healing? I’ve been a Christian since my baptism as a baby. I’ve attended Catechism. I’ve already experienced some pretty heavy revelations. I’ve even read the Bible, prayed with friends, and become a “Born Again” Christian. I know about the spirt word, angels, and even demons, but what is a spirit of healing? I’m too tired, too disheartened. This disease I’ve just been diagnosed with is incurable, unpredictable. My job is overwhelming. The children are growing and need a mother who can support them. My husband is rarely home and when he is, there is strife. What am I doing here? I need to go home and fix dinner.
“Peggy,” Carol and her husband stood behind me, placed their hands on my shoulders. “We know you are here for this service.” You do? I don’t know why I’m here.
“Will you let us pray for you? We’ll be with you if you’d like to go to the altar with the others for healing.”
I had not heard much of what Mr. Jameson said. People lined up, Mr. Jameson touched their forehead and prayed. I noticed that Jim stood behind each person in line just in case they should fall. A few did teeter, but no one fell to the ground. No hands clapped, singing stopped, a wave of mumbling surrounded me. “We know you’ve been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis,” Carol continued. “Perhaps its healing will occur.”
I don’t think so, but Carol looks hopeful. This is ridiculous. I’ve seen this on television. It’s all an act, but why not? Carol and her husband escorted me to the line, then returned to their pew. This is lame. Nothing’s going to happen.
“In the name of Jesus Christ, I ask the Spirt of God to fill you with his healing power.” Mr. Jameson placed his hand just above my forehead. He did not touch me, but the palm of his hand pushed and stopped just short of my head. Immediately I felt a wave of heat like a fire ball enter and course through my torso. At the same time, I involuntarily fell backward. Jim eased me to the floor, where my body jerked as if in some sort of an epileptic fit. “It’s the Devil.” I heard someone shout. The devil, I thought, thrashing about. Where? Once my body quieted, Jim reached down, asked if I was okay, helped me up and escorted me to my seat.
What was all that about? I don’t feel any different. Weird.
I watched a few more people In the line, but no one fell. “Please escort the lady up to the altar.”
Oh dear, he means me. Jim took my hand. We walked to the altar. A chair had been placed there. I was asked to sit while Mr. Jameson explained to all while looking at me. “The Lord has done a marvelous thing for you today. There was a spirit of anger preventing you from having a happy life. That spirit has been expelled. This leaves a void within your soul that must be filled. May I invite the Lord to fill it?”
Sure, Why not? I nodded.
Again he placed his hand over my head, but this time he touched me. “Father,” he said aloud. “Bring peace to this woman. Fill her with your love and grace. Grant her the happiness and love only you can give. In Jesus name we pray.”
I felt as if floating on air. All my senses opened as a peace came over me. I smiled and laughed. The entire congregation began singing. It was as if angels filled the room. My laughter continued for a brief time and then I was escorted back to my pew where people beside me touched me, smiled, and even cried.
On the way home, in my car, I sang. The dust from my fluffy, white shag rug had been cleansed.
Never again have I allowed the spirit of anger take such hold on me. Whenever I become angry, I say a little prayer. “Father, take my irritation and upset out into space where it cannot harm and let it float away forever.”