Saturday, August 9, 2008

Possessed but not crazy.

I never intended to confess anything to anybody here, certainly no religious confessions. But, I am possessed, and I have to confess to somebody, so it may as well be you. But it's faith, not religion. So....I'm only blurring my own boundaries.

The diva in this confessing-to-the-world affair is Pioneer Woman who confesses to her legions of readers about her man, her camera, her hiney-tingle, her kids. I did not intend to do any confessing here.
I intended to post pictures of my daughter , Pretty Pretty Princess, on prom-night to avoid emails of the pictures.Then, it moved past prom pictures, I made the explicit decision not to delve into religion, confirmed by the 3,127,481 blogs of the uber-faithful. I don't speak that lingo, know that vocabulary, speak that language. I. Just. Don't. Amen.

Be clear - I am a woman of faith. Faith in the risen Savior. That's as close to the lingo as I go. I am not a woman of the "praise Jesus, my baby peed in the potty." kind. I just .....can't. I'm not. I won't. Bless each of you beautifully praising women. It won't come out of my mouth. I'm afraid to fail those words - me with my potty mouth and snide tone and all that goes with it.

Here is the confession - I am possessed, in spite of my reluctance to delve into the depths of the lingo. I can be overcome by God, speaking quietly, and moved to do things that surprise me - through no effort of my own. It is an intense and explicit knowledge, that will not let me NOT do it - whatever it is. For a long time, I thought I was just crazy. That is still a possiblity.

Lately, I have been overtaken by a blown-way-out-of-the-water total fixation to pray for a man I don't know - at all, ever, totally not. Stellan's dad. See Stellan's 'button' up there somewhere? His dad. Go figure.It happened first 1990, I was moved to pray for a family who were in the midst of tragedy. I felt it physically. It was unexplained and unexplainable, both the tragedy and the praying. I didn't know them well, but was moved to pray for ONE. By NAME. In pictures. For more than a year. I did not see Jesus' face in a pancake though.
It's not uncommon to pray in a time of loss, or struggle, or difficulty. When it's not your grief, it eventually passes, unless you write it down or something. This compulsion did not pass me, so I prayed, very, very quietly. . . for a solid year and 4 months. Every day it was new and fresh and demanded a response. I told no one, not even my own husband. I hoped it would stop, because it was so weird. A once in a lifetime, almost creepy nudging to pray for someone I barely knew. And then it stopped. Thank the Lord, it stopped, which in itself is awkward. Is God's work in my life creepy?

Then it happened again. 13 year old died in a bike wreck, in route to Vacation Bible School. I was awakened that night to pray (like a presence actually woke me up) years later to learn that I was up and praying in those very moments Cy eased into heaven. That time it lasted for years. Much later I learned that I physically and prayerfully responded to the waves of grief his family encountered. I was moved to take flowers, and food and send cards. Though I hardly knew them, I knew exactly how and when to pray.
Example: Halloweeen, 1992. I'm in the kitchen, fixing dinner, for 5 hooligans under 10. Suddenly, I found myself praying and making banana pudding (which delighted the hooligans, I promise you that) for this family Does that make sense? Not to me, not now, and not 16 years ago. Why banana pudding? It felt right.

Halloween was a banana-pudding-day for several years. Different things, different days, many different ways. When I don't have the time, or money to do anything, much less extra things, somehow I have exactly what I need to accomplish these little "jobs." I didn't choose - I just moved as directed by the little voice in my head. When I resisted, I always felt frantic, until it was done.

I also did a little research on schizophrenia. I'm not that. I felt like a grief-stalker, and wanted to be unseen, anonymous. Always.Eventually, the Mom and I talked about 'IT' - that was a stunning conversation. My prayer and my little 'happies' (too close to the lingo, sorry) were sent to them when they needed it. Sad day? Flowers on the patio table. Were we close friends, me picking up the spoken and unspoken cues? Not at all. God was most often ahead of them. The card mailed 2 days ago arrived on just the right day.

Then it stopped. Thank the Lord, it stopped. It's exhausting. And I was often embarrassed about it, like a sort of tragedy voyeur. By now, I was only talking to BigD about it. My then young children called it 'that thing.' That Mom calls me her 'angel'- still. Today. I can't reconcile that word - angel - with how much I like 'Californication' and 'Sex and the City.'
Oh, $%&# Again. (See, I just don't mix that mouth with the other praising lingo....) I was pushed to pray for a woman dealing with the decline of her parents, in a city far away. Food, flowers, cards, music, for someone I knew only casually. Perhaps she felt like I was stalking her. It stopped too - after a solid 3 years. I was relieved. (Seriously, I was relieved that God was not making me serve this woman. What does that say about me?) Bleh. By this time, I was HOPING to see the face of an angel in a pizza or get stigmata....anything other than borderline personality disorder.This wouldn't be a true confession if I didn't admit that I ignored it sometimes. I have found no club, or small group, or study program for being possessed to make food for people and pray fervently for someone I don't know at all. It remains weird. I like to read Harry Potter, and THAT was certainly not on the uber-Christian agenda. Don't EVEN let the vampires and the werewolves come into play! I have just flat ignored it - more than once. I was thinking that maybe my hamburger might have a cross branded into it and then I'd know it was for real.

Somehow....I came to believe - then and now - that I am doing EXACTLY what God calls me to do. It's a question of having confidence in my ability to hear God and the discipline to do as directed. Because it's ALWAYS specific. Seriously? Me, with the less than holy mouth and the penchant for popular culture? The one who saw God's hand in "Hustle and Flow"? The question is always...HOW do you know....? I don't know. Because I am not a prayer-mystic person. At least not on purpose.And now, I am praying for Stellan's dad. His wife has sought healing prayer for her unborn son. All over the world people are praying for the baby, Stellan, and his heart and Mom's heart and all the charming little tow-heads. I am praying for dad. I don't know his name I don't know what he does, or where he lives. I don't know what kind of music he likes, or what his hobbies are. I've never heard his voice. I don't know his friends, or his parents, or co-workers. Nobody put him on some tangentially connected 'prayer list' because their uncle's father-in-law is a client...I don't even know if he HAS clients. All I know is that am overcome with the compulsion to pray for him, specifically, by name - I guess this name has something to do with him.

I check her blog through the day and the night to check on the baby - but the minute his picture rolls up, it's over and I'm thrown into a praying fervor for him. (Don't worry, it's not speaking in tongues and falling on the floor - that 'thrown' is metaphorical).It doesn't even take a picture. It can be spontaneous possession. I guess that's better than spontaneous combustion, but it almost feels the same. In church, BigD nudged me because he thought I had dozed off (it's happened) or was having trouble with the attention thing (also happened). Nope. It was all about "Father of Stellan - called by God..." and all the other images that come with it.

The prayers come to me, exact and vivid. I pray for him by the name given to me ( not Prince Charming, which she calls him). I pray for him in the morning and at the grocery store and in the middle of an intense teacher training session. I visualize arms around him and the burden he is carrying for his children and his wife and his life. I don't know him. He doesn't know me. The chances of us EVER knowing each other is minimal, which gives me the shield that I long for. But now I am writing somebody might tell him. Psych! That slipped my mind.

So, there you have it. True confessions. It's out there, wherever out there is. It comes to me without my calling for it. I don't beg to be used, though I am sure I should. I don't ask for the burden. I don't look for a cause. I don't fall at the feet of.... or approach the throne of ...(sorry, just can't take it that far.) I don't pick the people. I can't start it or stop it. I just wait. And I don't talk that lingo. But I don't doubt the spiritual whisper. Not the same as hearing voices. Not at all.

So, Father of Stellan, you are loved by God. And if I lived in your town, I would bring banana pudding.


noble pig said...

Wow, but that is some serious confessing and nice pics too.

Angeline said...

My mind went way too this was the confession....well I'm glad you did. *wink*

kikibibi said...

Ann: You are not crazy. Keep doing what you're doing. Sounds like you couldn't stop, even if you tried.

You are "paying it forward." And not in a self-serving way. Not in a "putting good works in the bank for later" kind of way. Not in a "boy, I better get something out of this" kind of way. You are bringing goodness, compassion, and love into this world completely selflessly. Someday, when or if you need it, someone will do it for you too.

I once had a friend do a huge favor for me (in a life and death, impact to my children kind of way). When it was over and we were getting back to normal, I said I didn't know how I'd ever repay her. She said she hoped I never would - that she'd never want to be in the situation I faced, but she knew I'd do it for someone else someday, if called.

Keep on keepin' on.

justlori2day said...

You know, I am a close follower of hers, and never once did I say a singular prayer for HIM. I said them for her, and for Stellan and for the family, but not for him. So I am glad that you have his back. Because you saw something I missed.

I can relate - heck, I went home and watched Weeds while eating lunch. I hear ya! I am not a God faring bible thumping follower, but I do believe, I make it to Church every now and again, I do say little prayers and beg for forgiveness. I know my heart and soul are good, and I know I will make it up north someday (I dont like the heat down south, snicker snicker).

I would like to be possessed, but not crazy however I fear I made it to the latter before I made it to the first...

Oh well.

Rhea said...

This was quite a post. I'm not sure how to take it...serious or not.

I'm impressed and it's going to make me think. I'm in a thinking mood tonight.

Anonymous said...

Pretty darn speechless.


Stellan's dad's wife.

Tricia said...

This post is old enough probably no one will read my comment. But I am compelled to pray like that often, too. For parents or sibllngs when a child is sick. For friends that I bring tacos to and they tell me that a co-worker died that day, as in they just got home from work and I am pulling in behind them in the driveway, so they haven't called anyone. Tacos? I would say that banana pudding is better, but I have learned that God knows what He is doing. At least half of the blogs on my list are people I feel compelled to pray for, but not often for the obvious reasons. I seldom pray for Jonah or Stellan. I pray for Patrice and Small Fry. Why Small Fry, I will never understand. But God does, and as it is communication between me (you) and God, that is all that really matters. May He bless you as you continue to grow.

Jana Green said...

I got to your blog from the porst about Stellan's teeth.....I clicked on the post about her other kids' teeth, then I read the comments, and voila. Here I am.

I am glad to hear about someone else who isn't all 'wordy' with her faith. I am that way too. Only for a different reason.

I am the same way with affection and words of praise for my husband, too. It all comes from feeling that the only way you can be sure you're doing something for the 'right' reason, is if you are doing it when noone is watching.

To me, if I was so public about it, then I am drawing attention to what I am doing for God...not God himself. It becomes about me.

"Wow, she's so faithful, praising," etc.

That's just me...other people can do what they feel is best, and it might be different for them.

Also, I can totally relate to being moved to do 'random' things for people.

Once I bought a meal at McDonalds. I hate McDonald's. Turns out on the drive home I stopped at a light with two homeless guys who needed food. And what meal had I 'randomly' bought? The 2 cheeseburger meal.

Random? I think not.

Keep it up. God is proud of you and touching many lives due to your obedient actions.