Freak Out!

Lamentations 3: 41

We raise our heart and hands toward God in heaven.

I well remember the first time I went to a Charismatic church. I was the guest of a friend. It turned out that she and her husband attended the same church as someone I greatly respected. I wonder if she chose our seats intentionally because this man that I admired was right in my line of sight as I looked to the podium.

Imagine my horror when, during the praise and worship, my eye noticed movement and turning towards the movement saw that my “hero” had his hand raised towards heaven. I think God must have nailed my shoes to the floor because, though I was freaking out at this rock and roll church, I couldn’t move.

That church shook up my life. There were lots of people who raised their hands or swayed. There was probably even someone dancing somewhere. As much as it alarmed me, there was something there that, though I couldn’t identify it at the time, drew me. That first service mortified me, but you know what, I began driving over an hour every Sunday to attend services there. When the Associate Pastor started his own church, I went with him. To this day, he is the pastor of my heart. His ministry changed my life forever.

It is funny to remember how alarmed I was at my mentor raising his hand in church. From that initiation to becoming a founding member of the Associate Pastor’s new church is an interesting contrast. And yet, it was the most normal thing of all. I am glad my friend took me to church. Even though it challenged everything I thought I knew, I ultimately found truth and freedom, and after all, that is what we all seek. Just be warned, the truth you need may be cloaked in unusual raiment.