A large, dark SUV crunched to a stop on the gravel drive outside my office. Not expecting a visitor, I looked up from my morning labors impatiently, wondering who had made the trek to Penuel Ridge on the off chance I would be there. I checked myself, smoothed my unruly hair, plastered on my most hospitable Southern woman smile, the one that says, “yes, I just happened to have a pie baking in the oven in case someone came by” and went to the door to greet the interloper.
There stood a tiny woman with bleached blonde braids zigging and zagging across her black scalp. She shook my hand and made a beeline for the bathroom. I stood there awkwardly, waiting for her to reappear and identify herself. Bursting out of the door and closing the gap between us in two strides, she enveloped me in her arms and whispered, “I am a Prophetess and God has sent me to deliver a message.” Locked in an embrace, she spoke intentionally in my ear, part English, part moaning, part twitching, part guttural dialect I didn’t recognize. She uttered my truths, every single one in detail, acknowledging the whimpering child who suffered at the hands of my father and brother and the wounded woman who carried the pain of lost loves. “Repeat after me,” she instructed, and I did, eyes closed, leaning into her, repeating forgiving words of sweet release for it ALL. When consciousness crept back into the corners of my mind, I was lying on the floor, her smiling face looking down at me. Not sure the proper protocol for this type of experience, I pulled myself off of the floor to an upright position and did the only natural thing…hugged her.
How many times have we, in our human-ness, asked God for a sign, for a message letting us know he is there; sees our struggle; knows our pain and will wash it away? In our soul pining, do we believe it will come and when it does, will we know it? She was gone as quickly as she came. Was she truly a messenger sent from God or a crackpot on a joy ride through rural Tennessee? My intellect questions if it actually happened. The healed, open space inside of me that once held tight to the pain of the past says, “Yes.”
I wonder, if in your human-ness, you would have opened the door?