For some time now, I've argued with my inner demon about the reality of a heaven and hell and a God above who created all this mess. As a cradle Catholic, this has been more than disconcerting. But, in my defense, I want to believe. I want to with all my heart, but evil resides within all of us, hopefully, in balance with goodness, but sometimes the evil seems the reality.
As a therapist, I try to help others battle their inner demons - be it anxiety, depression, or some other mental crisis that prohibits that person from living a joyous life - or even one void of negativity. Enter family. Yes, family can present us with our greatest joy, as well as our deepest hurt. We must overcome. We must strive to treat our own flesh and blood as we would our clients, our patients, our students, our neighbors. In other words, most of us take our family for granted and bestow expectations on them that we would never think of laying on others.
Today was one of those inexplicable days when the Holy Spirit did her thing despite my frailties. When a new client failed to show up for our session, I began to explore my seldom-used laptop and found articles I'd written more than five years ago. I emailed my daughter-in-law one long lost article I wrote about my perception of daughter-in-laws - this was way before she entered our family.
Since I am privileged to use the meeting rooms at the Broadway Coffee House on the 2nd floor until I get a new office (that's another story for another time), a new group was waiting to come in. I asked what they did and their answer floored me. They said they met daily at 3 pm to PRAY for Portland. Living in Salem, I could understand that, but I mentioned that Salem needed prayers as well. We got to talking a bit and they asked if they could pray for me. Oh, my goodness! Of course. I will humbly accept the prayers of any and all. One lady got up, came over to me and began to hug me. Okay....The gentleman sitting near me grabbed my hand and began to pray. I got the impression they might be charismatic, as they weren't all praying the same words together. That's okay by me.
When they were finished, I was crying. Bob, the one holding my hand, handed me a book and I asked what I owed him and he said nothing. "Just read it and share with a friend." I was overwhelmed. I uttered words of thanks and left quickly. The book is Secrets of the Secret Place by Bob Sorge. Now I don't know Bob Sorge, but I like his style. I drove to Great Harvest, got some spendy bread and then on to Jamba Juice for a healthy cooler (each one was $8.99 - not an every day expense, mind you). Then I drove to my sister's house. She was low key and mildly uninterested. I tried to fuse my enthusiasm to her persona with little success. I came home and thought about sharing with you all. Perhaps my sister was touched. Maybe not. But I surely hope so. I just wanted to share that moment of complete love and peace with someone.
Evidently this Bob guy has been a pastor for twenty-some years and is not able to speak due to a vocal injury, so he writes books - many of them and has a ministry aptly called The Oasis. You go, Bob! Your followers are truly kind humans who love humanity. At least that is what I witnessed in a small upper room of a beautiful coffee shop on a beautiful summer afternoon in Oregon.