Something happened to me a few weeks back that I think I can say was the most profound spiritual happening ever in my life.
There is a part of the Bible where Moses is talking to God and God decides to pass by Moses. Not as simple as it sounds, as to gaze upon Yahweh was to gaze upon death. Turns out we cannot look on perfection without it burning out our eyes or something. So God puts Moses in a cleft to protect him and only allows him to see his backside.
I was wondering what that was like. Not the hiding in rocks and seeing God's rear end, but the fact that all of God's attention was at that moment on Moses. That had never occurred in my life, till recently.
I have been in some meetings where God was supposed to show up. I have been taught so many steps to getting into the presence of God that I should be able to close my eyes and presto whamo be at the Almighty's side. Alas those meetings and steps have never taken me to God's presence, I am not even sure they got me into the right neighborhood.
Most of my life I have looked for God in cathedrals. I have searched for him in the beautiful places hanging out with the attractive people. I have judged people's closeness to God on how much Bible they know or how long they can pray. I have looked to the preachers who can command the attention of thousands. I have read all the glossy magazines and books, all in vain. God is not found in temples built with hands. God is not found with the wealthy, healthy, and otherwise a o.k. people. He is found with the ugly, poor, sick, and otherwise not o.k. people.
Let me get back to this awesome spiritual experience I had a while back. I was with some friends visiting a family that is, well there is no pretty way to say it, they are dying of AIDS. Mother, nine year old son, and six month old baby all HIV positive. They had no hope. They have no clout in this world. No one listens to them. No one cares about them.
We were bringing them some food, mattresses, toys, and a bit of love because we believe that in the Kingdom of God they matter more than anyone else.
One of the ways I try to bring a little dignity to people is to have them pray for our team or something going on in my life. Well one of our team was going on a long trip and I asked Ann, sick mom, to pray for his trip.
When she prayed something happened that has never happened in my life, at least that I know of. I lacked words till this evening to describe it, and these words I am sure will fall short. When she bowed her head and opened her mouth; God listened.
It was not business as usual in this listening. When I pray I know my God hears my prayers, but I also know that he hears yours, and his, and hers all at the same time. If you have seen Bruce Almighty then you get the idea. God can process all our prayers all at the same time. It was different when Ann prayed.
It was like God stopped everything and focused all of his godly powers on that little one room mud house in Nakuru. She had his full attention. He took note of all that she said and I believe all that she left unsaid. She matters so much to him that he could not even imagine lumping her prayers with anyone else's.
I think we have it backwards with our ideas of who God listens to. Sure he hears all of us, and yes he can and does devote his attention to us, but perhaps we are just not as important as Ann and her family. Hard to acknowledge, but if we are to be ranked she ranks above us. She has more clout with God than your pastor, she is a better choice for Pope than any man to hold the office, she is the one God pays attention to.
I almost forgot; the thing I felt the most when God was staring at us in that little room was how wrong I have been all my life. Anytime I needed prayer, wisdom, or advice I went to my pastor or one of the intercessors at our church. I actually was in the presence of almighty God and he was not looking at me, but instead was looking at a sick woman who has never even picked up a Bible. I still have a lot to learn about God's priorities. I was scared not because God wanted to whack me for messing up, but because I can so easily miss out on God's presence because of my ideas of who and what is important. God help me.
Missionary to Nakuru, Kenya. Co-founder of A Future and a Hope, a home for girls.