500 kilometres later, and there it was, the little chapel where, it was said, someone prayed day and night, 24/7/356. He’d felt compelled to drive here through the night, his heart racing and beating non-stop, for he’d longed for such a fellowship. What would he find? Nobody home? Maybe just today someone had slept in and not done their shift. You could hardly blame them. It was an insignificant little place. There was the bell. Apparently you rang the bell for admittance to take your turn. It was the hour of sunrise, with the world still comforted in warm beds before the new day began. What would this day bring for him? Joy? Disappointment? Fellowship? Loneliness again? So much was in the offering.
Gingerly he stepped up to the door and rang the bell – waiting, waiting.
The door opened, and there stood a gangly young man in dreadlocks, a t-shirt proclaiming the Day of the Lord, and a broad grin.
“Hallo. I wasn’t expecting you. I’m Bradley, Come on in and meet the gang.”
Meet the gang?
“Hi. I’m Rod. Thank you”
He followed the dreadlocks into a candlelit room, with walls covered in graffiti, bodies scattered on rugs, a guitar playing thoughtfully in one corner, and someone at a desk scratching their head and writing from time to time. No-one seemed in a hurry to leave at the end of their shift.
A young woman stood up and flickered over the pages of a well -used bible, and read clearly:
“From childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. I charge you, therefore, before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His Kingdom: Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching, For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you – be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
“I CHARGE YOU THEREFORE, BEFORE JESUS CHRIST, WHO WILL JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD AT HIS APPEARING AND HIS KINGDOM: PREACH THE WORD!”
Our exhausted driver was electrified, as if a bolt had shot right through him. He had not been in this room two minutes, and the Holy Spirit was shaking him vigorously. This was a directive for him. He could not doubt it, and determined in that instant to go to college and prepare for a life of ministry. No more building skyscrapers for entrepreneurial magnates, or bridges for commuters in concrete jungles. The Word of God had lit his path today, as he had asked.
Without further ceremony he fell to his knees before his almighty Father, and shaking, weeping, joyful.
As he talked with his Father, people came and went, playing many instruments , singing. One elderly man painted the wall, describing the “cup” and the “bread”. Two young women danced before God in beauty and dignity, in flowing robes and glorious scarves presenting their devotion. The presence of God was heavy in the air, but weightless. The writer posted his poem on the wall, and several wrote prayers on the wall. One gave thanks by attaching a flower beside her answered prayer.
“I just needed to know”, he kept muttering.
“What do you know?” asked a dancer.
I know the fellowship and unity of the Holy Spirit,” He answered. At my church they are very kind, full of good works. But they don’t talk about the scriptures because they can’t agree on what they mean. Some say it’s not historical, or chronological. Some even say it’s mythical. I needed to know. If it is mythical like a dreamtime, then it’s not reliable at all. But here I felt the very power of its truth standing over me. Here, in the unity of this prayer room, lives the God of Scripture. Now I know.
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