I get a massage every two weeks. My first massage therapist was a no-nonsense ex-military slip of a girl and stronger than you could imagine her to be. I was so sad when she moved on to another location that was too far for me to follow her to. So I tried again, and ended up with Micah (as always, not her real name).
Michah is a lovely, soft-spoken butterfly type girl. She's quite intuitive, and she's really been able to help me with those horrid knots I get in my shoulders and neck from being hunched over the computer all the time.
Shortly after Easter, I had been asking a friend about false gods and angels in disguise. We ended up having quite a discussion about New Agers, mystical "spirituality" and the dangers lurking behind the "it's all good" facade. I decided that I'd ask Micah if she used any alternative healing techniques for her massages, you know – just in case. I was relieved when she said no, she just used plain old physical therapy techniques. Unfortunately, then she went on to say that she really *wanted* to get into the eastern spiritual techniques and had been dreaming of going to India to learn from a guru or some sort.
I didn't say anything at the time, but felt concern for her. It occurred to me several times during the next two weeks that I might want to pray for Michah, and so I did.
Yesterday, I had my regular appointment with her. I wanted to talk to her more about what her plans were, but didn't quite know how to bring it up. So I told her that I was excited (which I was) about my plans later that evening to go to an emerging church that my church sponsors. I'd heard a lot about it, and Alexander and I were going to go see what it was all about. She was interested, so I told her about how the emerging churches are specifically for people who don't feel like they belong in a traditional church, and that I'd seen a book about it recently called No Perfect People Allowed [Burke].
She laughed and told me her father had been a Christian and her mother a Jehovah's Witness. I offered that it must have been confusing for her. She told me that it was, but that she was now getting involved in Wicca. She said that she has always been drawn to the power of the earth and nature and the tolerance of the Wiccans really appealed to her. I was a bit taken aback at that point, and will admit to a momentary feeling of alarm. First from a stupid personal fear perspective, and then from an "Oh dear, I have no idea how convince someone who wants to be a witch that it might be a poor life choice" perspective. Fortunately, it was just a knee-jerk reaction and disappeared as quickly as it came.
I still had no idea what really to say, so I just told her my story of how I came to feel like I needed to go back to church, and once I got there, that God indeed did want to talk to me. I told her about how different my experience was from when I was a teenager. How I found out that you didn't have to "earn your way to heaven" or follow a bunch of stupid rules so (maybe if you were lucky) you wouldn't go to hell. I told her how Jesus died for all of our sins and paid off the debt and He just did it just because he loves us. He offers us this amazing gift and he offers it to everyone and it's just as simple as saying yes. Then He shows you how to do all the rest, one step at a time. Or at least it was something like that. It's hard to remember the details because I *was* getting a massage, after all :)
We fell silent for a while, and then I told her about my dream of the rain storm. I told her how I felt God had been reminding me gently for years that He was still there, and then he brought His enormous storm into my life. And how another friend at work had the insight that the storm was not just for me, but for the people all around me, people that I knew and people that were in my town. Micah seemed to see this right away.
I didn't say anything about Wicca, but I did tell her that I understand (and believe me I DO) that it's so hard to find the truth when there are so many voices telling you they know what you should do. I offered her the advice that's been given to me: Look at the message behind the words. Look at the people saying the words – are they good people? Are they living the life they talk about? Do they have your best interests at heart?
I told her about the feelings that I should be praying for her. She got a bit teary at this point, and didn't say why, but said that the last three weeks had been really hard and she really did need it.
I invited her to come to the "alt.church" with us that night, but unfortunately she had to go to her other job right after my appointment. But she seemed like she really wanted to go, and she thanked me seriously for telling her all that I did. She said she hadn't quite understood it that way before. I told her it was about the best thing I could tell anybody and I was happy to do it. I suggested if she really wanted to find out about Jesus that she say just a little prayer to let Him know.
I have been examining my heart whether I should post things like this or not. I know my tendencies toward pride, and so I am trying hard to make sure my motives are worthy. Yes, I am happy. I'm joyful my Father might be working to touch Micah's heart through me. I feel like this account might show someone else how ordinary situations can turn so extraordinary. That apologetics isn't just for fancy debates among scholars. That the people around you are still looking for truth even if they don't talk about it.
So please help me pray for Micah. This story doesn't use her real name, but God will know who you're talking about.