Part 3: Prayer from the Floor
This is the third excerpt of a spiritual account in a letter from a friend who gave permission but prefers that her name not be used. I find her story very stirring and real and a terrific demonstration of how the spiritual experience can be astonishingly entwined with the physical. She notes that she uses the masculine pronoun for God out of long habit. Part One was posted two days ago.
I heard about a little church near the airport in Toronto, in 1994. Curious about why people would fly there from all over the world, I went with two friends, and one was a Presbyterian pastor, close to burn-out.
The building was small and packed, with a long line out the door (with meetings still going on today, in an enormous facility). John and Carol Arnott, the laid-back pastors, labeled this phenomenon “refreshing” and were surprised daily by it. Even then, people from over sixty countries had visited.
A number of people were on the floor, and I was told that they had fallen and were “soaking” in God’s love. I had seen this before, in other places, but had always thought it was imitation or a need for attention. Just being honest here. Other odd things were happening, too, that were unsettling to me (as a reserved person), and I wondered if I had made a mistake in going to Toronto.
People were lining up to be prayed for by various groups of two, and often the only thing said was “More” or “more of your Spirit, Lord.” I noticed that my pastor friend was on the floor, and I was a little apprehensive. I was determined not to be pushed or coerced, in some way, and decided I would just receive the prayer and retreat to the coffee shop.
With my feet set firmly, there were quite a few minutes of prayer, and then I was surprised to find myself on the floor. No one had pushed me; they had barely touched my head. I was grateful that someone must have caught me. (I can’t speak for other groups and would hope no one was pushed; it defeats the purpose.)
Another surprise was that I was more physically affected by this experience than in previous spiritual experiences. I’d gone without food or sleep for a day, during that “filling” time, years before, but I’d been able to walk around in a normal way. Here, when I tried to get up, I couldn’t even get my head off the floor. The thought hit me: let go of control and just enjoy it.
I’d already had wonderful times of deep peace, but this was different; it was a little taste of heaven. I found myself laughing that I couldn’t move and didn’t care. Others were experiencing the same thing; it was described as being “stuck” to the floor. Though I didn’t have any physical healing, others in that room did, while on the floor. I did feel as though a barrier of control, in myself, was cracking, though. I’m a private person, and being stuck to the floor in a public setting was out of my comfort zone.
(Part Four will be posted here tomorrow. I would welcome an account of your own spiritual experience for possibly sharing here, either with your name or anonymously. Send to me at [email protected] or simply leave as a Comment here.
First-time commenters on this new blog receive a free mini-book, At Sea with My Writing.)