I come from a Charismatic church so hands on heads and in the air is nothing unusual. I came of age over prophetic words and discerning spirits, and cut my spiritual teeth on words like woo and tongues and presbytery. I was 20 when I first stood in the doorway of my church; I was nearly 30 when I cleaned out my desk, handed over my keys, and left. I left with many things, some hard and heavy, some good and holy, some that will take me the rest of my life to sort out and some for which I will never begin to be thankful enough. This is the residue of us all and I cannot thank God enough that He brings us through fire and leaves on us ash, and the scent of smoke—is beauty made from anything less?
A visiting minister put his hand on my head when I was 25 and stared at my face, shook his hand so that my head shook too, and he said words I have never forgotten: