A Gathering of Freaks at the Hilton Garden Inn

Posted by on Feb 9, 2010 in Blog Posts | 3 comments

“These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.  For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.  If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return.  But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.” – Hebrews 11:13-16 (ESV)

While in Athens last week caring for Robert during his”bug” I thought it best to stay in a local hotel there when it came time for sleeping.  He was better and wouldn’t need my overnight attention and I was,  admittedly, wanting to fend off any chance I’d catch the thing.  Well, that plan didn’t pan out and I got the bug.  All better now, but I got its effects fully within eight hours of returning home the next day.

Anyway, while there, I had some much-needed time in the Word that wasn’t Bible study related.  Does that make sense?  Sometimes, when I am so engrossed in a specific book (Isaiah) or topic (Covenant) like I am this semester, I can have a tendency to get bogged down and not spend some good meditative time in the Scriptures.  By Tuesday evening, I was feeling the effects of a month of such neglect.  My prayers had become sporadic “shout outs” to God over the course of the prior two weeks.  Is it any wonder I’ve had writer’s block?  DUH!  Say it with me.  DUH!

God allowed me to have a crisis while out of my element to force me to get into His Word.  I’m not into Bible roulette (you know…flip the Bible open to wherever and allow whatever it says to apply to your circumstances in the moment).  That’s dangerous and frankly, rather immature.  Sorry if that offends.

Nonetheless, that particular evening I knew I needed a dose of a good Psalm’s medicine.  I began in the first and read until I got to Psalm 4.  At that point, I knew I had found the medicine God was prescribing.  Click on that link back there and read it.  Take the time.  It might be just the medicine you need today, too.

I sipped my instant Chai and meditated on this passage for some time before my lids were too heavy to keep open and I closed the Book, settled in my spirit that God was on the throne and in control of my circumstances which had nothing to do with anybody being sick, but everything to do with me; just me.

The next morning, I awoke and went through a typical morning checkout routine:  shower, pack, eat breakfast, then checkout.  While checking out I had the opportunity to talk with the clerk who was taking care of my bill.  While chatting I was able to share in a subtle way the value of praying for our children.  She was on board with that and God opened the door for me to share this Psalm from the night before with her and I did.  He told me to do it.  I could tell she was a fellow sister in Christ.  Some might call that being a freak.  That’s what I am, a freak for Jesus.

I whipped out my Bible (it helps to keep it on the top of your tote bag) and opened it to Psalm 4. She read it and had to excuse herself to wipe her eyes.  I turned around to wipe my own.  The fellow clerk, a young guy, stood staring at two women who had just met yet connected over the God who wrote the Word that ministered to them both… freaks, we were.  Then, God’s nudge forced me to offer my Bible to him to read the same passage that had so moved us.  So, I did, a bit apprehensively I admit, somewhat ashamed

He read it, thanked me for sharing it, and wiped his eyes, too.  One more freak was added to the list.

It was a sacred moment.  For during that time, no one else approached the counter to check in or out.  Their phone was silent and no manager walked by to catch them not working.  God was in the moment and it was awesome.  We had “church of stranger freaks” at the checkout counter of the Athens Hilton Garden Inn.

Then it hit me.  For weeks I have felt like such a freak on this planet.  I can be in the midst of a group of people and feel so alone.  That’s the way God made me.  I have been more sensitive to the world’s influence on the Church and it can weigh me down to the point that I wonder if I’m the only one who sees Her compromise.  I have felt rather like a freak at times because of it.  I could blame it on my time in Isaiah, but that would be false.  It’s me.  It’s the way God wired me.  It hurts.  It makes me feel like an army of one (two, if Rob’s home from work).

So, when I read that Psalm and shared it and saw how it affected two total strangers, I realized I had buddy freaks, strangers no more.  Yea!  I left Athens refreshed and came home.

Thank You, God, for moments of realizing that I might be an alien here on earth, in a place that is not my forever home, but I am not alone.  I have You and I have the “freaks” that you bring across my path.  Thank You, too, for leaving Your Word here.

Are you willing to sign up as a freak?


  1. Sign me up! Im with ya.


    P.S. you know I am over hear crying with the rest of ya’ll : ) Hope you are all better.

  2. That is a beautiful representation of God’s church – His love for others and bonding over that love
    I am so glad you are all better
    We have been through the ringer over here as well
    Miss you!!!

  3. Where do I sign?? 🙂 Jane

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