I inadvertently raised my bowed head and opened my eyes when I heard her words.
“God, give to all of us a spirit of wisdom and REVOLUTION,” she prayed.
My friend Shana* almost always offers a few words of prayer in her heavily accented English as we close our Bible studies at The Lamb Center, a local day shelter for poor and homeless individuals where I serve. Shana rarely misses Bible study and takes great pride in carefully preparing and lighting the candles on the table before we start each day. While lighting candles to signify a time of reverence during Bible study has long been our practice, it is only in recent months that Shana has decided it is her job to make it happen.
Despite living in difficult circumstances, she occasionally spends her own money on pretty candles she finds on sale, her gift to the community where she has found a home.
Each week when I arrive at The Lamb Center, Shana is the first to greet me with a warm smile and a squeeze of my hand or a quick hug. I can easily imagine her bustling around, busily using her obvious gift of hospitality if we all arrived for a meal at her house, despite being far away from the war-torn country she once called home. I find myself with a lump in my throat as I watch the careful attention she gives the candles, her desire to make everything just right for these people she has come to love.
Although struggling to put her life back together after escaping an abusive marriage, Shana radiates joy, courage and a fierce resolve to find good in the world.
Despite her Muslim roots, Shana loves the Bible and is an eager student and frequent participant in our conversations around the table. Her ability to make connections, give examples from her own life, and encourage others to step out in faith regularly inspires and challenges me.
Because Ephesians 1:17 is a favorite of mine, she has heard me speak frequently of our God’s willingness to give us “a Spirit of wisdom and revelation” as we seek to know Him better. Intelligent, thoughtful, and quick to memorize passages that capture her attention, I wasn’t surprised when she began to frequently mention God’s gift of wisdom and revelation in our conversations and her desire to experience it in her own life.
But this week was different. This was the first time she referenced the verse in this unique way. Was it her accent? Or was I just hearing her incorrectly? Did she really just say wisdom and REVOLUTION?
Closing time comes quickly after Bible study, so I wasn’t able to consider her words until I was driving home. Wisdom and revelation. Wisdom and REVOLUTION. Whether a slip of the tongue or a trick of my ears, it didn’t matter. My imagination was sparked.
Revolution: a dramatic and wide-reaching change in the way something works or is organized or in people’s ideas about it.
• What would happen if we read the definition of revolution through God’s eyes?
• Through kingdom eyes, what might it look like for us to have a Spirit of wisdom and revolution? How could that difference change our lives?
• Isn’t revolution what Jesus came to bring? A dramatic and wide-reaching change in the way things work and the way we think?
• What might revolution look like in my OWN life? A revolution fueled by a spirit of wisdom — THE Spirit of wisdom?
As the week unfolded, the spark grew and the idea of God’s wisdom starting a revolution in me continued to smolder and catch fire. As I pondered changes I needed to make, I smiled in gratitude at the part God had allowed my friend Shana to play in the work He was doing in me.
Shana, the careful steward of the flame at our holy table.