The Booth

I haven’t seen much of The Antiques Roadshow. In fact, I’m not sure that I have seen it since Michael Aspel left. However, my favourite bit is when people bring in their treasures and the experts tell them that they are worth a few bob. You see their eyes light up – just for a split second – and then they announce “Oh no, but I would never sell it. I just wouldn’t. I never could. No, no – not me. No indeed.” We often wonder if, when the cameras have moved on, these same people run around asking “Where’s the booth? You know – the booth where I can flog this much loved family heirloom. Do you have a booth? Pleeease?”
Anyway, we were at a group this week and a lady there had been to a Christian medical conference in America and they had something called “Prophesy Booths”. As far as I can understand it – you had to wait your turn and then you went into a booth and someone prophesied over you – as the parlance goes. I have to admit – this made me feel a bit uncomfortable. I am never that tuned into something which kind of makes God at our beck and call. I always imagine him having more of the Heathcliffe about him. I’m not trying to be flippant – it’s just, it’s God – you know – I couldn’t hope to reduce him to a box. However, the lady that told us about it said that what was relayed to her was unfailingly accurate, including an almost word for word repeat of a conversation she had had before she went in to the booth. (No – not within earshot of the booth lady – cynical) So maybe I’m a bit old fashioned. Maybe God, who doesn’t want to be without me is willing to squeeze into a booth to tell me something. I don’t know what I think about God responding when I press a button that says “Tell me something I want to hear”. I come from a tradition where people asked and prayed for answers so this is something alien to me. You may be thinking, “Where is this going? What brilliant conclusion is she about to come to?” You are obviously new here. I have no idea. If you have any thoughts, bung ’em in the comments. Interested to hear what you think. 

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6 Comments

  1. May 15, 2017 / 4:01 pm

    Drat. I was hoping there would be a few comments. But so far there's just me. I haven't a clue either.

    • May 15, 2017 / 8:19 pm

      I know. It's completely alien to me but does that mean there's no value in it

  2. May 15, 2017 / 4:15 pm

    Sounds a wee bit like a fortune telling tent to me.

  3. May 16, 2017 / 3:50 pm

    It sounds to me as though the booth person was both a natural clairvoyant and a Christian. Since Penetecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out on all of us, the gift and responsibility of prophecy has been an every-believer ministry. It shows forth in our living prophetic lives – speaking up for the poor and marginalised, living simply, practising kindness, caring for our neighbour and for the earth – that kind of thing. As we walk close to God and live according to his truth we develop wisdom, and occasionally that comes in 'words of knowledge' where we speak out truth beyond our natural power to know. But I have never heard of this being something so reliable that you could instal someone in a booth to give out words of knowledge.
    However, I have several times met people who had a natural gift of clairvoyance – just as I have known people with a natural gift of healing. I think more people are clairvoyant than realise it – after all, they don't know what it feels like to be someone else. I suspect (having known a few who were definitely not clairvoyant and relied on what they'd learned) that some doctors are clairvoyant but don't realise it, and this makes them especially gifted at diagnosis.
    I don't think this is a gift we should be suspicious or wary of – it's just natural.
    But I would be both suspicious and wary of putting anything in a booth and calling it God – though when I think about it, that's pretty much what most churches do with the Eucharist.
    It reminds me vividly of Acts 16, and while I'd reserve judgement about the validity of the prophecies I think I'd stay away from the booth.

    • May 21, 2017 / 7:05 pm

      It also made me think about CS Lewis' The Great Divorce which is partly concerned with the nature of heaven and where the angels introduce a man to the afterlife and he realises that the nature of much of what he sees was already on earth had he connected with it.

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