I will quickly ask your indulgence in a couple of things:

  1.   Those of you who may have just stumbled upon this blog. “Act 2”, I would kindly ask you to fall back and start with “Act 1”.  Ultimately I believe that the substance of this story may be of some benefit but to read it out of order may be the cause of a bit of confusion.
  2.   I request your position of grace regarding a small fib I told in “Act 1”.  I stated that this would be a three part blog but have realized that it will take more than three to tell the tale.  I have been counseled to relax regarding the numbers and just tell the story.

  To be present is to know what you need in the moment.  To be present to something is to allow the moment, the person, the idea, or the situation to change you”.

~Richard Rohr

[D]o me a favor and study for a moment the photo attached to this blogI am touched by the photo of a man with his arms outstretched, hands open, open in my thinking, to the God Most High.   He appears open, vulnerable and willing to accept the love of his Father, Abba, Daddy.   This is the sense that I had of Lyle as we walked down the hallway of the Holiday Inn and into the prayer service.  It was not the sense that I carried of myself.  Recalling now, I would offer my own stance as willing.  Willing but also carrying the knowledge that I needed to be on top of my game.  A fair but firm observer of what would transpire in that room.  I needed to be able and willing, both during and after, to rightly counsel or warn my friend from any harm.

We were seated in the ballroom after a nice buffet breakfast.  A breakfast to which I might add, Lyle was four minutes late in arriving.  To answer to your objection, yes, there is importance in the details.  It is in the details I can best demonstrate my understanding, my position, my job.   We were seated and Lyle glanced about for a moment or two but quickly closed his eyes, appearing calm and in prayerful pose.  I on the other hand went to work and was about the details.   We were walked to and seated in the third row, house left.  I want you to picture a medium sized ballroom, with the seating being fairly typical for any type of formal presentation.  A center aisle with ten chairs either side of the aisle.  Five rows of chairs in this configuration before an aisle running perpendicular to the center aisle, which led to the entry door.   Now picture this discussed seating arrangement duplicated behind the perpendicular aisle.  A small circular table stood house right in the front of the room.  Upon the table sat four or five “religious” type articles allowing the room to appreciate the spiritual nature of the event.   In the very rear of the room stood a single rectangular table.  On this table, some fifteen or twenty feet behind the last row of chairs, sat a single wicker basket.  My eyes were drawn to what was typical ballroom carpeting.  Carpeting that could well have come from the hallway of an old Las Vegas hotel.  Carpeting that by design could withstand the abuse of a messy dinner function.  What drew my eyes was not the quality but the pattern in the design of the carpeting.  A pattern of circles that was pleasing to my eyes in that the pattern was symmetric.  A pattern that as it played out allowed perfect spacing for folks to stand upon when being prayed for.  A single video camera upon a stand, house left approximately half way back in the room, pointed front and center.   Now I believe that you will agree that I was on the job, I was about the details.

God bless Lyle, as while he was quiet, calm and seemingly at peace, I on the other hand had already calculated the take.  I knew the gross and had estimated the cost of the room.  I only had left to reach an understanding of who was a volunteer and who might be paid staff and I would know just how profitable the “healing” business could be.   Now I write these things, a rather unflattering account of myself, so you will have a true picture of who walked into that room with Lyle.   I so wanted to believe that we could fly to Ohio and Lyle could be healed.  I wanted this to be but it is vitally important that you understand the width and the depth of the cynicism I carried with me as we entered.

It was quickly about to change………..