Right off the bat, I should tell you that I am uneducated when it comes to clairvoyance or mediumship. Growing up in the rhinestone belt-buckle of the Bible Belt, a.k.a. Dallas, experimentation with fringe spiritualism was frowned-upon, to say the least. Not to mention, I went to a strict Christian private school, plaid skirt and all!
My point is that I have a lot to learn about this lifestyle - my chakra is closed tight and so is my third eye. You get the picture. However, even as a person with faith grounded in Christ, I like to think of myself as open-minded and respectful to all beliefs. These personality traits have lead me on many adventures, but this time, it led me to Austin in Texas, chatting up a storm with a medium on the street.
The medium introduced herself to me as "Nirvana Pocahontas". Then, I replied with "I'm Riley", suddenly feeling a little inadequate with my name. She had large, multicolored feathers in her hair and a fabulous smile. I sat down next to her and she began my reading.
Primarily, I drew four Tarot cards from a large stack and she earnestly explained the meaning behind each animal drawing. As badly as I wanted to buy into this concept, none of the vague advice she gave me was relevant to my life. Try as I might, neither the manatee nor the eagle could apply to my present tribulations.
Nonetheless, I still could learn from Nirvana. She so intensely believed in something. Honestly, this guidance could be a step in the right direction for someone who, perhaps, just experienced a tragedy and is longing to believe in something. Anything. While I could not find personal meaning in her predictions, who am I to judge others for desperately wanted to, as Nirvana says, "talk to angels"?
Being the annoying and/or aspiring journalist that I am, I switched the subject to the medium and probed into how she ended up in this situation. Doing so opened up a tranquil dialogue in which my new bestie, Nirvana, and I discussed the power of devotion and how childhood trauma affects a soul. Some highlights of our conversation went as follows:
Me: So, how did you first engage in the spiritual realm?
Nirvana: Ever since I can remember, I could talk to angels. In fact, it is sometimes hard for me to live in this physical world because I am so used to disassociating from my body. You see, I was very young when I became a victim of constant sexual abuse. I would lie on my tiny bed and finally find escape by rising above my earthly situation. My angels protected me. They still protect me.
Me: How would someone like me, with very little experience in this area, reach your level of clairvoyance?
Nirvana: (twirling her feather with a finger) I recommend meditation.
Me: Would you describe prayer as a form of meditation?
Nirvana: I think that every day, we pray with our actions. Living is prayer.
So, what can a Christian learn from a medium?
A great many things, but my biggest takeaway is that non-judgmentally practicing vulnerable and unapologetic faith in a Higher Power is founded in Scripture.
"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you." - Luke 6:37-8
We are His children, and we can be brazenly confident in Him because he remains constant in us! You have no reason to be apprehensive about the existence of other beliefs if you are planted in your own.
Before you brush me off as a post-modern Church hipster, you must admit that Jesus would not have been afraid to strike up a conversation with a stranger, especially with a person who was so genuinely longing for satisfaction outside of this world. So, that's what I did.
There is something beautiful in every religion and I'm only attempting to more fully understand what we mean when we talk about following Christ.
P.S. Keep Austin weird. You know, for the sake of our souls.
P.P.S. Any offense taken by this article is unintended and due to my lack of knowledge on the religious sect of the aforementioned subject, but I welcome new information!