On a recent service trip one of our participants began “speaking in tongues” during a moment of worship-through-music with the group. For purposes of anonymity, I will refer to this person as Will or William. He began babbling incoherently and rattling loosely closed fists during the service. I tried not to be distracted by the display and said a quick prayer that he wouldn’t disturb or freakout anyone else. It worked… sorta. I was able to prevent him from stealing my focus, but one of our particularly thoughtful and curious students later approached him to ask what was up. He sat her down and spoke to her, probably for ten minutes or so. I only witnessed the conversation from afar and didn’t want to interject at first, but I could read our curious student’s body-language very well. She was appalled and shocked at what she was being subjected to. I suspected as much, as I myself have been the target of such persuasion before. Lest I add to the confusion, I did my best to wait patiently until she was done being talked at. Finally the moment came, and I approached her and offered to listen if she wanted to talk about what she had just heard. She took me up on the offer immediately. I won’t divulge the details of her and my private conversation, but suffice it to say that where there was clarity and peace in this intelligent student’s spiritual journey, the tongue-speaker had now brought confusion and frustration, and as the evening progressed, I found out to what end. Later that night, I was able to talk privately about a few of the issues with William, and I was concerned with what I heard.
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