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My mentor likes to talk about the four-year-old window. She says it is a time when children are receptive to the Spirit without questioning. She has stories of four-year-olds that are astounding, and indeed, both of my children at four had strange and inexplicable experiences. She says that I never grew out of my four-year-old window.

I call the trait Openness, which works well with the window imagery. It also gets across something that is essential to understand: Openness, is a window that both sides can use. It is not something to seek or mess around with. Both sides? Oh, yes, there are two sides. I did not grow up in church, and so the first time I saw a demon, I didn’t tell anyone for three days because I was so afraid that no one would believe me. My mom did believe me, which was great, but it didn’t stop me from seeing things. My theory is that Openness is something that demons can sense, and thus, they use it to their full advantage. It is also, however, something that the Spirit can utilize powerfully.

I never grew out of my four year old window.

I occasionally run across other Open people and have found that our experiences converge in many areas. In high school, I became best friends with someone who was also Open. When we first met, she was a Wiccan (every Open person that I have met is spiritual in one way or another because you can’t experience what we do and deny a spiritual existence) but shortly thereafter became a Christian. I was staying the night at her house the night before her baptism when, groggily, she said, “There’s this pretty, multicolored thing. Oh, it’s moving toward your head.” I had been on the verge of sleep, but I sat bolt upright and opened my eyes to see a demon slid past me. She and I had many shared experiences, but always, demons appeared to her as something lovely (sometimes as fairy-like creatures), while appearing to me as something hideous. Her reasoning was that they were trying to lure her back into her previous lifestyle.

If you are an Open person, let me strongly dissuade you from trying to augment the things that you see and feel already for the very reason mentioned above. If you try “reach out” or open yourself further, things will accept your invitation. They may even seem like lovely things, but it’s a dangerous road. I’m not saying that you can’t try to clear your mind to “see” better when you are perceiving something. I am talking about a purposeful stretching outside of yourself or invitational access. When I was a child, and didn’t know better, I would reach out, and that only lead to worse things coming. As an adult and a Christian, I know better. I know those things are stronger than me (though not stronger than Christ) and seek to wreck havoc on my life.

I just asked God to have his way, and it was beautiful.

Now, that I have you concerned, let me strongly encourage you to ask the Lord to use the gift that he has given you however he wants, to show you what he needs you to see, make you perceptive to what he needs you to know, and let you sense what he needs you to feel. When I stopped being afraid of my gift, but asked God to have his way in it, I started seeing and sensing more than I ever had, and there was not an increase in negative experiences with it. It was after praying this that I saw an aura for the first time (and I thought those were total bunk – simply because I had never seen one) and felt another person’s soul. I didn’t try to be more open or do any exercises, I just asked God to have his way, and it was beautiful.

A final thought on Openness: Use discernment with whom you talk to about it (basically do as I say and not as I do).  I have shared what I thought was a beautiful experience with someone only to have that experience and myself attacked. Matt 7:6 applies here. “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”  People fear what they don’t understand, so I recommend you pray and tread lightly when it comes to sharing. There have been times that I knew that I was supposed to share something, but there have been many times where I knew that I was not supposed to. I used to struggle a lot with that: Why did I just see or feel that if I’m not supposed to share it?! My answer has been to pray for that person or that thing, and that has never been the wrong answer.