Openness can take different forms. Mine has largely been visual, so I should not have been surprised me when God started using it to show me things, but I was. I remember the first time I looked at someone and saw depression (they were leading worship at a big youth event). I was shocked. The person didn’t outwardly looked depressed, but I could “see” it as plainly as if they were wearing it. I didn’t know the person, and I had no idea what to do with what I was seeing, so I prayed. I prayed for them for a long time because the vivid image lingered with me.
Any good skeptic is familiar with cold reading, and oh, I can do it very well. I’m not too observant about what’s going on around me, but when I zero in on someone, I can cold read well enough that I could get paid doing it (think Professor Marvel in the Wizard of Oz). I was telling a friend about cold reading while shopping in the mall once and to show them asked the casher if she minded (she didn’t), so I read her. She said I was spot on and was amused. I’m telling you this story for a few reasons: 1. If you are Open, you are a little extra preceptive and can probably do that trick too. 2. When God shows me something, it is nothing like that parlor trick. It is not perceiving. It is like literally seeing another reality painted atop the current one.
We walk in the physical, but we are spiritual too.
I call it “seeing” because it is a visual thing for me, but that is a poor explanation. It is not something that I can choose to do by focusing, like cold reading; rather, it is like a flash of reality, this same reality, but with more. We walk in the physical, but we are spiritual too. I have had flashes of spiritual dimension and have seen pornography addictions, adults who are really wounded children, and depth of character. There have been a few times that I have not understood what I was seeing and have prayed both “What do I see?” and that I would “see correctly” (Jer 1:11-12).
In all this, my prayer is that God will do what he wants and bring glory to himself. He made me, and after years of kicking against the goads (Acts 26:14), I have stopped resisting how he made me just because current Christian culture does not leave room for such experiences…just because current American (and my own) skepticism does not leave room for such experiences. Christians, by and large, have had such a knee-jerk reaction to anything that seems to be “New Age” or “occult” that there aren’t writings for how to navigate or respond to such things. So, I pray also for wisdom and discernment.
Expect it to be different, to be beautiful. Let yourself taste and See that God is good.
If you are Open, let me encourage you to do the same. Stop fighting against how God made you. He has a purpose in it. I’m sure that, like me, you have had many unusual experiences. There was so much I didn’t touch on because experiences with Openness can vary as much as we do. My advice is the same regardless: Pray that God brings about his purpose in your life and your gifting, ask him for wisdom and guidance, and finally, get ready. Our God is the wild, creative, and untamed Lion. When you let him have his way in your life, do not expect it to conform to culture. Expect it to be different and to be beautiful. Let yourself taste and See that God is good.