If Only You Knew

I remember the very first time I engaged in a listening prayer. It was my first year as an undergrad, and I was involved in a Christian Fellowship group on campus: Intervarsity. At the time, my roommate, Genesis, would coax me into going to their La Fe small group. This particular Wednesday night, we were all gathered together in our friend Luis’ backyard, where Joanna Love would lead our meetings.

We were placed in groups, and given a piece of paper. We were to write our names on the paper, then pass it to the person beside us for prayer. Person after person, we sat in silence and listened. I honestly didn’t know what I was doing, listening? Listening for God? I didn’t know what that meant. In fact, I remember squeezing my eyes so tight because I wanted so badly to concentrate. I didn’t receive anything for most people, until Holliston’s paper was handed to me.

I remember so vividly, Joanna gave us a prompt: You’re walking into an empty room and there is a box in right in the center. You open it, and peer inside. What do you see?

I remember I saw framed family photos and was very confused. Photos? Family photos? What does that even mean? So, without a second thought, I just jot down the image and passed the paper to the next person.

At the end of the meeting, Holliston approached me, overcome with emotion, and said that my image was spot on, and spoke directly to her life. I remember feeling shocked, like, Whoa. What is this? Is this a thing? God can speak to us through images?! This is something real?!

Now I look back, and laugh and smile at my younger self. If only you knew. If only you knew that those weirdos, Luis, Joanna, and Genesis, were going to be the people you would do life with in the future. If only you knew the gifts God has given you. If only you knew, you’d continue using those images for a greater purpose.

And now, I can’t help but think. One day, my older self will be looking back at me saying the same exact thing: If only you knew.

Pioneer Karla Marissa