fire at dawn

(pic credit: ©2017 by Manny and Melissa Begley. Used with permission)

(note: this is a work of fiction, but ‘based on real events’…)



A person I barely knew from some church gig, the ‘you and a friend’ invite as I was stepping out of the local coffee-shop, describes an out-of-the-way location outside the city, driving instructions to an abandoned warehouse.

“Saturday, sundown. Please, don’t bring cell phones or recording devices, no tekk. Paper Bible’s fine. You and a friend. Plan on a long and late night, bring a water bottle and a towel. God’s coming.” Swoosh, he’s gone.

God’s coming? Bring a towel?

You have got to be kidding… but I’m now curious.

My friend was ‘sounds great, I’m in’.

Saturday arrives, we arrive, park in a dirt lot, mid-western dusky sky as a back-drop, water bottle, Bible and towel tucked under our arms..

We go in, gaggle near the door, my inviting friend sees me and comes over. He beckons, begins leading down the hall to the large room. “Glad you’re here, guys. I know it’s odd, but we’re all going to be totally quiet while we wait for our guests. It’ll start soon, won’t be a long wait.”

Then the kicker, “Word is, this guy coming had actually, physically walked with Jesus. Imagine?!”

We turned the corner, entered the large space, found seats. The room quickly went from half-full to packed to crammed. I could smell… fragrant smells. Chairs filled, people were standing around the circle, sitting in the aisles… people  now everywhere.

Nobody said a word. Occasional whispered questions, but… almost silence for a room with alot of people.

Palpable anticipation and curiosity, a couple of hundred of us, a slightly darkened room, rickety chairs in circular rows, a flickering oil-lamp on a table in the center… with loaves of bread and a cup… ?

There is no sound system, no microphone, no vid screens, no merch tables, no CD’s, no posters… No band, no stage, no pre-music playing, no smoke machine… No perky warm-up person… No T-shirts, logos and special hand-shake huddles… not even a beat-up guitar.


A metal door grated open, a half-dozen came in and tried stepped over and around people, heading towards the center circle. Guys and gals, young to middle-aged to older. It took awhile, with all the handshakes, hugs, cheek-kissing… what people do when they’re close…

The half-dozen sat in the center. Older guy stood. I could hear his breathing, the lamp-glow outlining a wonderful map of wrinkles, framed with bushy eyebrows and a scrubby beard.

“Cool, we’re gathered… Ekklesia.”

“Some of you are new to this.”

He turned slowly, eyes of knowing, resounding voice.

“Some of you feel there’s a secret being kept from you, that there’s way more… because there is…”

Many sat up, now hanging on every word.

“Some of you think you’ve gotta do something to make it happen…”

I’m listening…

 “That was before. The secret’s out. Now you’ll know… we’ll know… really know.”

He smiled.

“It’s so simple.”

Deep breath.

“He is here. With us. He always is.”

Arms out, hands up, surrendered.

“Always. Two or more, always, we’re enough. He is always here.”

Still turning slowly.

“Don’t need any rituals or noises or things, just us with Him.”

A girl began sobbing.

“Not in the wind. Not in the earthquake. Not in the fire. He gives not His Glory to anything or anyone else.”

The whole room nodded… where’s that breeze coming from?

“Silence the noise, the veil parts, and we see… You!”

Delight in his eyes, the old man was now addressing someone with an upward tilt.

“We see Your face! You! Only You! Your breath on our cheeks! Your smile! We reach out and touch… ”

We were coming out of silence, waking up, coming alive, really alive… Light in the room was changing… colours…

Tears in the older guy’s eyes glimmered in the lamp-light, “… You! We see You! Welcome, O great King!” He bowed deeply, rose up and beckoned to all of us.

“Come, friends! Ask Him to open your eyes and heal your ears! Ask Him to speak to you!”

He lifted his hands, head to the sky.

“Come, God the Holy Ghost! Show us Your Glory!”


What happened… and I had thought the second chapter of Acts was just a one-off!


…what I experienced… what we all experienced… Who we all experienced… are experiencing… changed forever… the secret’s out… eye had not seen, nor ear heard, nor entered into hearts…



(whisper) …him, invite him…

“Hey, man! …Yeah, it’s been awhile.”

“You free this Saturday night?”



“You’ll need a towel…”


written by crisbaj

© 2017 by crisbaj/  All rights reserved.

All Scripture references from New International Version unless otherwise indicated.

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