Thursday, September 04, 2008
Burning Man 2008 Report
By Rob Mazza
These times are so uncertain
There's a yearning undefined
... people filled with rage
We all need a little tenderness
How can love survive in such a graceless age?
- the Eagles "The Heart of the Matter"
"Thank you for a wonderful experience connecting with Jesus. I feel my feet are stronger and my heart is warmer. Thank you healers who sat by me as I broke down and felt a new kind of love" - anonymous entry in our Burning Man guest book
I'm with a small team kneeling on a alkali dusty carpet embracing a woman in a black neglige. She's coughing out unwanted demons. We're quietly reminding her Jesus -perfect love is here - the fear must leave. "I can't feel my hands" They have become twisted claws. We hold them and they relax and color returns with love and power. At some point her mind returns and she is tugging at her hem. The team smiles at modesty returning. I give Em my best father's hug. My shirt is a mess with tears and snot. Em and friend Tyler will be back several times with friends who want to experience this Jesus. They are shepherds and don't know it yet.
I'm honestly a mess. We have crossed another invisible line into this desperate culture where we are loved. Speaking for an amazingly stretched in love team - thirty three of us miss our reality. The author of Acts (a healer himself) talks about Moses and a church ("called out ones" remember the Greek meaning?) in the wilderness and the angel who spoke and gave him living oracles to give to the people. We feel this passage in this strange land. Our Native friend and team member Elmer said he saw the silent angel at our encounter tent entrance. Linda Prince, Native leader protocoled our team and during her drum prayer she spoke of "God being a fire over us" Mid week, we hear a guy has asked where our camp was located. A fellow sojourner answered "The camp with the halo over it" He found us. Fire by day.
We have crossed over. Supernatural experience grounded in sensitivity and Dad's love have morphed into the next stage of council, teaching and pastoring. This has not been easy or perfect or flawless. It has been faith and all God. We now have a "church" and it's not pretty. It's beautiful. One day, I go to lunch an hour late because there's a line of hungry post encounter young people waiting to talk - about God, about spirituality, about how things work or what the h--- just happened?. Our team fields similar questions from the undefined yearning. "Well who would have thunk it? These people are really real. Thanks, thanks, thanks" writes a guy named Bear.
Monday, day 2, we were hunkered down in wind gusts and swirls of dust. The only safe place to go was our dome. Loaded with guests dancing and lying about, our worship drummers lead the atmosphere. Lisa Matschek & I walk in, look at one another and start laying hands on our guests, then we impart to our team our traditional way to start the week's ministry. God does the agenda, Burners and believers in swirl of worship. We noted no religious opposition.
In the waiting room the thickness of Spirit's presence causes interesting dynamics to those who wander in. One young woman says to us before her encounter "How do I meet this God you know?"
Tom has an encounter with the Spirit of Truth that goes into eternal overtime at an hour and three quarters. A trance/dance of love he does not want to leave. He returns again the next day changed.
I have this consistent urge to tell our team "We are the mother's and father's of the playa" I actually say it at least once... Darren Zinn has a healing encounter with Sandy in the dome. He sends her to the encounter tent. Her world is rocked. A day or two later he brings tools to do bike repair at her Snake Camp home. She pauses, looks at him and says "You guys are the mother's and father's of the playa" Prophesy like the dust swirls about us and finds our every crevice.
So many human stories woven in with your prayers answered. I wish I could write more. An older guy in his late 50's early 60's claims he is an agnostic priest (How does that work?) comes to the Way of salvation. An ornery guy from Israel loud and confrontational "Are you Christians going to baptize me?" leaves shaken, quiet and thanking us.
Thank you for praying. Thank you for the generous financial support. This is a Lewis and Clark investment in a frontier of promise. A trade route for those to follow us. The grapes, the land and the people are worth it. Thank you Native peoples for teaching the ways of God in honor and protocol. Thanks to wives, husbands and children for releasing and enduring our absence so we can pursue the unknown over the last five years. You are all co-working to uncover the gold of hearts. As the Moravians would say on missionary journeys; "May the Lamb receive the reward of His suffering" Gold is the reward of kings.
Malachi 4:5,6 May look like this:
In the last days a fathering prophetic generation will be sent to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the heart's of the children to the fathers. At dinner we have many burner friends. Our neighbors comment on our laughter.
I don't know. We could do a lot worse.