MY FIRST GHOST

The first time I received the Holy Spirit, I was a little guy among my fellow little guys; my cousins. Cousins from three different sets of parents. It was the long holiday, and we had chosen an aunt’s place to pitch our collective tents. Holidaymakers we were, and she fondly called us her battalion anywhere we went with her that our noisy chatter invited the need for introductions. She was also a believer. The aggressive kind that did tours to find solutions to problems — real or imagined. The church we went to that Sunday was that of an acquaintance from older tours. We met the service midway, the consequence of a full house, and settled in eventually. As the service went on and the atmosphere was charged, people that aspired to be filled with the Holy Spirit — after giving their lives to Christ, of course — were encouraged to wait behind after the close of service for a special concentrated session. I and my gang of littles — average age being nine — decided that having gone out for the altar call, there was no harm in going the full nine yards. Besides, what was cooler than having your own personal spirit that told you what to do and assisted you. There was the added bonus of mumbling supposedly useful gibberish to make stuff happen. Too cool to ignore. The pride in accepting to be filled with the Holy Spirit was great, you know, being the only little ones in church determined and interested in getting to know God better.

The church closed and we went outside, standing on a large balcony that was part of the church building. We, standing among way older and taller people, bowing our heads with them, going through the same rituals they were and repeating the same things they had to. It was satisfying. We mumbled the gibberish according to instructions and were told not to force it, that eventually, and with repetition, it would come to us naturally. We agreed and dispersed, still getting attention for being the only kids there and all being from one family. Went straight to our heads, I tell you.

Anyway, what was done was done, and we came downstairs to my Uncle and Aunt waiting for us. They had a thing where they almost always waited after the close of service too, to see the pastor in charge for supplication, intercession, and its accompaniments, so we didn’t keep them waiting idly for too long. What was funny in retrospect, was when we refused to enter the car with them. Why? We had just been filled with the Holy Spirit, and the music that was jamming in the car was sure to contaminate us. We wanted no parts. The older people had a good laugh and let us have our way. This ‘bliss’ lasted ONE day. For the many remaining days of our holiday, we were back on routine; ragtag play, scathing speech, general rowdiness, and complete amnesia concerning that glorious Sunday. Don’t believe ghost stories.

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