Hat under my arm, coat still dripping, I squeezed through the narrow crack in the doorand joined the congregation, taking an outside seat on one of the back pews.The entire congregation—young and old alike—listened with raptured attention to theflood of mysterious sounds that poured forth from the mouth of a young man standing onone of the front pews. He had turned around when I entered, and across the uneven seaof heads I watched him from my vantage point of self-imposed impartiality.He was young—no doubt about that—perhaps 21 or 22 years of age. His supernaturalperformance, however, more than replaced his obvious immaturity. There he stood,speaking, talking, uttering sounds definitely not from this part of the world. His wet hairframed a pockmarked face lost in rapture. Slender hands raised skyward as if reaching forGod, he talked on and on, praying in sounds that seemed to have no resemblance to aknown language—but that no one but me seemed to notice.Internally fused with an unknown power, his hands caressed the air, pleading, pulling,begging for something from on high, and with each passing second, my initial impressionthat something unearthly had taken possession of his innermost being gained strength.
An aging woman seated up front … suddenly arose