Friday, August 10, 2007

Akiane-- Child Prodigy

Where does vision come from? Vision to paint, or to write, to sing or to play. Some folks think it is a natural talent that some people are just born with. But if that is true, then why couldn't it simply be inherited from a gifted parent? Others think it is a matter of developing a skill over time, and of course it is true that we get better at things through hard work and repetition, but this does not plumb the depths of what happens in the case of a prodigy. Consider for example the case of Akiane, now 10. She's been painting and writing poetry since she was very small. She did not learn this at school, or for that matter at home either. Here is the link:

(if you have trouble with the link, then go to Google Video and type in Akiane)

Having watched this, several things are evident. Here is a young girl who had a strong sense of God's presence and where her gift came from at a very early age. Notice what she says at the end of the video about God and Christ being there with her from the cradle. Equally interesting is her description of getting images and visions in her head to paint. Notice that she is painting what she has images of in her head, not from images she sees in the natural world. The ancients would call such a person a visionary.

I have to say I can relate to a story like this. There has been many times when a vivid dream would wake me up in the middle of the night, and I would have to go and write a poem, or something else. And there is a strong feeling that I will have no peace unless I get this out there, and out of my system.

There is now a fair bit of literature about Indigo Children, so-called because they are said to see a blue aura around the dreams or visions they have of things. I can't really speak to this, as I have not seen things that way, but this I am prepared to say. As Romans 1 suggests, we are all created in the image of God, and as such have a capacity not only for relationship with God, but to receive gifts from God. Some people are more aware and open to this than others, and some are fairly oblivious to it. There is in addition a harding that happens to people over time as they become more worldly wise and weary, and lose their innocence. Sin does this to people-- it deadens them to God and to receiving spiritual gifts. This is one of the reasons when we see a child prodigy it becomes more evident that this is not a learned skill but must come from somewhere else. Of course an excellent example of this is Mozart, whose life story is worth reading.

So watch the Akiane video and perhaps some of the related segments. You can find this video on U Tube as well, of course. And then lets have a conversation about this. Now you will notice as well, that the way this gifting is interpreted varies, depending on the religious background of the people (or lack there of). Thus one family talks about reincarnation of previous family members in their children, and so on. Here is where I say that people can have genuine gifts from God, but misinterpret their source, meaning, and purpose. And indeed it is also possible to have 'gifts' from sources other than God, from demonic sources unfortunately. This is why spiritual knowledge and discernment is necessary in such cases. But with Akiane I have no reservations about where her gifts are coming from. She seeks to honor the Lord in all she does.
Now here is the surprise. This video was sent to me by a close friend of mine from Turkey, who grew up a secular Moslem (as are many Turks). She came with me to Israel the last time I went, and asked to be baptized by me in the Jordan, and receive communion for the first time, professing her belief in Jesus. God has been doing some things in her life, and thus she sent this video along to me.



paul said...

"Here is where I say that people can have genuine gifts from God, but misinterpret their source, meaning, and purpose."

I think this gets to the heart of a lot of what Christians struggle with when they see God working through non-Christians. Something can be from God even if people don't acknowledge it. I'm interested to see where this discussion goes.

Ben. I know how you feel about us going "off topic" but have you heard of the Zeitgeist movie? It's a lot of conspiracy theory, but a lot of people are talking about it. I would love to know your thoughts some time. (Wait before you abandon it... I almost didn't make it past the first 5 minutes... but when they get into the astrological / comparative religion stuff is when it gets interesting. And yes, we all know Jesus was not born on Dec 25) Thanks.

matt gallion said...

That was incredibly inspiring, and your own thoughts were challenging. It makes me wonder what incredible things I could be capable of accomplishing if I simply responded to some of the visions that God has given me. We truly are so oblivious to the work of God in our everyday lives. At least, I am. I am continually amazed at the awesome ways in which God chooses to reveal himself in the world, and that he chooses to use us in such unfathomable ways to bring himself glory.

Ben Witherington said...

It is amazing what you can see if you just open your eyes and look. One thing I learned long ago-- listen to people who are spiritually wide open, and have nothing to gain by making outlandish claims, whoever they are. Of course you have to critically sift what you learn, but that is true anyway.

I agree that most of the time, we are oblivious to what God is trying to get through to us.

It is not an accident that most people are more likely to hear and understand God's guidance when they are in a crisis and needing help-- this is when they are searching for answers and are more open to suggestions. This is when the Holy Spirit can get a word in edgewise.


Ben W.

Unknown said...

God bless you for this blog. I am one of those "oblivious to what God is trying to get through to us" individuals. I have squandered precious time and talent God has given me for nothing. I have been in the process of rectifying this, and this post was very encouraging to me.