Wiping Off Preacherly Sweat
The true worth of a message is measured by the amount of sweat produced by the deliverer. Especially if it's a convention speaker. C'mon. We Apostolics know good and well that if going to a convention, especially if we had to travel a little ways to get there, we didn't go to hear some man (and it's always a man, unless it's Ladies' Conference or something) give a calm lecture. We went to hear the preacher preach. Youknaaimsayin? And when the preacher preaches, really preaches, there will be stomping, there will be yelling, there will be heavy breathing (directly into the mic), but most of all, there will be sweat. No preacher worth his salt would dare grace the hallowed platform without his handkerchief to whip out to mop his brow in medias res.
The Wave Offering
Before the preacher gets into the message, a holy hush may wash over the congregation. More often than not, it's in the wake of a song that "ushers in" the spirit of worship. (Note: Fast songs usher in the spirit of praise, slow songs usher in the spirit of worship.) After a few spiritual shivers, the service leader or the preacher himself may give a general call for a "wave offering" unto the Lord. Since it's unlikely anyone would have barley sheaves or hunks of ram shoulder on hand to wave around in the air, most people will just move their hands to and fro. But the truly sanctified among us who are prepared to do wave offerings the right way will pull out handkerchiefs. There's just something about waving around a white handkerchief that makes things more dignified and righteous.
Hankies for the Sick
And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them (Acts 19: 11-12).
Some of us do exactly what this scripture says and send handkerchiefs to those who are sick. In my neck of the woods, we anoint them and pray over them first (a slight addition to the Acts account) and off the sanctified hankie goes to do its thing. (Though we know it's not the handkerchief itself that has any power . . . right? . . . right?)
Handkerchiefs, may you assume your rightful place among needful Apostolic church paraphernalia.