It was a dark and stormy night. I was scheduled to meet with a small group at a local church--was it worth it? My host didn't think so, guessing that only 2-3 people would be there, given the weather, and that it was summer.
"People are away or not motivated," she reminded me.
"True. But let's see what happens," I replied, and pushed myself out the door.
When I arrived, there were my three, faithfully gathered. One, a
visitor, asked if I knew where the leader was. No, I answered, I'm a
guest. She offered me a chair, and we sat and waited. Off to a good start, I thought.
While we sat, I learned the visitor was the daughter of an old friend of
mine at the church. We enjoyed chatting and sharing news, while the
other couple nodded approvingly.
The leader burst in then, looking harried, blurting out an apology--"I forgot about tonight!" and ushered us into the meeting room.
We took our seats around a table and he asked me what we were supposed
to do. I made a suggestion, he nodded, and off I launched into a brief
history of my ministry. A few minutes later, a single mom came in, with
her daughter, and sat down next to me (the daughter fixing me with an
unnerving stare). I lost my train of thought, but now we were six.
Regaining my composure, I returned to my story, when my new visitor friend
began coughing and sneezing uncontrollably. I hesitated.
okay?" I asked, "Do you need a glass of water?"
"I think I better leave," she apologized. "I'll just be disruptive."
"No," declared our leader, "I think Pat should pray. You've been
talking about healing in France; why don't you pray for it here?" Yikes. How did we get to this?!
I hesitated again, looked at the miserable, coughing, sneezing woman, who was looking at me with hopeful eyes. So she has faith, I thought.
"Would that be okay with you?" I asked her.
"Oh yes!" she brightened.
"Ok then!" I asked the leader to join me and we each laid a hand on her
shoulders. I invited the others to pray with us, and then asked God to
unclog whatever was clogged, dry up the congestion and...can I just say
I didn't have a lot of courage at this point?!
"My left nostril just opened!" the woman exclaimed, interrupting my cowardice and startling us all.
"Praise God!" the single mom rejoined, and the fervency of prayer dramatically increased.
On we prayed and the woman began inhaling more and more deeply, as if
coming up from underwater, and was soon weeping,
"I've not been able to
do that for years!"
What joy filled that room. Our 'ordinary world' had just gone
spectacular. As we finished our prayer time, the woman, completely
healed, glowed with gratitude and joy.
I drove back in that dark and stormy night, shaking my head. Worth it?
Absolutely, and why I continue to meet with any and every group or
person that wants to hear more of what I'm doing. You just never know when God is going to show up. Within the
month, I had three checks from a very grateful small group that had been
touched by God.
My own touch from God was to encourage me again to press on into two of
the most perplexing mysteries of my life and faith: raising funds for ministry and healing.
I've learned that I need to keep showing up and praying, because you
never know when God is going to show up. And it seems that the more I
show up, the more He does.