An interesting question came to mind this morning: I put it on Facebook, and so far the answer has been highly positive… it began, as I read often (and had just read) posts that are vague and nebulous (if that’s the right word!) when it comes to telling of what God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit ARE doing. It was sparked when I read things like ‘God healing people’, ‘God doing what he does best’…. my immediate ‘head’ and heart response is…. tell me, what, how, when, who, where? And what did God do that was demonstrably him doing what he does best? Truth is, once we start to think that ‘God is doing his best’ it ‘humanises’ him, it can sound so condescending, as God never does LESS than God can do, which is everything.
My belief is that God heals people all the time, and He does what he does best ALL THE TIME – that’s why the earth stays in orbit, why we stay on it, why we breathe, why we live and move and have our being…. so what…what did God do that was ultra mention-worthy? Then it made mew think of my blogs, my Facebook posts…. which I try to make full of stories, especially when I’m away and they’re happening all the time, with names, details, places… and I wondered if it was TOO much information, and that it was boring….
For me, that sort of ‘boring’ is far better than vague, nebulous ‘nothing’. The response has been a blessing to my post, so, I’ll continue to bore you more and more as days and years pass…! My long-time great friend Neil Perrett, who sadly lives so far away that a morning coffee or lunch, on a regular basis, is out of the question (he lives in Vancouver!), said…more pictures, more hospital info….
Agreed. My biggest problem there is that really I need people to be TAKING those pictures, as, when you’re about to pray for someone, it’s a bit callous to say, ‘Can I have a picture of you sick/crippled/dying – and hope that at the end I can take some more of you healed/raised from the dead, etc’! Some people do take photos, and so here’s some that have been the subject of a story told in many, many places: I’ve just got the hard drive working that my friend Lee brought back from the USA, and these pictures are on it.
Story first! Sweden. Years ago, I used to (confession here!) leave people in wheelchairs to right at the end of a meeting/prayer ministry time, partly I’ll admit the fear that nothing would happen, and also so that, by then, hopefully, most of the other people would have gone home and not seem them NOT get out of their wheelchairs…. the last 10-15 years haven’t been like as my own faith and expectation levels rose.
This particular evening, there were three men in wheelchairs, none very old, and I made a mental note to go to them first, after I’d finished speaking. Often, praying for people is quite ‘random’ in that you pray for them in whatever order they come, but this night I felt that I wanted to begin with one of those three especially. I know no Swedish at all, except ‘takk’ and ‘ausfahrt’ (remember that one for the wrong reason!) – something you look for quickly if you’ve preached badly! (exit, if you don’t know the same word in German). So I went to talk to this wheelchair-bound man with a translator, and asked him his name, and what exactly was the problem.
‘José’ came the reply: so I said to him, in Spanish, that wasn’t a Swedish name, much more Latino. The next was all in Spanish…’That’s because I AM Latino’. ‘Where from?’ ‘A country not many people go to’. ‘Try me: I’ve been to quite a few in Central & South America’. ‘Colombia’. Those of you who know me will know the amazing special place Colombia has in my heart, for me, since 1997, a place of salvation, miracles, and healings, often extraordinary. I remember quietly saying ‘YESSSSS! Thank you, Lord!)…
‘Which part of Colombia?’… ‘A part foreigners don’t go to, in the south west’…’It wouldn’t be Cali, would it?’…’Yes’. Which part?’ ‘Oh, a part in the south-east foreigners don’t go to!’… I was loving every minute of this, as there was a GENUINE connection being made with Jose….
‘Would it be anywhere near Unicentro?’ (a shopping mall). ‘Yes’. ‘Near LA14 in Capri?’ (a large supermarket). ‘YES!!! You KNOW Capri?’ ‘Yes, I’ve stayed there a number of times…’. I even knew the street he’d lived on… ‘What do you want God to for you this evening, Jose?’. He was, if I recall, 46 years old, 2½ years in a wheelchair through a stroke, totally paralysed down his left side. ‘I want to play football with my boys, walk in the forest with my family in mid-summer, and ski in the winter!’ he said. I told him that for a Caleno (person from Cali!) to want to ski is a miracle in itself, as they never see snow there – it’s rarely below 25°C!
‘Well, Jose, get up then!’ He didn’t move for what seemed like – to me – an eternity, but just a few minutes. Then he lifted his totally static left hand, put it on the arm of his seat, and then..got up. He was ecstatic, I was in tears….even when you EXPECT things like that, God still blows you away…. I cry at most healings, miracles, and salvations – I’m really not very British!If you don’t like men crying, I’d suggest you don’t go anywhere with me…. A friend, Per, with us, took pictures.. Jose IN his wheelchair, his empty wheelchair, and him walking out of the building. They’re below….
I can’t work out how to make the pictures run together – IT dork! – but you get the idea… I was back there a few months later, and, as I walked in, the people were T, and Jose was there, standing, worshipping, arms raised…. the next guy, I always call him ‘Tony’ but I don’t think that was his name: also a stroke victim, 2+ years, a little younger than Jose: I asked him what he wanted. ‘I want what he’s just had….!’ and he got it…. If I could work out how to put more pictures in I’d put them in, too…. I need you Lee! (my IT genius)….
The last guy, youngest, stroke victim, I’m sorry, I don’t recall his name (perhaps out of sadness): I said to him ‘It must be easy for you now! What do you want God to do for you?’ What would YOUR answer be? He’d got 3 young kids, all under 12, if I remember. His was: ‘What will happen to my benefits?’ He didn’t want to get out of his chair if it meant losing his benefits….so he went home in his wheelchair. I THINK he was 38 years old….