10 July 2009

[talk: A Good Story with a Big Challenge]

This week, I had an opportunity to visit with an elderly couple that I hadn't seen in many, many years. They were lovely hosts and full of such quick wit and spunk, that I found myself engaged in some of the best conversation. He is in his mid 80's and she, in her late 70's.

He was once a prominent pastor in New Zealand, and also here in Canada. His passion for the lost, and for the broken, was inspiring to say the least.

He told me of what happened to him 8 months ago (with me paraphrasing the best I can):

"I received a phone call 8 months ago from a lady in Dallas, Texas. She asked me if I would pray for her, and I said 'of course, Love. what can I pray for?' She went on to tell me of her hardships. Her husband had left her, her one child was in jail due to involvement in drugs, her other child was selling her body on the streets to support her habit. She was living in a run-down trailer and was desperate for God's help. She wanted me to pray for her, to pray for a husband to help take care of her - she was exhausted and needed a helpmate."

"So," I replied. "You prayed for her?"

"Oh, yes," he answered. "I prayed that God would provide her with a good husband. And then, she asked, 'but how will I know if he's the one?' And I told her, 'He will bring you a gift.' 'A gift?' she asked. 'Yes,' I said. 'He will bring you two silver slippers.'"

Ok ... so that was a bit odd. But now I was curious as to what happened ... so I listened on.

"She called me up last week," he continued. "She said, 'Brother Bl******ld, I needed to call you and tell you what happened. Not long after you prayed for me, I got a phone call from a man in London, England. He and I were high school sweethearts. His wife of 30 years had passed, and he was terribly lonely and decided to google search my name. After we talked for a long time, he asked what I thought the chances would be of he and I having the same chemistry that we had in high school. I told him I didn't know. Then he said he would be coming on the next plane to find out and asked if I would meet him at the airport. I told him I would. After we found each other we walked to the baggage claim and he stopped. He said, 'I have a gift for you.' And he pulled out two silver slippers. We were married 3 months later and I am so very happy."

Isn't that just great?? First off, it's just a good ending to a good story, but secondly - it was a reminder to me that God still uses us, still talks to us and is very real today. We just have to listen and be obedient.

I found myself clinging to every word this man said, it was as if he had the "red phone" to God himself. And after meditating on it, I know that I can have the same open-line. Life just gets in the way of listening to His voice. In all honesty, when I get a few minutes of quiet, my first response isn't to dive in the Word, or to get on my knees ...

I often think about that ... how our parents would pray for us, and read the Word at the kitchen table. How our grandparents would cover us in prayer and protect us from life itself. I wonder about my own children's perception of God and my hubby's and my surrender to Him. Do they see it? Is it just Sunday mornings? Do they know we have an active relationship with Him, or do we only do those things in private, away from their eyes? ...

A massive challenge to me.


Lil Schmunk said...

What a wonderful story - very thought provoking....so glad you visited them...that would be the highlight of their day/month/year!

alisa said...

Love that story. Your thoughts in that last paragraph are exactly the thoughts I've had in the last few months. I think older generations more commonly did those things that would appear "religious" to many people in our generation ("religious" having a not-so-positive connotation in this case). It's too bad that those things/habits/expressions-of-faith which were once so common seem so rare & almost unusual these days. Despite it not being cool to be "religious" about one's faith, I think if we look back to those things practiced, many of them are very noble & wise things to do. Many of them we're called to do. I think we live in the Culture of Cool which can really take away a lot of potential for our walk with God. Thanks for sharing. It's nice to know someone else out there is thinking about the same things. ;)

Nadine said...

This story brought tears to my eyes. Whenever I hear of how God is working in people's lives, it brings emotions that I just have to let go. What a wonderful, practical way of seeing the way that God can touch our lives in such a powerful way. He really does give us the desires of our hearts, we just have to be willing to reach out and ask for help to get to that desire.
It's amazing how we have become such a society of "busy" that we have lost our way in the area of prayer and the word. I struggle with taking time to listen to Him and to give Him a chance to speak to me. Thank you for the reminder!