The call, the battle, and the kingdom
Today I got a phone call that was completely unexpected. Four weeks ago while doing our regular Tuesday evening outreach, my friends Mark and Ryan and I went to a Buy4Less grocery store looking for opportunities to put God's kingdom on display. While we were there, we saw a lady who was walking with a cane. Long story short, after praying for her with a store employee who helped us out by translating, she was healed and was able to walk without pain and without the aid of her cane. She, her husband, and the lady who was translating for us were all totally amazed. (You can read that full story on my Facebook post from April 30th.) I didn't really think I would ever hear anything else about the lady again. Then today, I received a couple calls from an international number I didn't recognize, so I didn't answer it. The second time I got a voicemail. "Hello, I'm calling from Mexico City. You prayed for my cousin at the Buy4Less grocery store and she had a miracle. She had pain in her leg and couldn't walk without a cane because of a car accident, and now she can walk. I need prayer. Please call me."
I called the lady, and she told me that her cousin was still totally healed and that she no longer has pain in her legs or needs the aid of a cane. I had given her cousin my number, and she in turn told the cousin in Mexico City about what God had done. "It's a miracle, what happened to my cousin," she exclaimed. "My cousin was totally healed, and she gave me your number because I am going blind in my left eye. I need prayer."
Two things gripped my heart when I heard this. I was excited to hear the follow up to this story and was again reminded of the goodness of God and the call to live my life with love and power. But my heart was also torn because my little Tyler was in the next room having one of the worst days he's had with this mystery illness that feels like an F5 tornado twisting and thrashing his little body and brain. A part of me was so excited because I remembered the face of this lady's cousin as tears of joy rolled down her face and the pain left, and she was now free to walk without pain or a cane. I remembered the Buy4Less employee
translator telling me that the lady said, "I stopped believing in God years ago because of a tragedy that happened in my family, but today I believe again in God." She lit up with hope and walked away carrying her cane in her hand. But I also wrestled, wondering what about my little boy? I could relate to her battle. To be honest, I didn't want pray but her faith and need grabbed ahold of my heart, and the the war was on. Would I look to my own pain of not seeing my son healed yet and suffering? Would and listen to the fiery darts of doubt that the enemy shot my direction? Or would I choose to live in His commissioning and calling to love and serve another? So I took my mustard seed of faith and entrusted it to Jesus.
I asked the lady on the phone from Mexico City more about her condition. She told me that on a scale from one to ten, her eyesight was a nine. I prayed with her over the phone for about fifteen minutes, and during that time 50% of her eyesight returned. "It's not a miracle yet, but I can see! It's blurry, but I can see!" I was reminded of the story when Jesus prayed for the blind man. Jesus asked, "What do you see?"
"I see men that look like trees," the man replied. He prayed again, and the blind man could totally see. If Jesus had to pray twice, then I think we get at least a few extra tries. She was so grateful that her sight had improved by almost 5O% . She was so excited. "I can see! Even though it's blurry, I can see!"
She would have let me pray longer, but she realized she had to leave for work. She asked if she could call me later so I could pray more. It was exciting and encouraging to have had the opportunity to pray with her. I kept telling her, "This is Jesus, and he loves you so much."
The kingdom of God is at hand even when a lady from Mexico City who you don't know and who's going blind calls you and your son is suffering from a sickness you don't understand. All I can say is this is war. We live in tension, but God is good and we are called to live our lives with love and power in the midst of our own storms and sufferings.