This is an older story – an early one in my journey of “stopping for the one”. It was the start of a journey that this man went on over the next year or two, where he started to question his atheistic belief system, and wonder whether he could also be loved by God. It was also the start of a journey for me where God dealt with me quite firmly about my issues and my embarrassment in stopping in a known environment amongst peers … it is a story in which He essentially says … “get over yourself, stop being a prude, kneel down and pray …”
It was mid Winter and I was driving to school to collect my daughter. It was smack in the middle of the Aussie Rules football season and in typical Melbourne style it was raining a drizzly type rain.
As I drove I saw a stay at home Dad that I had got to know called M. He was walking to school in the rain. M is a rough gem who wears shorts and thongs or runners all year round (winter and summer), and who had got many of the women’s tongues wagging up at the school for his lack of “charm” … in other words he called “a spade a spade”. I liked him.
I pulled over and offered him a ride. He responded by saying that that normally he would say no, but that on this day he would say yes because he had hurt his knee.
He jumped into the car and we rode the short distance to school, chatting as we went. I asked about the knee and he said that it was an old injury that required a knee reconstruction. By the time we were in the playground waiting for the kids to come out I knew I had to offer to pray, but did not know how to do it with him – in front of all the other mums at school pick up.
God had given me a picture, and I had just learnt that God will sometimes give us a picture of how He wants us to pray to release a healing. The picture I had received was that I was to kneel down in front of him and place my hand on his bare knee and pray as I knelt.
I offered to pray. M said did not believe in any of that stuff but that I could give it a go if I wanted. He then went on to say that if it worked it would be great to be able to play football that Saturday … but he doubted it would work.
I did not want to kneel – it was wet on the ground, he was a man wearing shorts and I felt it was inappropriate to kneel in front of him in the wet with my hand on his bare knee … and, what was worse, it was in front of all the other mums, milling around waiting for their kids to come out of school!
So, in my “wisdom” I placed my hand discreetly on his shoulder and started to pray. As I prayed I felt/heard a strong rebuke from God who said “Get on your knees” – essentially saying “I showed you how to pray, now do it”.
I took a deep breath, focusing on the fact that M could be healed, and told him that I needed to place my hand on his knee. And so I knelt in the wet, with the cold and wet coming through my jeans, in front of the car park mums and prayed. The mums looked at me and I felt very embarrassed, but went on regardless.
While on my knees, feeling very vulnerable, I looked up at him and asked if he felt anything – he said he felt heat and so I kept praying and then asked him to move the knee around … he did and he felt some relief so I prayed again, still on my knees and I then stood and asked him to try it out …
He bent it back and forth and said all the pain was gone. I asked him to jump on it, jumping up and down next to him as I did. He jumped up and down on it and looked amazed and said there was no more pain and that he would not have believed it … but that he had felt the heat and that it was amazing, that maybe he was wrong about all this stuff …
Delighted (and that is an understatement!), I got on with collecting my daughter and left it at that …
I saw him the following week and asked how he had got on. He said, like a little kid, with absolute joy, that he had played his game of footy that Saturday!
And I left knowing without a doubt that …
God is Good!