In my last post, I mentioned that as we had headed off on a walk, my husband, Andrew, had just stepped out and crossed his ‘chicken line.’ I was in a season of many encounters, many promptings to stop for the one on my way. He, in comparison, found stopping for strangers more challenging.
As we walked, I also had the sense that I was to keep a lookout, too.
We wandered up the beach and across a rope swing bridge that crossed the small seaside town’s river. As we wandered up the walkway, I saw a figure fishing from the vantage point of a wheelchair. Immediately, I knew he was someone I must stop for and offer to pray. Wheel chairs were my current ‘chicken line’* and though I had witnessed people being healed and ‘getting out of them,’** they still posed a place of challenge. See * and ** below for links to posts.
I watched as my husband and son, who were a little further ahead, walk straight past, unaware. As I walked hand in hand with my eight-year-old daughter, I readied myself to offer to pray.
Coming alongside the man, I opened up ‘the encounter’ with a comment about fishing. Anglers always seem up for a chat about fish, regardless of whether they are biting. Easy opener!
He reported his catch to us, and I casually asked him about the chair. He explained it resulted from a car crash 22 years prior. I listened, and then offered to pray for him to be healed, recounting the story of the girl’s healing of 2 broken legs.** She had been in a wheelchair when I met her in a shopping centre. I explained nothing seemed to happen when I prayed, but over the days to follow, the girl’s legs healed completely.
He agreed to the prayer.
My daughter stood by my side as I told him my name and he responded,
He gave me permission to place my hand on his upper spine, and I prayed.
I asked him whether he felt anything.
He didn’t, so I explained God was at work, anyway. I told him that people do not always feel anything, and yet they heal.
I rested in my heart, knowing I had felt the anointing flow; God had asked me to stop; and I trusted it was God’s will that he heal.
I prayed some more.
He then mentioned his left leg, and that he felt numbness. I asked for permission to place my hand on his knee and I commanded the feeling to return, for atrophy to leave, for strength to come, and I declared his body to be ‘on earth as it is in Heaven’ (Matthew 6:10). Praying as Jesus taught us to pray.
I then thanked him for his time, gave him a number to call and report any change and encouraged him to thank God for every bit of healing, every bit of improvement he noticed, explaining that often the healing comes as a seed and as we water it with thanks and praise it grows.
He promised me he would call with any improvement and I felt God prompt me to give him a kiss on the cheek. Now, I rarely kiss strange men on the cheek, or even give out my mobile (translate ‘cell’) phone number to men I do not know. To women, when prompted, yes, no problem. To men? No, no! But at this moment, I needed to obey. I sensed it would show an acceptance and a love to this elderly man who seemed to need it. And so, again, I asked for permission – this time to kiss him on the cheek.
Permission granted, I leant down, gave him a kiss, and I wished this man, I wished Michael, well.
My daughter and I happily wandered on in the autumn sunshine, to our destination of scones, jam and cream.
What happens to Michael next? I don’t know. He never called. But I knew, I sensed, that I needed to stop and pray that day. As my husband had done before me, I was to cross my chicken line. Once I responded, once I obeyed, I was then to rest, knowing that the stopping was God’s idea, and God’s ideas are always good!
I knew then, as I know now, that absolute good comes from stopping and offering to pray in response to God’s heart. For this man, for Michael, I knew good would come because…
God is Good!
Links to stories:
*My chicken line: Pulling back; stepping through… God is Good!
**Testimony of 2 broken legs being healed: Treasures in Darkness – Christmas Shopping with Jesus
PostScript: the ‘chicken line’ is a phrase coined by Kevin Dedmon that describes the act of stepping out into a place of risk by offering God’s love, in whatever form that may take, to others around us.
I believe the ‘chicken line’ is different for us all, but regardless, we are all called to cross over into that place, because in that place is where we experience risk which is faith in action (see book the Risk factor: Crossing the chicken line into your supernatural destiny by father and son Kevin and Chad Dedmon (2011).
Give it a go. It’s fun and God really will turn up because, well, you know… God is Good!
©Beth Kennedy 2022