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. Over this time, he questioned his atheistic belief system, and even wondered whether God might love him. It was also the start of a journey for me where God dealt with me firmly about my issues and my embarrassment in stopping for the one in a known environment amongst peers.
It’s a story in which He essentially says, ‘get over yourself.’
It was mid Winter when I was driving with my then 2-year-old son to school to collect my daughter. It was smack in the middle of the Aussie Rules football season and, in typical Melbourne style, there was an icy drizzle.
We were nearly at school, when I saw a stay at home dad that I knew. M was walking to school in the rain. A rough gem wearing shorts and thongs (translation: flip-flops) or runners all year round, he had caused many of the women’s tongues to wag up at the school for his lack of ‘charm.’ Essentially, he called “a spade a spade,” and I liked him.
I pulled over and offered him a ride. He responded saying he would normally say ‘no,’ but on this day he would accept, because he had a sore knee.
He jumped into the car, and we rode the short distance to school, chatting as we went.
I asked about the knee.
‘It’s an old injury, requiring a knee reconstruction.’
By the time we were in the playground waiting for our children, I knew I needed 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 clear 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. In the picture, I was kneeling on the ground in front of him, and my hand was on his bare knee as I prayed. With that picture, I offered to pray.
‘I don’t believe in any of that stuff,’ he said, ‘but you can give it a go, if you like. If it works, it’ll be great. I’ll be able to play footy this Saturday, but I doubt it’ll work.’
I did not want to kneel. The ground was wet. He was a man wearing shorts. I felt it was inappropriate. Me kneeling in the wet with my hand on his bare knee. Worst of all, though, was that 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 prayed. As I prayed, I felt/heard a strong rebuke. It wasn’t nasty or mean, but it was firm. I heard Him clearly.
‘Stop being such a prude, get on your knees.’
Essentially, He was 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 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 all the car park mums, and I prayed. The mums turned to look at me. Embarrassed, I went on regardless.
Feeling vulnerable, I looked up at him.
‘Do you feel; anything?’ I asked.
‘I can feel heat,’ he said, so I kept praying.
‘Move your knee around, test it out,’ I said.
He did, and he said felt some relief, so I prayed again. I was still on my knees, but once done praying, I stood and asked him to try it out again.
He bent back and forth, moving the knee around.
‘All the pain has gone,’ he said.
‘Jump on it,’ I insisted as I jumped up and down on the spot.
He jumped up and down, looking amazed.
‘There’s no more pain! I would not have believed it, but I felt the heat. It’s amazing. I might be wrong about this stuff…’ he trailed off.
Delighted (and that is an understatement!), I got on with collecting my daughter and left it at that.
I saw him the following week.
‘How did you get on last weekend?’ I asked.
He looked at me, absolute joy crossing his face.
‘I played my game of footy last Saturday,’ he said, grinning from ear to ear.
I left school pickup that day, also grinning, knowing without a doubt that…
God is Good!
©Beth Kennedy 2022