If we are genuine in our interactions with those that we meet along our way, we will create relatability pathways for God to flow through us. As we go about our life, authenticity attracts people and creates opportunities for us to connect with those who just might need a touch from God.
I was shopping for jeans in the seaside town where we take summer holidays. It had been 2 years since my family and I had last been there and on our walks; we noticed several stores had shut down, presumably because of the financial struggle caused by the various travel restrictions in our state.
Regardless, a few local clothing stores had remained open, and so I took some time out to see if I could find the perfect pair of jeans.
I found a store and tried various items on, chatting with the store owner as I did. In our discussion, she shared that her mother had died the previous year. I expressed my condolences and shared with her that my mother had also just passed away only 8 weeks before. My emotional rawness was clear to her as my eyes moistened.
We continued to chat while I chose my items and paid for my purchase.
I mentioned how well she had done to keep afloat through the last few years. She responded by saying how tough it had been to keep a store going without the usual tourist trade. Her emotion was again suddenly real and raw.
I felt a gentle nudge to pray.
‘Give me your hand. I’m a Christian and I’d love to pray for,’ I said, and reached out my hand.
She gave me her hand, and I listened quietly to what God had to say.
I took a deep breath and told her what I discerned Him saying, as I prayed in to the issues I sensed in her life.
She cried gently as an employee stood by her side.
‘That’s exactly as it is, isn’t it?’ she said, looking sideways at her employee.
I told her God loved her. As a gentle, loving Father he wanted to take the pressure and the pain. He wanted to carry the heaviness of the load she was holding. He wanted her to give Him all the things that buried her deep with worry and pain.
She looked at me.
‘When my mother died, I asked to be let into the local church here in town. As I sat, I felt at peace. There was certainly something there. A presence.’
I smiled, a little teary myself, and said,
‘Yes. If you asked God to come, He would have been there, for He is a person, a tangible Presence, not a building, nor a religion, but a person. So, a tangible something, or someone who we call the Holy Spirit, would be there.’
We chatted a little more, and I gave her a hug, thanking her for the privilege of allowing me to pray.
I headed off, amazed at how beautiful God was.
A little later, I went to put on my new jeans, and realized they gave me the wrong size jeans, so I quickly made my way back to the store.
As I walked in, I joked, saying,
‘You just wanted me to come back and release that peace again.’
The owner laughed and said,
‘I certainly feel much better, much calmer.’
I recounted a few stories of God’s goodness in her town. The many folks He had asked me to stop for – the businesses blessed, the destinies opened, the encouragements given.
‘He’s real, and he loves this town. Each one I prayed for felt His tangible presence and saw His breakthrough and kindness.’
Sensing it was enough said, I waved my goodbye, wishing her well.
Again, this is yet another simple story. I tell it, so you know it does not need to be thunder bolts and heralding angels for you to stop and pray for the one.
If we will just be real.
Respond in love.
Lean into the heartbeat of heaven.
We do not have to be perfect. We do not have to have it all together. I certainly don’t!
If we will just be us, it will be enough. Being fully us, with all the mess and problems we encounter, we can then invite the Creator of the Universe into our midst for the one who stands before us in our day. Regardless of us and our own circumstances.
As we show ourselves in life, we become relatable and those around us know that they too do not need to be perfect to come to Him. We, the imperfect messy ones, can allow the Kingdom to flow through us. Authenticity attracts, and as we make room for God in our day, even in our messiness, we, through our prayers, become a highway through which the Lord’s presence can flow. They will encounter Jesus and it will make him real for the ones who are hurting around us.
As we stop and reach out, even amid our messiness, the world will taste and see that…
God is Good!
© Beth Kennedy 2023
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