God gave me kisses on Thursday. I had been flat, I needed encouragement.
He is the God who sees…
The next day, I saw a great friend. You know the type: encouraging, positive, loves your quirkiness and knows you well enough to brush the dirt away gently to reveal the gold while calling you higher. Community matters!
Home again, I sorted daughter responsibilities, and felt to take our dog for a quick walk. Her life long buddy died recently, and she is more needy these days.
As I walked I thought about two random moments from years ago. Both these moments involved drunk guys. Andrew had stopped for them. One was a homeless man whom Andrew took shopping – he had cried tears in delight as Andrew ‘just happened’ to pick up his favourite foods and load up the trolley. The other man wept in the dark as Andrew sat by his side in the local football stadium, talking about his broken marriage.
These ‘random’ memories should have pointed me to what would happen next – but I was none the wiser.
As I walked into the local footy oval, I saw a man to my left. At his feet was a wine box, with a couple of bottles of champagne.
He averted his gaze. I sensed sensed his shame and as I did my heart went out to him. His despair and sadness was tangible. With a nudge to acknowledge him as I walked past, I smiled gently.
‘Hello,’ I said.
A quiet ‘hello’ came back.
I continued to walk, and I ‘saw’ in my mind’s eye a picture of me sitting next to him on the park bench, talking.
I never choose to sit down next to drunk men at parks.
I prayed instead.
The image in my mind stuck.
‘I will stop for him and sit if you like. Just let me know if I stop on my first or second lap.’
As I came near to where he sat, he got up.
‘Oh, he’s leaving,’ I thought, ‘missed it.’
However, to my surprise, he merely shifted along to the next park bench. Some men had been working on the turf, so I reasoned he was perhaps uncomfortable. He seemed a gentle soul. He later told me he had become too hot in the sun.
His shift of seating made it difficult to join him, so as I walked close to the boundary fence instead and said, ‘Are you ok?’
‘No, I’m not, I’m actually really struggling,’ he replied.
His vulnerability was raw.
‘Wow, that must be tough. Do you want to talk about it?’ I asked.
He did, and he started talking.
After a little while, I mentioned I was a Christian. I explained I had felt prompted to come over to see if he was ok. Note: I have great local non-Christian friends who would have done the same.
I told him about the picture I had of us sitting and chatting. He said that sounded nice.
We sat side by side on the park bench. I listened some more. He spoke. I prayed for him. He wept.
I told Him about the God who sees him, who loved him right as he was. I spoke briefly of my messes…
I told him God did not judge the drinking, the pain, the mess, the self medicating; instead, I explained, God adored him. I responded to a comment that God did not judge him, that Jesus had dealt with all that, but then I said I was not there to preach.
I repeated God loved him so much and merely hated the drink because it hurt him. I also said that God sees and hates the hurt that he was trying to stifle, and like a good Father wants to see him set free in order to have a wonderful life.
As I prayed, I saw a picture of a little boy. The boy was so full of joy and excitement about football that his eyes shone with delight. Speaking to the broken dream in his heart, I prayed for the boy who had played football and cricket at the very oval we sat beside.
I told him he could not be any more loved than he was right now, just as he was. He shared his struggles to believe in a God that could ‘allow’ such pain in the world. I told him he had good questions, and I responded by telling him of my own struggles with faith when faced with the brutality my refugee clients had survived.
We kept talking, he wept, he drank, and my dog sat patiently by my side.
Eventually he said how much my saying ‘hello’ had meant to him.
It was a tiny, yet significant, act of kindness.
I shared how God prompted me to sit by his side, and how I had prayed for him as I walked all around the oval.
‘Really?’ he said…
I said simply, ‘He is the God who sees, He loves you, He cares’ and I thought of my encounter the day before.
He is the God who sees…
Eventually I stood, I needed to leave. I had to return home to help my mother, whose sister (my aunt) had just died. Promising to leave Andrew’s number at the reception of his accommodation, I said we would love to see him for a coffee. Drunk or not, it was ok; he was welcome just to catch up.
He said he would like that.
I felt the urge to give him a hug; but ignored it the first time. Feeling it again, I offered him a hug. He immediately responded ‘yes’ and threw his arms around me in a way that he was desperate for love. He was hungry for the acceptance that only human warmth can provide. As I hugged him, I hoped he felt the Father’s heart. I could feel his basic human need to be seen and to be loved.
I hope he calls for a cuppa.
I also hope he can kick the addiction and step into his inheritance. I had prayed a future I saw.
He has kicked the habit before. I believe he will again.
Yet, even if he can’t, he knows there is a God who loves him, right where he is at. He knows there is a God who sent a random female stranger to sit and talk on a park bench for an hour.
Yesterday, God gave me kisses…
He was the God who sees…
Today God gave him kisses…
He IS the God that sees…
I hope and trust that this man at the park tasted to see that…
We had a few hours on a Saturday to do child free Christmas shopping before going to a movie. With our list in hand, we did not know that Jesus had His own Christmas shopping list for us to do too…!
I was in the ‘ladies’ when I found the first on His list. God told me to pray for someone outside my cubicle. Side note: Yes, He talks to me everywhere.
‘She has been a great blessing to others for many, many years, I want you to bless her’.
As I washed my hands, I looked at ‘her’ in the mirror.
She was an elderly woman waiting for her granddaughter. I introduced myself and stated that that I believed she had been a great blessing to many people over the years. I then asked if I could pray a blessing over her. She looked surprised but agreed.
Her name was Joy.
She was the second Joy I had prayed for that week and I mentally noted the ‘coincidence.’
I blessed Joy knowing that she knew Joy and was familiar with the Joy of God. She teared up a little as I prayed and blessed her, and once done, she asked if I would also pray for her granddaughter. I agreed and prayed and prophesied over her granddaughter, declaring her destiny would open and unfold, that she was a pillar and a leader in the coming move of God, which I believed would be a move that came through the youth in power. Joy excitedly said she had been praying for revival for years…
My husband had been waiting patiently outside. He knew what was going on inside because people were coming out from the bathroom saying in amazement that there was “someone praying in there for people…” and pointing back to the door. Andrew knew what I was up to and laughed. I hadn’t thought about that sort of impact, but it was quite funny…
Jesus assignment done, we got a coffee and discussed our shopping…
As we waited for our coffees, I popped into another store to “bag” our first item. C served me, and yes, God had me pray for her. C was a young girl (about 16) who “felt” the anointing as I prayed. I prophesied she would discover who she was and why she was in the next two years. She had said she did not know, but my gosh, she was a marvellous girl!. I headed off with my purchase and sat with my husband to finish our coffee…
I felt I had done my dash, and we headed off to a sporting store. We purchased nothing, but on our way out I walked past a very disabled girl with her parents. Strapped into her wheelchair, her arms and legs fastened down. The girl’s body was small, deformed, and she displayed no control over her head movements. I felt God’s strong desire for me to pray, but I was so intimidated by the severity of her condition. I internally argued with God as we walked away from the store, but ultimately said:
‘Ok, for You, I’m willing to do it…’ and I went back to search the shop.
I found the girl with her parents waiting at the checkout. The intensity of my nerves made it an extreme fight to approach them. I fought the extreme urge to walk away, knowing that God really wanted me to ask if I could pray for her…
Stopping in front of her chair, I asked her parents if I could pray. I desperately did not want them to feel that I felt sorry for them, but I also wanted them to know that I cared. They agreed, so I knelt and addressed their daughter, who could not talk at all.
She was dribbling and had an angry-looking rash on her face from the dampness of her dribble. Her hands were unformed, and her body was tiny. I knelt and taking her hand in mine, and I quietly introduced myself. Her parents looked weary and watched on as I prayed, and her father leant in to listen.
As I prayed, she locked her gaze on mine. I believe she could clearly feel God as I prayed for her. The frantic movements slowed, and she held onto my gaze several times. I prayed for her parents too and asked God to provide solutions.
Leaving the store, I thanked the girl and parents for stopping and allowing me to pray for them. I felt wobbly and said to Andrew it must be nerves; instead he encouraged me, suggesting it was the intensity of anointing…
“Ok” I thought, “big one down”, shake, shake, shake, “gosh, ok, deep breath” shake, shake, shake…
I slowly settled down as we walked through Big W, fighting the negative thoughts, the accusations of failure and the residual impact of the nerves.
As the legs stopped shaking, I could focus on our task at hand. Andrew encouraging me all the way, we successfully made further purchases.
As we left God prompted me to pray for the cashier who said to me ‘I am not a Christian’ to which I said something like ‘that doesn’t matter, I can still bless you’ which I promptly did, placing my hand on his elbow as I spoke peace over him for this season of business.
It was time for our movie, so we headed toward the theatre. To our surprise, we had calmly and easily done all our shopping.
I felt quite successful, having bagged all that we had, and I waited while Andrew put our purchases into the car. As I stood, I tried to ignore a young girl in a wheelchair. I had noticed her out of the corner of my eye. I calmly ignored the very brief, quiet prompting, preferring to hear the louder “no” that came very much on top of the whispered ‘pray for her’. The prompt was so subtle, and I wanted to get to our movie on time, so I tried to ignore her, and I literally turned my back.
I stood and argued internally, but it was no good; I knew I had to stop for this one too.
Walking over to the girl’s mother, I introduced myself, asked what her daughter had done and if I could pray. The Mum’s name was ‘A’ and was also with her teenage son, who looked like he had down syndrome, but who we later found out had autism. She looked back at me and immediately said yes, that would be great.
I knelt by the young girl (she was 14 years old) and she told me a brick wall had fallen on her, crushing and breaking one leg. The damage included the growth plate, so they had to do the same with the other leg in order that the legs would grow at the same rate.
I placed my hands on her legs (after she also gave me permission) and I prayed. She felt heat. I continued to pray and prophesy, while her friends stood by our side, politely not looking.
I asked her if she had asked Jesus into her heart. She said she had, but on a prompt I said ‘let’s do it again’ and so in response she asked Jesus into her heart. I suggested she ask that He fill her up, so she did. I continued to pray and when she said “enough” (a boundary we had agreed upon before I prayed) I thanked her and looked at her mother who then thanked me.
I thought I was going to go into the movie theatre after this and time was ticking along. We had not been to a movie for years by ourselves, so it was a real treat. However, I felt to pray for her brother and so turning to the mother I asked if I could pray for him too. She again readily agreed.
The boy called “B” was 16 years old. He swayed heavily under the anointing, and I motioned to Andrew, who quickly steadied him. He was incredibly ‘open’ to God’s presence.
I felt to suggest he say, ‘Jesus, come into my heart’
I then felt to suggest to him, ‘say Jesus fill me up,’
B said ‘Jesus fill me up’, and on saying it he kept saying it, over and over, laughing and swaying heavily under the anointing.
I finished and turned to the mother, knowing I had to pray for her too.
‘Well, this is more important than being on time for the movie,’ I thought and I offered to pray.
As I prayed for the mother, the compassion of God came upon me and I nearly cried. She looked like she did too. I received words of knowledge about her–she was struggling (that was obviously a possibility given her two kids) she was making major decisions, and she was a single Mum.
She told me she had 3 children and had told my husband prior to me praying that she had found the recent challenges with her daughter’s injury tough. I prayed, and she quietly received; she was so very thirsty for God and drank Him in, and as I finished praying for her, I placed my arms around her and held her close for a long, long time.
I went to release my hug, but she hung on, so I hugged her some more and when I felt it was enough, I again tried to disengage, but she again hung on again. So, I continued to hold her, yet feeling quite embarrassed by now. Again I went to release her, but she continued to hang onto me quietly. I tried again, and she hung on again… so I just stood in the middle of the busy shopping centre and let her drink and cling to me for what seemed an eternity…
I gave her our church card, and I wrote my private number on it so she could call me if she felt she wanted.
As we walked away my husband said to me he believed we were there, not so much for the daughter, but for the Mother, who had been through such a tough time, for Jesus says:
‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me… streams of living water will flow from within him.’John 7:38-39
We saw our movie, but we missed the promos. This did not bother us at all. We even had time to go to the bathroom and settle in before the movie started. God had it all timed beautifully and I am so glad that I did not rush because He had treasures in the darkness to give…
This is what the Lord says to his anointed…
‘I will go before you and will level the mountains;
I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.
Every person I encountered was a treasure in the darkness, waiting to be discovered. Each was a treasure set out for me to discover, to find, to uncover and my footsteps ordered by a loving and knowing God. He not only blessed us with the miracle of a great time together, Christmas shopping in the Christmas rush, but He also entrusted 10 people that all needed a touch from their mighty and loving God. Ten people altered for ever more. He left those treasures out for me to find because …
God is Good.
Post Script: The shopping day was a Saturday, a few years ago now. I wrote the story up on a Tuesday, and just as I finished writing the mum rang me with the following report:
Her daughter stood without crutches on the Sunday;
Her son lost his aggression and was much calmer. There was a change in his eyes, and they looked ‘more alert.’ He had stopped asking about his father who left the family earlier that and she said the ‘worry has lifted from his face’, he is ‘much calmer’. She told me he continues to say ‘Jesus fill me up’ and is laying hands on his mother and family friends and asking ‘can you feel that?’ and she can;
The mum (A) felt much more at peace (in her home and in herself). The night before meeting us she was suicidal, and when she saw us across the shops, she stood willing us to come over. She said there was a light around both Andrew and I that she saw and wanted to be near. From that afternoon A cared for herself properly, eating 3 meals a day, and was feeling at peace.
A told me she had thought about the encounter every day. She believed it was not a coincidence that we met. Just before she met us she had looked for a car park and just knew that she would find one on the middle level (where she met us) at about 1.30pm, just in time to meet us after getting her daughter out of the car with the wheelchair. She said that she had told her daughter that there would be a car park for them in that place, and there was a reason for the delay in finding one.
During our discussion on the telephone, A gave her heart to Christ. We talked at length and she shared some of her story with me. She also asked for and received the gift of tongues, feeling a ‘tingling up and down her legs’ as we prayed. She also felt the tingles over her head, as she had done earlier. Her ‘spirit spot’ burned lightly as we talked and prayed.
Post Post Script:
I kept in contact with A over Christmas and eventually arranged a coffee at my home in mid-January.
The bell rang, and on answering the door A was with her daughter who was standing. Her daughter’s name also begins with A so I will call her Little A. I stood looking at Little A and they both laughed at my shock. Little A was walking, without leg braces, without a wheelchair and without a walking stick.
After my initial shock, they came into my home where I heard the story.
Little A had stood for the first time unaided the day after I had prayed for her. She had been told on 6th January by her physiotherapist that she would need the wheelchair, leg braces and a crutch for another 6 weeks. Yet, she was walking completely unaided on 18th January… 12 days later! At the six week mark she was back training with cadets.
Apparently she had been walking not long after being prayed for. They had gone on holidays after Christmas at a caravan park in Phillip Island. They took the wheelchair, but had not used it, and she had been walking unaided since.
So, here she was, walking well, on Wednesday 18th January, having had two broken legs and having been told she would need a wheelchair, leg braces and a walking stick for at least another 6 weeks on 6th January…!
On this visit, Little A explained that she still needed more strength in her legs. I laid hands on her legs and called strength into her thigh muscles and as I did her mother, my daughter and I noticed her knee caps moving up and down with no input from her, as if her thigh muscles were being contracted and released. She did not feel it, it just happened.
She stood and tried them out and I prayed again, and it happened again…
Her Mother and I concluded her thigh muscles must have been being strengthened supernaturally. It was the oddest thing to watch her knee caps bobbing up and down in a rapid movement!
After we finished praying and we went for a walk during which I heard more of her story.
Apparently A’s family transformed. Her son was no longer violent, she was walking in abundant favour, disputes settled supernaturally, with no effort on her part. She shared how she had told a friend who was also in a place of despair how she too could be free-she was ready to give what she had received away to others!
A said the entire journey had been remarkable, the turnaround, marvellous…
I just listened in awe, knowing that it was all a miracle, and I noted that I nearly did not stop for them because I wanted to get to the movies on time…
I wondered how many others I had simply walked past…
How many others may have had a life transformed… had I stopped for the one…
I am certain that there is no condemnation in Christ, but how His heart yearns for us to recognise and to step into who we truly are, to co-labour with Him in the family business.
… all creation groans…
Will we be bold enough to step into our inheritance and bring others with us?
Dare weto lay claim to the “treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places” (Is45:3) and set them free?
Dare wetake people by the hand and say “come”?
God is breath taking in His beauty, in His kindness, in His Glory!
This morning I was a little flat. We are still in stage 4 lockdown in Melbourne, Australia, and although there was some lifting of restrictions last night, the changes do not really change anything for us in our little bubble.
Restless, I pulled on my big girl pants and drove to the naturopath to pick up some tablets.
As I chatted to the owner, I asked her how she was.
She felt the same – a little flat.
We chatted and exchanged comments, and as I did, I noticed the tangible presence of the Holy Spirit.
I stopped and asked: ‘can I pray for you?’
She looked, muttered ‘yes’ and instantly cried.
‘Oh gosh, yes, please, oh, gosh, that would be nice… I don’t know why I’m crying, how kind…’
Her words tumbled out through her tears.
I responded through tears: ‘it’s ok, I can feel the Holy Spirit here, and I felt to offer to pray…’
She came out from around the desk. I asked if I could place my hand on her back. I actually desperately wanted to hug her…
I prayed for her to be refreshed and to receive joy, hope, good sleep, favour for her children who would also remain at home when school returns in a week.
I also felt I heard a word for her, which I gave for the business, and she stepped back wiping away her tears.
There was nothing more to say in that moment.
We both agreed – three more weeks and perhaps it would be better for us both…
As I drove away, I thought of the woman who had texted me that morning that she was closing her business. It was too hard. She texted all her customers; I was just one of many. I felt the nudge to drive to the concourse where her shop was located and buy some flowers, so I did, some beautiful large bright happy orange gerberas, thinking I would offer to buy some of her produce to help with the finances of closing shop and moving to the country.
If I was to do this, surely she will be in her shop clearing it out… if I had ‘heard’ right… right?
The shop was closed and no-one was answering my knock!
Maybe I got it wrong…
Frustrated, I then felt to drive back to give them to the naturopath practice.
‘Surely it would cheer her day,’ I thought. Nothing to lose. I did, but I felt it fell flat… I felt foolish…
Maybe I got that wrong…
Still feeling unsatisfied, I drove back to shop area, drove past the shop and the door was still shut with no-one inside.
‘Right’, I thought, ‘I’m driving home’, but it didn’t feel right to just drive home…
Soooooo, I went back again and bought some gerberas (this time smaller bright orange ones), hoping I had ‘got it right’ this time…
Nope – the shop remained shut and empty.
I brought the flowers home and they sit on my kitchen table, bright and cheery.
So I am telling this to encourage those that are giving this ‘stopping for the one’ a go. People that have heard many of my stories think somehow that I get this stuff right, all the time…
You will get it right sometimes.
You will get it wrong sometimes, but if it blesses someone who cares, God loves your heart, and someone gets blessed.
You will get the timing wrong sometimes – I will give it another shot if I can to bless the woman whose business is closing. Let her know her community cares.
And sometimes you just don’t know what you were hearing… but try to step out any
The bottom line is, giving it a go counts – giving it a go is a ‘win’.
So, even though I feel like I missed it, I didn’t.
I loved on a woman who was struggling, and I tried to love on another.
Incline your ear, regardless of how you feel.
Stop for the one as you go, and you will learn, as you go…
And I can guarantee that you will taste and see that…
God is Good!
Let me know when you thought you got it right, but then you got it wrong, or you thought you got it wrong… but did you?
Late last year, I bumped into a friend I had not seen for years.
We briefly chatted, and then she surprised me by suggesting we catch up. She said she loved spending time with me years ago, and would love to catch up for lunch. I was delighted, but a little surprised.
Trust me… I am nothing special.
We had lunch and chatted and spoke a little about our own personal challenges. She shared her heart and as she spoke I saw a picture of her sitting at an easel doing art. I asked her about it, explaining that I ‘saw’ her doing something like painting under a tree.
I need to state this friend may not label herself as a ‘Christian’, but she does believe in the goodness of human beings. She believes that we are responsible to others and ourselves to make good choices. She believes it is our responsibility to leave the world a better place than it was before we were in it.
She does know that I do call myself a ‘Christian’, and she accepts me, for all my flaws and inconsistencies that brings.
I go gently in my Christian talk, because I don’t want to offend her – she is my friend, and friends are kind to one another. Friends do not shove values or belief systems down each other’s throats, yet they are not threatened by a difference of opinion, or a healthy discussion. Friends can agree to disagree while honouring the difference of opinion. I find her attitude generous and gracious.
The last time we spoke was years ago, pre prophetic training. I was prophetic back then (news flash: we all are!) but I just didn’t realise I was and I had not learnt how to listen and then mention what I ‘saw’ or ‘sensed’ for people.
So I asked about the painting (with no Christian ease) and she told me she LOVED painting/drawing. I told her what had happened; she accepted what I said, and we moved on in our conversation.
I encouraged her to join an art class, buy some supplies, and recommended a few more personal things, and we went on our way. She was encouraging to me too; it’s a two-way deal people. She was not, and is not a ‘project’, she is a friend, a real live friend, and I see her because I want to, not because she needs saving…
Red hot keen Christians that carry belts with notches please read the above paragraph again…
My friend is not a ‘notch on the belt’… I like her and accept her, and I would continue to see her as a friend even if she never accepted Jesus into her heart!
People can smell belt notching a mile away!
Hence this story…
Within 24 hours I received a message saying that she had ticked off all three items we discussed, and we promised we would catch up again – she would tell me how she got on with her projects, and I would share how I was getting on with mine.
We caught up briefly before Christmas. At the time she was very thankful, and I felt embarrassed because while I was the mouthpiece and the ears (I listened to her and God), I just encouraged her to step into something she loved, into something God created her to do…
Fast forward to lockdown stage 4 in Melbourne, Australia. We can now be out for total 2 hours (with one other person if they are not from our home). I have thought of my friend a few times over the last 6 months, but about 10 days ago, I acted on the thought (I believe the prompting) and I texted her to arrange a walk.
As we walked, our discussion got deep quickly, and she asked me a little about my belief in God. She shared her views on many things, God, faith, spirituality. She chatted, I listened; I chatted, she listened…
We will catch up again this Wednesday.
Christians on social media seem to think because we cannot gather in a church building that somehow we cannot do anything effective for the Kingdom, we can’t impact people.
This is nonsense.
There are many ways to ‘stop for the one’.
Sometimes it means stopping for the one stranger on the street – as you walk past you offer to pray, or give them a word of encouragement, or just shout them a coffee.
Other times it’s the phone call that you feel you could make, or the email you could send… and you call or you send it.
Sometimes it’s the prophetic inclination you have for your boss and you share it at work, without declaring ‘thus says the Lord’… there is no need to declare a prophetic inclination in that way – just be relatable.
Other times, it’s just catching up with a friend who happens, unbeknownst to you, to need encouragement. That friend needs someone to SEE them warts and all and call out ‘you are loved my friend’. Sometimes we just need to call out the gold… regardless of whether they ever come to Christ.
It’s about being the Body (not doing the Body). It’s about being human. It’s about moving in response to His heart beat for yourself and others, and in this all will see that…