Walking and talking to our Father is one of the things we do together as a team each week. We walk around our neighborhood for an hour, listening to the Spirit, talking to the Father about places, events, going against darkness, and, whenever we can, asking strangers on the street if we can lift them up. This week we have a couple special stories to share!
We were walking up a street at the same time that a young woman was crossing with two small girls. As we approached her, I made eye contact and said hello, and asked if we could lift her up. Immediately, the woman smiled and said, “Yeah, that would be great.” I smiled back and then knelt down to say hi to the little girls. The smallest one instantly ran into my arms with the sweetest grin, and then proceeded to hug the rest of our team. It was adorable!
When I asked the woman if she had any specific requests, she replied, “Nah, anything would be great right now.” So the eight of us formed a circle on the sidewalk and held hands while I lifted her and the girls up to the Father. And that was pretty much it. Perhaps we spent five minutes with those three lovely ladies and we will never see them again. But those few minutes with them gave me such hope and joy in the Son, and the fact that we can come to him anytime, with anyone, and he loves us all. Impacting the world for him doesn’t have to look like anything crazy…sometimes, it’s just talking to him about another human being who’s walking on the same street as you. And honestly, that’s crazy anyway.
As we moved on, we came to a quiet street with huge trees dropping bright orange leaves to the ground. There was a man in his yard busily shoveling those leaves into piles. Kylee called out to him and told him we were on a walk and asked if we could lift him up to the Father. He got all excited and came closer to us saying, “Yeah, yeah, I could use all the help I can get! I’m shoveling these leaves so I can use them for compost to turn this yard into a garden…” As he continued to tell us about his yard work, it became clear that he misunderstood Kylee and thought we were asking if he needed help. Unsure of what to do, Kylee tried to explain what she had really meant about talking to the Father for him, and the man’s face fell a bit. Still smiling though, he said, “Aww man, I thought you was offering to help me!” He went on to politely decline our offer, saying that what he really needed was extra hands, and that he wasn’t religious…he believed he was “whole without the Father.” It was sad to hear him talk so confidently about his perceived lack of need for the Son.
“Now, this is prayer! This is what I was praying for!”
As he talked though, Peter and I checked the time and made a decision. “Okay, we can’t stay long, but we can help you out here for ten minutes,” I offered. That was all the time we had before we had to be back for a scheduled event at the center. I thought it would sound insignificant, but instantly, the man’s face lit up. “That’s what I’m talking about!” He didn’t have another shovel or enough rakes, but there was a large pile of sticks in the middle of the yard and we all had two hands. In ten minutes, we moved every stick and log to a corner of the yard, a job that would have taken one person probably half an hour or more. As I was gathering up the last few sticks, our new friend said to me, “Now, this is prayer! This is what I was praying for!” I told him that Jesus loved him and cared about his yard work. He told me he felt that love because of us! And that about blew my mind, that WE got to be the ones to physically love this man for just ten minutes. But then the best thing happened: he said, “Aw, you know what? I will accept your offer!” I couldn’t believe it. We all held hands, and Kylee lifted up beautiful words of thanksgiving and blessing over him. When we were done, he hugged us and took a picture of us in the middle of his yard that will someday be a beautiful garden.
As we walked away, I was deeply aware of what had just happened. We had witnessed the darkness being defeated by the light! The King had won a victory in that man’s heart that afternoon; there is no other way to explain the beauty of such a swift heart change! I praise Jesus for allowing us to be his hands and feet, that through us, his love is made evident to the lost souls around us. They will know us by our love…and they will know HIM.
Show the love of the Father to your neighbors. Stop a person on the street and lift them up to the Father, rake leaves, hold doors, smile, hand a cup of coffee to your co-worker, write a little thank-you note to your waitress. It doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be love.