one woman's leap over the chicken fence
A friend of mine came over to visit one morning. She could barely walk and had been in a great deal of pain for weeks. She had injured her knee, and even ice packs and cortisone shots were not helping at all. I offered her prayer and my two children joined me. She was happy to receive it, but had no idea what the Lord was about to do.
I got on the floor with my kids and we all laid our hands gently on the knee. After praying, I asked her if it felt any different. She was shocked. She said that there had been a constant throbbing that was now gone. Her eyes were huge with surprise. I smiled and asked if she could stand and try it out. She did and again to her surprise, it was completely healed. She walked around and just kept shaking her head in wonder. She left and decided to try going to the store, a task she had been unable to handle for weeks. She sent me a message later that day, saying she was in tears because she was able to walk and was well.
Being a vessel of encounter for people is not just for strangers on the street or marketplace. Even our own friends and loved ones often need a touch from God, and sometimes it’s easy to overlook these opportunities if we take off our “ambassador hat” at home or with familiar people. Never, never take off that hat. If you’ve never reached out to family or friends with supernatural ministry, it may feel strange at first to introduce that new dynamic. But it is worth any awkwardness that you may experience to see God touch them.
I was out with a friend having some delicious sushi, when I spotted this adorable little Asian girl with an eye patch under thick glasses. She was probably no older than 6 or 7. I had no idea what the eye patch was for, but my heart broke for her. It looked extremely uncomfortable, and it made me angry that any child should have to deal with such misery. I decided to pay their table a visit.
I addressed the mother, greeting her and asking why her adorable little one was having to wear an eye patch. She explained with somewhat broken English that her daughter had a sight issue worse in one eye and the patch allowed her to see better using just her better eye through the glasses. I asked if I could pray for her, and the mom was very happy to allow me. I knelt beside the little girl and said, “Hi, princess!” She smiled at me. “Do you know who Jesus is?” She smiled again and shook her head yes. “Let’s pray to Him for you eyes to get well, ok?” She nodded again, and I began to pray for her. Afterward, her mom thanked me and I returned to my table.
A bit later, as the family was leaving, they stopped at my table. The were all beaming and thanked me again. They said they wanted me to know I would be in their prayers every night. I was happy to see they were so encouraged, and told them they were most welcome. Then they left. Moments later, I looked across to my friend and it dawned on me. “That little girl wasn’t wearing the patch anymore!” I said. My friend smiled and replied, “Yeah, I think you’re right!” I have no idea if she actually got completely healed on the spot, though it does appear that way. But what stood out to me was how the whole family was touched with God’s love, and how they were overflowing with thankfulness and encouragement. One emboldened act of compassion is all it takes.
I thought I was there for a hair consultation. Turns out I was there for her. We lingered after my appointment with friendly chit chat, as she showed me all the things her little shop had to offer. But really she was showing me her heart. I listened- both to her and to God. The Lord gave me an impression that she needed reassurance. She needed encouragement. She needed validation. And Jesus had all of that for her and more.
I looked around at all the beautiful work she had put into her little shop and said, “You know, the Lord has really placed a vision in your heart for this place and more. And I just want you to know that all this is important to Him. It matters to Him. What you’re doing here matters to Him.” She looked shocked for a brief moment and overcome with emotion. “God is speaking through you right now! I have goose bumps all over! He has been sending people to me for weeks saying things like this. This is such confirmation for me. You just have no idea...” she said as she hugged me.
Many times encounters look like deaf ears opening or people getting saved who have never heard the Good News. But more often than not, it’s about being a vessel of God’s love. It’s about seeing people the way the Father sees them and interacting with them accordingly. It’s about listening with your spirit so as to notice when and how people need a touch from God through you. It’s about speaking with boldness from His heart of love in everyday conversations. What do you think the world would look like if we purposed to do this everywhere we go? Perhaps, just maybe, it would look a lot like the Kingdom of God.
I spotted him as soon as I walked into Fuzzy’s Taco Shop. He was a mature gentleman with his arm in a sling, seated with three others. Prayer went through my mind as I went up to place my order. Anyone who has had Fuzzy’s nachos knows it’s pure indulgence, but birthdays don't count, right? David had to go to the restroom, and I took a seat at our table with the little pager that goes off when the food is ready. Thus began the internal debate.
“I can’t go pray for him now. I know how fast Fuzzy’s is, and my pager is due to go off any second. I don’t want to go pray for him after the nachos come out….cold queso loses it’s appeal. It’s my birthday, I should just enjoy my day.” I heard all these thoughts racing and decided quickly that they were all ridiculous, and what I really wanted was to join Daddy in adventure, even when it was utterly inconvenient. You’ve heard Jesus instruct us when giving to not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Well I have a similar motto...don’t let your mind know what your feet are doing. Just go. If you can just get your feet moving, your mind doesn’t have much time to put up a fight. You’re invested with nothing to lose.
I arrived at his table with a shy smile. I introduced myself, and said I couldn’t help notice his arm sling, and was wondering if I could pray for him. He said he was a Christian, and that I was welcomed to pray, but followed a little smugly with, “It’s already been prayed for.” His buddy at the table began rambling some off topic banter, and I couldn’t find an open spot to begin the prayer. Some awkward minutes passed, and I began to see there was spiritual resistance. Still, I prayed for the injured man. Admittedly not much to my surprise in this case, nothing happened. Cue my exit.
Back at the table, I found Dave, and began to dig into my nachos. They were now cold. And I was ok with that, because fails are never fails with God. I grew in obedience. I grew in experience. I grew in faith. I grew in identity. Which are worth far more than warm birthday nachos. “You know David,” I said, “I can’t guarantee that I’ll see God move through my prayers when I step out and pray for someone. But I can guarantee that I won’t see God move in that way if I don’t.” So...feet, keep moving!
It was a rare occasion. I was at the nail salon waiting for my freshly painted toenails to dry under the lamp. Nothing to do but wait. I looked over and noticed a statue of a big bellied Buddha sitting right at the check-out counter. Someone had placed an offering to the statue just underneath it. Apparently idols enjoy fruit and coffee to keep their big belly full and their jolly face smiling. It was time for me to pay, so I stepped up to the counter. Motioning to the idol, I asked the sweet asian girl that had done my pedicure, “What’s that?” She answered with a heavy accent and a sheepish grin, “Buddha.” I asked, “What’s the stuff for?” She smiled, “He like coffee. Keep him happy. For good luck!” I asked, “How’s it working?” She smiled again and shrugged. A boldness came over me. I couldn’t let this opening pass.
“Well, what about your sin? You know, when you do bad things and feel bad about it? What does Buddha do for you?” Her face fell a bit more serious and she looked down and shook her head. I said to her, “There is only one God who is creator of heaven and earth. You can look around at all He has made and see that He is good. He did something incredible. He sent His Son, Jesus, to be killed on a cross for our sins. He was in the grave for three days. And then God raised him to life again.”
I realized at that very moment this person had never heard the Gospel. This person who lived right here in America, where we often assume everyone has heard it, had never heard it. For the first time ever, and ironically right in my own neighborhood, I was sharing the Gospel with a completely unreached person. At the hearing of the Good News, her face showed wonder and hope. “Really?” she exclaimed. I answered, “There is forgiveness for all who put their trust in Jesus. He loves you very much.” After I paid and left, I was still in awe of the fact that she had never heard the Good News before that day. It placed such an urgency in my heart to keep engaging people. And perhaps even a great reason to get more frequent pedicures!
Sometimes encounters can be intimidating with your kids in tow. It’s easy to pass on the chance to touch someone’s life for worrying how your small children might create some chaos in the middle of it. Taking the leap with no kids around is one thing. Taking the leap with two hungry preschoolers who just came from having their blood drawn at a clinic is a whole nother chicken fence.
But perfect love cast out all fear. And as I saw this woman across from us in the parking lot, there was no other room in my being for anything else but the Father’s love. She struggled with each step, her head and body bobbing about violently. With my two kids’ hands in mine and the relentless Texas sun beating down on us all, I approached her and asked if she needed any help walking. She meekly replied no, that she had just been in awful pain for days but she could make it. I didn’t hesitate, despite having no idea how I was going to handle my little ones. The need was too great, and all I wanted to do was help her.
“Can I pray for you ma’am?” I asked. She said sure, that she would like that. I asked my kids to stand right there next to mommy and released their little hands from mine, hoping for the best. I asked the woman if she minded that I place my hand on her shoulder as I pray and she said sure. As I began to pray, I looked down to find my children laying their hands on her and praying with me. I then realized how important today’s leap was for them too. I can’t ever let the challenge of having them with me deter me from doing what I do, because this is clearly impacting them being raised in Kingdom culture. I will never have to tell them to preach the gospel, heal the sick, or love on the lost. Because it will just be what we do and who we are as a family.
The woman’s adult son came up from their car to help her walk as we were finishing our prayer. He began agreeing with us in prayer, and I then knew they were believers. I blessed them, took my kids hands and turned to go. As we walked away, I heard her tell her son about my son, “He’s going to be a minister...I can see it in his eyes.” Not only did I get to participate in the Father’s love, but also received a prophetic blessing for my son. I smiled to myself knowing that the Lord was encouraging me to keep doing this as a family. The primary ministry that David and I have is being parents, and in part involves raising world changers. Our heart is always to encourage the Body of Christ in her identity- as the Bride, as Sons of God, and as Kingdom Ambassadors; and our kids just happen to be our #1 disciples in that calling. Chicken fence, you lose!
She sat directly in my line of sight with her two adult children. Her cumbersome neck brace stole my attention as I ate my dinner, and immediately I knew I wanted to pray for her. I sat in watchful waiting, wondering about my approach. There was no fear. The love of the Father just spilled out of me as I observed her struggling to order, eat and carry on conversations without being able to turn her head. Compassion completely emboldened me, and the joy of being a carrier of His presence squashed any hesitation.
David got up from the table to pay the bill. Now was the time. I approached their table and introduced myself, explaining that I had noticed her neck brace and was wondering if I could quickly pray for her. She welcomed the prayer. I asked her what had happened, and she revealed she had been in a car accident and was going to need surgery. She had been in the brace for months. I asked if I could place my hands on her shoulders as I prayed, and she said that was fine. I asked them all if they knew Jesus, in whose name I would be praying, and they all said they did. I prayed quickly, feeling it was of most importance to honor both their time and the establishment’s space. I prayed for trauma from the accident to leave, for her to know how much the Father loves her, and for her to be healed.
In most cases when I pray, I check for results and often try to pray to complete healing right then and there. But everything we do comes from love, and love often calls for honoring people’s time and space above a prayer agenda. Our agenda is to love first when advancing the Kingdom. So in this case, I decided to leave it at that. I encouraged her with how much God loves her and that I would keep her in prayer, and she and her family thanked me, as she wiped away tears from her eyes. I have no idea to what degree the Lord touched her that day, or if she found any relief of the pain right away. But I do know that she encountered Love, and you cannot encounter Love and not be affected in some way. It’s not really about results. Although, they are sure to come. It’s about His love! Any believer in Christ can do this. We have the love of the Father in us. It’s not about performing miracles, saying the right thing, praying lofty “minister” prayers, or convincing anyone of anything. His love qualifies you. His love empowers you. Be a walking Love encounter no matter where you are and you will change atmospheres, hearts and lives!
David was missing. When we’re out on a date in public, this usually means one thing- a God thing. When the Lord prompts David to minister to strangers, David doesn’t announce it to me. He just goes in. But he’s usually in close proximity and easy to relocate. I whirled around and scanned the pizza place for him. Yep, there he was as I suspected, talking to a gentleman at a table by himself. I made my way over to them, and David introduced me to the man.
As it turns out, David had felt prompted to ask the man if he had a son perhaps going through an illness. The man explained that he only had a daughter, who was going through a terrible time, and was eager to know why David had asked. Seemingly epic fail. But we know that when we step out for God, there is no such thing as a true fail. David overshot the word. Perhaps he filled in some details where he only had an impression. But the need was there and the Lord’s prompting was dead on target. As the man began to explain what his daughter was going through, and about his own current spiritual state as a believer, I felt the need to remind him of the absolute grace of the Good News. He was extremely encouraged. I asked if we could step outside and join together to pray for his daughter. He enthusiastically agreed.
As the three of us stood in a small corner of an outdoor stairwell, we began to lift up his daughter in prayer. Tears filled my eyes as I interceded for them. After praying, the man thanked us and told us that we had made his day. He was filled with peace and joy as we left, and we could tell the Lord lifted burdens a great deal. No matter what the risk is that you are taking, no matter how stupid you might feel if you fail- if you feel the Lord prompting you, have a standing yes to Him and trust in His sufficient grace! He can still move mightily as we take risks, even through our imperfections and limitations.
I pushed my cart down the line of checkers and threw up a quick prayer. It went something like, “Lord, put me where you want me.” I landed next in line at the lane I went for. As I placed my items on the belt, I glanced at the checker. Right away the word “entrepreneur” came to mind. I continued to load my items on the belt, now trying to size him up. “No way that was from the Lord,” I thought...this guy looked like a kid with no plan. I had prayed to be used however, so I began the great debate. Was that just me or was it Him? By this time, I’m face to face with the checker as he scans my items. Then I noticed the rastafarian inspired wristbands. “Oh man...not only is he a kid without a plan but he could be hitting the sensimilia! No way could this word be right, “ I again thought. Amazing what discriminatory stupidity we try to talk ourselves out of risk with. He greeted me warmly with, “Hi, how are you?” giving me a chance to speak up. I clammed up with a, “Good, thanks.” Window of opportunity waning. Then, as if God was insisting upon the grace of a do over, the checker greeted me again. “How are you today?” he asked. Maybe he was just out of it and forgot he already asked me that. But I couldn’t help but see God making it that much more easy for me. I jumped.
“I’m great! Hey let me ask you a question. Have you ever thought of starting your own business?” I asked. “Well actually, yeah. I really want to but I don’t have the money yet,” he answered. Wow. Exhale. “Well this may sound a little weird, but I’m a Christian, and I really felt compelled to encourage you in that as soon as I saw you. The Lord has gifted you as an entrepreneur and this isn’t all there is for you working at this store, “I said with my heart racing a bit. The checker beamed. “That’s not weird at all, “ he replied, “and that is so very encouraging! Thank you so much for telling me that!”
Just goes to show you that fear could keep us from amazing fruit if we let it. Take some risk every day for the Kingdom. It's so worth falling on your face, but you probably won't. You'll probably touch hearts, set people free, heal the sick and reach the lost. Because if you belong to Jesus, He's in you, and that's just what He does.
I had a mouthful of Whole Foods sushi and spicy mayo all over my fingers when I spotted him. He was slowly struggling to make his way past our table with the aid of his cane. I didn’t let myself have time to think myself out of it. Before I knew what I was doing, I called out,”Excuse me, sir?” He slowly turned to come to our table, giving me just enough time to clean my hands and swallow my sushi (mostly, anyway). After introducing myself, I gently inquired of this young man, “I noticed you were having trouble walking. Do you mind sharing with us what the issue is?” The young man began to speak in slurred words, and it became apparent that walking wasn’t the only issue. He was eager to share his story. We invited him to sit at our table, and he was kind enough to join us.
David and I listened as the young man began to share with laboring speech, at times getting emotional, the car accident he endured many years ago. It had left him comatose, and upon awakening he had to relearn everything like a newborn. He had almost no use of his entire left side, and his cognition and speech were severely affected. He shared that he is a believer in Christ, and his gratitude poured out for how much God had done to slowly bring him where he is now. I asked the young man if he believed in miracles. He answered with a grin, “I am a miracle!” I smiled back and said, “Yes, you are!” Then something very bold came flying out of my mouth. I just let it go. “I believe the Lord wants to give you a gift today,” I said. “Can we pray for you?”
The young man welcomed us to lay hands on him and pray for miraculous healing. When we finished praying, we asked him to check his body for change. He attempted to grab a salt shaker with his left hand, and while it was still challenging, he beamed and said he wouldn’t usually be able to do that! We rejoiced and asked if we could pray for him again. After praying a second time, there seemed no further change. So we encouraged him that breakthrough sometimes occurs instantly, and other times long after praying, and even other times progressively. He thanked us for all we had encouraged him with that day, and we walked him out the door saying goodbye.
David and I decided to make a last minute trip back inside Whole Foods for some bakery treats (haha, go figure!), and after paying for them and exiting the store again, we spotted a man waving his arms wildly at us from the parking lot. “David! Kelly!” he yelled, “I can walk without my cane!” We stood a bit dumbfounded as he proceeded to make his way across the street to where we were. He was limping, but now without his cane. “My balance is amazing!” he exclaimed. Then his eyes welled with tears as he said, “My little girl is going to be so happy! I can take her to the park now and play with her!” The Lord had given him a huge gift that day indeed. And we got to be the couriers!
© Copyright 2014 David and Kelly Macias. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise noted, all Scriptures quoted on this site are taken from the New Heart English Bible, edited by Wayne A. Mitchell, public domain, 2008-2016.
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