Recently I came back from India, totally stoked, crazy mad buzzing...filled with amazing testimonies of how God smashed it...saving untold souls...healing so many people...supernaturally touching life upon life, so very spectacularly. And you know someone on the outside looking in, reading the Facebook posts or perusing the India Series, hearing of the amazing testimonies that God orchestrated may be a little bit tempted to presume that the miracles just kept on coming...that encounter upon encounter kept bringing forth signs and wonders...everyone got healed...everyone got saved and even delivered woop woop...aaah yes never was there a dull moment in this forever rosy adventurous pursuit of the Kingdom. Smiles...errrr nah. Because there were definitely moments where I didn't see God move...encounters where nothing happened...momentum that fizzled out like a Deflated balloon. Well maybe not that dire...because as far as I'm concerned pursuing the Kingdom is never dull...never in vain...and certainly faaaaar from dire. But yes there were moments when nothing happened.
I had one such moment in a large store in the Town Centre near my mum's Orphanage. A local place where I am no stranger to the staff, although everyone there stares at me funny whenever I visit and no matter how friendly I endeavour to be or how Indian I hope to appear they still look at me rather oddly. Anyways so I'm there with lots of clothes and bits that I have picked up to buy. My hands are kind of full. I approach a member of staff to ask him something about something and he responds with silent actions, pointing to his ears and mouth signalling to me that he is deaf and dumb. Taken aback, I walk away from him slowly nodding in feigned understanding and awkwardly thanking him anyway.
As I take slow steps away from him I can no longer concentrate on anything my mum is saying to me...her voice somehow fades into the background as now exploding inside my soul is the exchange that has just taken place, magnified to an unbearable level where all I can hear in my ears is that this man cannot hear and he cannot speak. I stop walking and turn around. Placing my shopping in my mums hands I ask him if I can pray for him. He doesn't understand what I'm saying. Using actions, I ask for his permission to pray for him. He nods, shrugs his shoulders and a little bit cynically lets me lay hands on his ears. I start to pray. I am filled with faith, convinced he will hear. I desperately want his ears to open and for him to be able to speak so badly. I imagine how amazing life for him would be, if right now the ability to hear and speak entered into his life. Everything would change for him. I blow into his ear the breathe of the Holy Spirit. A crowd gathers. All the staff members that usually look me up and down as I shimmy across the shop floor in my Western attire, my heavy make up, and weird cockney accent, are now surrounding us full circle, watching this drama unfold clearly wondering what the frick this blightly bird thinks she's doing with their colleague.
And as I pray amidst this crowd of sceptical onlookers, surrounded by their unconvinced faces, their polyester mix uniforms and unenthusiastic smiles, I choose to ignore them and fix my heart on the eternal truth, that Jesus died to set this man free from every ailment and disease. Yet I'm praying and believing and praying and believing and nothing is happening. I'm binding and loosing, I'm declaring and decreeing...I'm gently releasing the victory of the cross and although I am totally expectant, nothing seems to change. I speak into his ear and ask him if he can hear my words. He shakes his head to indicate he still can't hear. I continue to pray for a while. I stop and ask some of the onlookers to write him a note asking him if he feels anything. They oblige and carry out my request. He reads the note. Nope, again he shakes his head. Nevertheless I pray some more. Customers are now also gathering. I'm still praying. Still nothing. I keep praying. Clearly a little bit stalkerish by now, I'm sure. Yet I can't seem to walk away. I don't care that I look like an idiot. I don't care that nothing's happening in the natural. I don't care that I'm in a local store where I will never be able to shop with dignity again. Haha. Because I just want him to be healed. Yet he doesn't appear to be. Not even one bit. Despite what Jesus had done for him on the cross he remains unhealed. He doesn't seem surprised though. If truth be told it's like he never expected to get healed. I guess this must be totally weird for him right. And so I give in. I accept that I can't want it for him, more than he does. I accept that the encounter is over.
I tell him Jesus loves him, somehow wanting him to know he is special. I think I'm almost apologetic...as if somehow, Jesus loving him is the boobie prize. Of course I know that it is the complete opposite. On the contrary it's everything. Jesus' love transcends any manifestation of healing. But I can't explain any of this stuff to him, because he can't hear me...he can't hear me with his natural ears...Nor I guess with his spiritual ears. So I simply signal with my hands as best as I can, that Jesus hearts him. And then I stand there a little awkwardly, not quite sure what to say to try and make things better. Looking at the crowd and then back at him I'm obviously gutted that the miracle hasn't happened, yet I'm reminded that I don’t have to try and “make things better". I am sober in my understanding that when push comes to shove it's actually got nothing to do with me. You see the way I see it is that the manifestation of the miracle is not part of my remit...my job is to pray by faith and release the victory of Jesus’ finished work…now somewhere along the line if there’s a glitch in the matrix I know it’s not been on God’s part because on His end – it’s a done deal…but somehow, somewhere the manifestation of healing or breakthrough or salvation has got lost in translation I guess.
And so I don’t have an explanation of why someone doesn’t get healed and another does. Or why someone gets set free and another stays in chains. Maybe it was unbelief? Maybe it was deeply rooted strongholds. Maybe it was me? Who knows? I don't think a twelve step programme, bog standard formula or troubleshooting checklist can ever explain to us, this side of heaven, why some miracles happen and some don't. But this I do know – that the finished work of the cross provides us with complete wholeness…nothing lacking, nothing short…and I know wholeheartedly that God wants to heal…wants to deliver…wants to save…wants to love…no doubt about it…so when we pray for others we can afford to be totally confident in His ability to heal and set free and reconcile…to overcome and to break through…we don’t have to sweat the small stuff and work out how and when and why…we just have to be the “sent ones” willing to step out in His name, in His authority and enforce the victory of the cross whatever the result may be…and whatever the outcome may be, we are just ambassador’s functioning as representatives…not in our own capabilities, or authority but in his authority, in His love and in what He has already done on the cross…and I don’t know about you but for me that makes stepping out by faith ever so liberating…to know that as long as I am representing the “One” and releasing His victory in His name, then if no one gets healed, or delivered or set free then it’s nothing to do with me…and if thousands of people get healed, get saved, get set free…well hey…praise GAWD...then it’s still nothing to do with me!!
x x x