I’ve been up at the front exactly twice during an invitation at church, both times at my church in San Diego. It was because I was a small group leader, and the pastor called us to the front to pray for or with people every now and then. Honestly, it wasn’t something I was terribly comfortable with at the time, because I didn’t feel…worthy, or qualified to lift anyone else up to God. I felt broken, and sort of…held together.

But the pastor called, so up I went.

I remember the first time, I sat nervously on the step, wondering if anyone would come to me—there were quite a few people sitting around the stage. I silently prayed that if someone did end up with me, that I would have the right words to say when the time came.

I felt like the kid in left field, asking God “Please don’t let anyone hit it to me.”

Shortly after that, I saw a pretty woman in her late thirties or early forties make her way down the aisle to where I was sitting. She was tall for a woman, and very slender. She had a bandanna tied around what looked to be a very bald head, and my first thought was cancer.

What I remember most is she looked very, very tired, and from what it looked like, had been sitting alone in the sanctuary.

She stopped right before me, and I slowly stood. She took both my hands in hers, and I could see the gentle sheen of tears in her eyes.

“Hi,” I said. “How can I…”

Before I could finish my sentence, she dropped her head toward her chest and the tears began to flow.

God, I prayed. What do I say? What do I do to help her?

You do nothing, was the sense I got. You say nothing.

So I didn’t. She was a little older than me at the time, but I just reached out my arms and I hugged her.

She cried on my chest for a good five minutes, and I just prayed silently in my head for her. Mainly that she could experience Jesus through her pain, and that I not ruin any experience that might happen. I never asked for healing. I don’t know why.

She lifted her head a minute or so later, and she just smiled a gentle smile at me, and said “thank you.”

“It was my pleasure,” I said.

She stepped back and said, “I guess I needed that.”

“Me, too.”

She looked at me for a moment, and then walked back down the aisle, and out of the sanctuary.

I stood there for a moment, and realized I didn’t feel nervous anymore. I actually felt peaceful. I could still feel the woman’s arms around me, and smell the faint scent of Sunflowers (I think that’s what it’s called) clinging to my t-shirt.

I didn’t remember anyone holding onto me like that since I was a kid. Not in a romantic way, but still loving. Comforting.

Like I was a brother.

I realized it was me who needed the prayer, and in that moment, needed her.

And it occurred to me that maybe she’d been praying for me the whole time I was praying for her. Maybe she was crying for me. I felt like I got the most of the blessing.

That was the only time I saw her.

I don’t know her name, but when I think about God meeting my needs (which he does every time I ask), I always think of her, and of Sunflowers perfume.

And I think one of the funny things about God is sometimes you just need to show up, and let him do the work.



Author: twilk68

God has changed my life, and changed me. It's that simple. I will ever be grateful, and if I live to be...well, OLD, I will never tire of telling people about the work done in my life, and what can be done in theirs, should they trust God with their innermost everything...

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