Tuesday, April 23, 2013

When God Shows Up

I posted this on Facebook yesterday, but was compelled to post it on my blog ... an event of divine magnitude.

True story. This past Friday I experienced one of those precious and few moments in life. A time when God shows up; when He becomes as real as your surroundings. I’ll never forget it. Ever.

It was a cold, raw morning, rainy and dreary. After a 2,500 mile Televenge book tour, it was all I could do to get myself to my doctor appointment that morning. When I arrived, I dragged myself into the back of the building, grumbling and feeling a bit sorry for my weary self. My bones ached and I longed for my bed. Upon opening the door, I noticed the quiet of the place and felt the warmth from the heater above me. No one was around. Nobody but an elderly African American man sitting on a bench near the elevator and under a sign listing the building’s medical practices.

Hooked up to an oxygen tank with his eyes closed and his head bowed, he moved only his lips, and as I drew closer I heard the whispers of his fervent prayers. He prayed for his children, for his grandchildren, and for others I assumed were family or friends. He prayed and prayed, and never looked up. Not once. I stood there and I stood there. Mesmerized. No one came in or left the building. It was just the old black man and me—standing by the elevator, watching him intently.

Suddenly I felt it. If you have ever felt the presence of the real God, you know what I’m talking about. That powerful presence filled the lobby and I grew weak in my knees, because the old man began to pray from the scriptures in Deuteronomy. Being the writer that I am, I put it to memory.

“I know, sweet Jesus,” he said, “I know all these blessings shall come on me, and overtake me, if I hearken to Your voice. I will be blessed in the city, and blessed in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of my body … blessed coming in and blessed going out. My enemies You will smite before me: they shall come out against me one way, and flee before me seven ways. You shall command the blessing upon my storehouse, and in all that You set Your hand to …”

Glued to the floor, I could not move an inch.

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “if I keep Your commandments and walk in Your ways, I will be the head, and not the tail; above only, and not beneath…”

The elevator door finally opened. I let it close. I could be a few minutes late.

I listened to him finish his prayer, and when he said his final “amen” he opened his eyes and saw me standing there with my tears falling like the morning’s rain.

“Thanks,” I said. “I needed that.”

He smiled. “You’re welcome, sister. God knew you were coming.”

It was a year’s worth of church. I watched him struggle to his feet with his continual simile, and find his way to the parking lot where a family member or friend waited for him in the car.

Seems like no matter how I lose myself, God always knows where to find me.


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