“Then turning to His
disciples, He said privately,
‘The eyes that see the things you see are blessed!
For I tell you that many prophets and kings
wanted to see the things you see yet didn’t see them;
to hear the things you hear yet didn’t hear them.’”
Luke 10: 23-24 (HCSV)
The Lord has always known me, and I believe I have always known the Lord. The Episcopal Church has been the church of my family for centuries. God is in my blood. But, I have not always walked with the Lord.
I was in a pretty bad spot about four years ago. Resigned, cynical, and willing to give in to what amounted to depression, brothers in Christ (all members of St. John’s) cared enough to get me help. I took a road trip with Fr. Joe and Leo Velasquez. Leo’s wife Iris and son Ruben came, too. We went to the Voice of the Apostles in Nashville.
God had an encounter waiting there for me. One that has changed me and my life forever. I was physically healed. I was spiritually reborn, and I was baptized in Love. I was loved like never before. The fragrance of Jesus was on me and stayed with me for weeks. I said, “Yes. Yes, Jesus, I love you.”
Recently, my wife Barbara and I made a Sunday afternoon ride back to St. John’s to deliver altar linens and then to go to the grocery. We had been at church in the morning and into the afternoon. It was after 3 pm, and frankly I did not want to go, but Barbara’s invitation had a sweet spirit about it that I could not resist.
Barbara asked to go to a grocery we never use and when we finished she chose the checkout line. The cashier was serving a lady in front of us. Something was not right, though. The cashier kept the conveyor running so if we placed our items on it they would crash into the other customer’s groceries. As I watched her, I could see the cashier was quite out of sorts.
When she handed the lady in front of us her receipt, the cashier turned to me. She eyed the case of water I’d set on the edge of the conveyor.
“I wasn’t sure if you knew the code for the water, and didn’t think you wanted to lift it,” I explained.
“Well, you could have asked me before you lifted it,” she said sternly. “I could have saved you the effort because I know the code!”
I noticed her hand pressing on her hip and her face compressing in a tight grimace. “You’re in pain, aren’t you?” I asked. She said yes. Without thinking or pausing I looked into her eyes and said: “In Jesus’s name, I command all pain to leave you now.” Her eyes widened and her face showed surprise. She asked if I was a pastor and I said no, “I am a believer – a follower of Jesus Christ.” She said she was also. I asked her if she knew the cause of her pain, and she said the sciatic nerve. Then I said, “the Blood of Jesus is going to that place now to heal the sciatic nerve and all cells in your body are returning to normal.”
She exclaimed that she felt heat in the area where the pain had been. She began smiling. Then she lifted her hand over her head in praise and said loudly, “It’s a miracle! Jesus has healed me! Alleluia!” She repeated these words two or three times. The pain was gone and she had full mobility! Tears ran down her face. It was a moment of awe for the Love of Jesus was upon us in a mighty way. Barbara ministered to her and invited her to St. John’s when she said she did not have a church.
I went back to the store about ten days later to buy an item and in hopes I would see the cashier again. I did. Her countenance was powerful and her smile was full of joy. Thank you, Jesus!
God blesses me moment to moment. He calls me closer to Him for intimate embraces and conversation. I ask for more and He delights in my asking. With great joy, Holy Spirit helps me see and hear things I didn’t see or hear before I experienced how much He loves us and wants us to love Jesus and each other. His Love keeps hope alive. His faith in us is trustworthy and leads to life filled with joy. Mike & Barbara Johnson