Posts Tagged With: culture

He is able, are we willing?

Can I encourage you that in the busy-ness of our days and in all our preparations and celebrations that we still take time to stop for the one. To take a moment to see if the smile from the shop assistant is only on their mouths and not in their eyes, that the person we talk on the phone to who says their ‘fine’ really are fine? God wants to use us. All He looks for is a willing vessel, no matter how inadequate we feel.

Miracles await those who step out. Beautiful moments of us becoming aware that our God, Jesus, is in fact a living, loving God who can help us face our own storms and see them calm, and can help us show others Him.

Allow me to share a story with you about my yesterday morning.

I was rushing about trying to get our food shop done and banking and other menial but needed tasks. I usually go to the same checkout lady every week if I can, we have lovely chats and over the last few years we have been getting to know one another (well as much as one can at a checkout). However, when I arrived at the checkouts she had a huge line and the lady next to her only had one person, so I opted for the quicker option as I had my three boys with me, and everyone knows how wonderful it is to shop with three energetic boys in tow ;-).20140331_070446

I began to unpack my shopping and noticed that the lady had a bandage on her left hand and that she was unable to lift anything with it (which you can imagine would make it difficult to pack shopping into bags). I asked her if it was very painful and what she had done to it. She was unsure what had happened but said that it happened a few days ago and she had taken a couple of days off work but couldn’t afford to take any more. I felt prompted to pray for her. So I did, in my head. But I felt prompted to tell her I could pray for her. She is from a different culture and religious background than myself and I was a little worried I would scare or offend her but knew that God was impressing on me to tell her that He heals. So I asked her if I could pray for her to my God because He is a healing God and she said yes.

I thought great, she knows I will pray and she’ll remember when the pain goes away it was Jesus who healed her. So I prayed again in my mind. But again, I was prompted that I should lay hands on her and pray out loud. This happens to me often but hadn’t happened in a while.I said to God, ‘ok, if you want me to lay hands on her, you have to make it not so busy so she won’t get in trouble or worry about the customers in line’. It was very busy and people were lining up at every available checkout, even the ones either side of us, but no-one was lining up at ours!! So I said quickly, ‘Let me pray for you now. Can I touch your hurting hand?’ She said yes though looked a little startled. All I said was “God I know you are a healing God and you are a good God. So right now we speak to this hand and say be healed now in the name of Jesus” I had no sooner prayed for her and people began lining up at the checkout. She kept staring at me and rubbing her hand and I paid for my shopping and she had to get on with the other customers. I could feel the presence of God and I asked her if she was ok and she said her hand was all warm. This was all she got to say before the next customer began talking to her.

I don’t know if her hand is healed, but I know she was touched by our God. He is alive and wanting to be involved in our everyday lives and make the mundane become the extraordinary that as Christians should be the norm 🙂 I look forward to seeing her again and believe it will be a good report.

As an aside, I had immense pain shooting through my ear and head and had it for the last day before I prayed for the lady at the checkout. After I prayed for her the pain was gone. I still feel like my ears are blocked but the pain is no longer there. I hope this encourages you to step out believing that God will do what he says he will do.

Bless you 🙂

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Categories: My journey, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another bus story

Ben (my husband), has done quite a bit of study on building inter-cultural relations and one of the things he has shared with me that has stuck with me:  that they (not quite sure who they is, but let’s just go with experts in the field) say that humour does not cross cultures. You cannot assume that something funny for you will be funny to another people group. Well I suppose that can be said to be true if any media stories are to be taken as truth, where ‘jokes’ have gone wrong when they go off shore, or when I take my Greek friends to see “the Castle” and they give me a strange look and then I go to a live ‘Wog Boys’  show and they are falling off their chairs laughing whilst I am merely falling asleep.

But I have seen humour cross the cultural barriers when there is friendship. Something happens as you become familiar with people and they let their guard down, and we become playful. Where am I going with all this? Well where I inevitably go, if you talk to me long enough… to the church bus run.

On Sunday, a guy from church (we’ll call him Joel) and I, go on one of the bus runs for our church. Now we more or less pick up the same people every week and have the same conversation every week. We pick up a lot of older ladies from hostels in town (where they are living so they can get to their renal dialysis appointments 3 times a week). Twice a week we have the pleasure of picking up these ladies who most are walker or wheelchair bound and take them to church activities. Every week, they ask where Ben is, and I tell them, he’s waiting for them at church. They then ask where Maku (my youngest boy) is, and I tell them he’s at church waiting for them. And every week it’s the same, except for our random weeks, which I love. Like this Sunday.

Yesterday, we needed to drop off a gentleman on a different side of town than we usually go with our run, and we decided to take him first as the ladies usually like to go for a drive. So we began to travel slightly north, and they begin to say, where you taking us? Darwin? I say yes, and so begins the banter, in which most of them get involved, even the grumpy man at the back who said we were taking too long to get him home for his lunch. They say “the driver man (Joel) can catch us some fish… with a spear. And the man at the back can get us some kangaroo, which he says we can eat raw…” and so it continues…. it was as if the event was really taking place and we were all to be involved including the driver man hitting a goanna which we could cook up.

Now to you reading this,  you may say where is the humour in this… Maybe it’s not hysterics, but it is playful, banter, imagination, fun… crossing all sorts of boundaries, cultural, age, gender and it worked. There was not one of us on that bus that wasn’t smiling and enjoying the story… It was a wonderful experience of humour crossing boundaries where it ‘should’ not apparently. I love being a part of these times. Stories that are really ‘you had to be there’ sort of stories, but one’s that convince me of this: that love is what crosses all boundaries that are in our way. And where there is true love (that only God can give) for the people you come into contact with, no matter how hard and daunting it can sometimes be, good things happen and people’s barriers begin to come down… and true friendship begins and deepens.

Bus run

Some of the people we pick up on the bus

Categories: fun in the sun, My journey, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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