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How healing happens {Day 21}

 

The man, I notice him when he walks through the doors.

I’m placing toilet paper and laundry detergent on the conveyor belt of the local Dollar General. Before the cashier even rings me up, there he is in line behind me. He’s holding two quarts of car oil in his dark, worn hands.

I nod and smile and turn back to my cart and kids now bubbling all over the front area of the store.

He speaks to my inner place and I hear Him quiet, “This man needs to know I love him.”

“Okay, Lord,” I say. I turn back to the man with sunken face and smile again. “How are you today, sir?” I ask.

“Good, good, just hot.”

This is the South and it’s always the weather we fall back on when we talk small. Never mind the man is shrunk up to nothing, that his lip is bleeding, that his teeth are all gone, that he is literally wasting away for all to see... there’s only the weather to tck tck at.

Youngest keeps reaching for the toys near the register and oldest is pushing on the cart to play with Little Bit inside. I’m trying to use coupons and pay the cashier and keep the buggy from running into my heels while instructing my other daughter to put that back already.

“Let me get out of this cauldron first?” I ask Him as I grab my sacked paper goods, round the kids up, and herd everything towards the door. Sometimes its all I can do to think straight.

We get outside and I park the cart.

The man is already out the door and I try to bargain with God. “If he comes by here on his way to the car, then I’ll tell him.”

I glance around and notice he is already at his car- on the opposite side of the lot. He won’t be coming my way.

A lost sheep has to be found. I’ll have to be a shepherd and leave the fold.

For a split second I consider forgetting it, going my way and excusing myself. But I don’t want to miss what God is doing, and I don’t want to quench that Voice, that Spirit that I crave so much in my life.

“C’mon, kids,” I round them up. “I want to go speak with this gentleman.”

They listen quickly. Grace.

I approach the man and his van. He’s got the front hood up and is pouring oil. “Sir?” I ask. “Do you need to make a phone call? I have a phone you can use.”

It feels so lame, so silly, so moronic. But it’s the opportunity given and I take it.

“Oh no ma’am.”

“Well are you from out of town? Is there something I can do to help?”

“I appreciate that, but no, I just need to put oil in every now and then. We live out in the Acres and we’re moving today to be near my brother.”

I glance inside the van and notice a woman in the passenger seat, window down, fast asleep.

“Well sir,” I turn back, “I just want to tell you that God loves you.” I reach out my hand and place it on his frail shoulder. “God loves you.”

We are strangers and I hope I’m giving dignity to the man and not taking it by being so bold as to touch him, but all I can think of is how Jesus touched the untouchables. Up close, the man’s bleeding lip reminds me of the leper. Or hepatitis. Sometimes the greatest way to love is to touch.

“Yes, well….” the man trails off and shifts on his feet. He doesn’t know what to say to that.

It’s been said that wounded people wound. Hurt people hurt others. This may be true but there’s something else I know: The healed heal.

And standing there beside the broken, I feel the wellspring of healing surge because those who have encountered the Great Physician are now His hands, His feet, His body.

We become healers.

Sometimes our own healing comes quickly, miraculously. But most the time, it comes “as we go.” It is true that our own healing happens as we allow ourselves to be the instrument of God’s healing in the lives of others.

This, I know.

Isaiah 58 says that IF we don’t turn away from the needy, THEN healing will appear quickly. Our own healing happens as we extend ourselves to others.

Is there an area of your life that needs healing? Be an instrument of healing in the life of another.

Friends, this is where we need to get personal. Practical. Where we put specifics and faces to our doctrine. There is a wounded one in our path, a needy one with a name. A boy called Nicolae.

Because he was born with under-developed genitals, Nicolae cannot use the bathroom like other boys. He has to wear diapers. Because of this, he was abandoned by his father. Because of this, he was placed in a state run orphanage. Because of this, he was locked in the back room of the orphanage and left to die.

But God has other plans.

A Christian found out he was locked behind those doors and she rescued him, him on the brink of death.

Nicolae has experienced the goodness of God.

He is still an orphan, but he is alive and every day he prays that God will make a way for him to have the surgery he needs- a sphincter implant- so that he can go to the bathroom. He just wants to be like other boys. 

Now I am not a boy or a man but I know enough about males to know this little boy suffers deep wounds, physically and emotionally.

I don’t want to pass by the wounded one God has brought across my path.

So back in February, my family and I decided that the monies from Trust Without Borders will go to Nicolae. Our family has also set up a fundraising account for Nicolae and are asking God for $25,000 to cover Nicolae’s surgery, travel out of country to a place where he can have it done, and paperwork required to get him out. That’s a crazy goal, I know!

But I also know this: The healed heal.

And I believe that you, my blog readers, are The Beautiful Wounded, those who are broken but gracious, wounded but poured out.  We are the healed who heal.

I shared Nicolae’s story with a friend and she said, “His story isn’t compelling enough. People don’t want to give to that.” And my response is, “People who have encountered the Great Physician become His hands and feet to others.”  It’s all a matter of where we are in the story. Are we the religious-looking ones who pass by on the other side? Or are we the compassion bearing ones, ministering healing to the needy? 

Friend, we are healed as we go, and we can be instruments of compassion in the life of another. We don’t have to be perfect to be compassionate. If we extend ourselves to the needy, then our healing will appear speedily and our light break forth as the dawn.

It’s a promise.

Below you will see Nicolae (he is the dark haired boy in the back). If you are participating in the 31+ day of trust, today’s reading is John 12 and our plunge is to trust God to heal, even as we deliberately extend ourselves to another. I’d like to ask you to help Nicolae however you can. I’ve given three ways below.

 

 

 

 

3 Ways each of us can be the healed who heal

{and surprise Nicolae!}:

 

1. By giving online through the link above. If the link does not work, copy and paste this url: https://www.youcaring.com/nicolae

2. By purchasing Trust Without Borders

3. By sharing this post with others.

 

Thank you, friend. Here is to much, much healing in our lives, hearts, and communities. I’ll keep you posted :) 

 

**The beginning story of today’s post excerpted from Trust Without Borders.

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11 Comments

  1. I love this post, particularly as a mom to boys, and as a mom to a special needs child. This guy’s faith is SO big. I’m praying that God pours out His blessings in this situation and provides above and beyond! Thank you for sharing with us!

  2. What a good way to put feet to the topic of the day- I appreciate your heart in this! And, I’m glad you told that man that God loves him. . . no matter his momentary reaction, I’m sure God used that in his heart! <3

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  4. I have been loving your devotional, but it’s been hard to read online (since I don’t have any Kindle/apps, so using the Amazon website). This post motivated me to buy the paper book. I can’t wait to read more….the first several days I read were incredible. Thank you for sharing Nicolae’s story and caring about him.

  5. This is a very encouraging, as well as challenging post. Your words set me to thinking. The wounded wound, the hurt hurt, and the healed heal. We can carry that over into so many areas. The forvgived forgive. The loved love. Powerful thoughts–thanks for sharing!

  6. Arabah – what an amazing blog post and I think it was amazing that you went up to a stranger to deliver the message that God loves them. I pray that I can have the courage to do the same. Really liked your insights on healing as well :) Thank you so much for sharing this! :)

  7. What happened to Nicolas? When I go to the link, it indicates the fundraising ended two years ago. I am on Day 21 of the Trust Without Borders study.

    1. Hi Sheila, the book and post is that old, can you believe it? So Nicolas was able to visit the doctor and consult with US physicians about his case. Unfortunately, because of all the botched surgeries previously, he had too much damage and scar tissue to have reconstruction surgery. He is heartbroken… but is growing in trust. He still needs prayer so I appreciate you lifting him up. What a precious young man.

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