When the Gift is Ready to Be Given Away

by | Nov 28, 2011 | Uncategorized

Seated in an auditorium on campus with my peers, I listen to John Wimber talk about praying for healing and it is just words bouncing off the walls of my skeptical mind.  Until he initiates a challenge from the stage, asks those that need healing to get up and stand next to the wall while the rest of us stay seated.

That takes a while because so many students get up, lean against the padded wall.  

He tells those seated to go pick someone out from those standing to pray over. Well, that feels awkward and a bit like I want to run out of the room.  But I do it.

I pick the girl with the black bob and we sit back down in the bouncy theater seats and introduce ourselves. When I share my name, she gasps.  Says she has been looking for me for over a year on campus because the pastor at the college I attended before this one, he tells her to find me.  She is a freshman and just finding her way.

Could this be divine, this picking her out random in the sea of others when she has been trying to find me?  That skepticism, it starts to fidget.

She says she is having trouble hearing in her right ear and she wants me to pray for her. So I do it like John Wimber shows us.  Put my hands on her ears and pray. And when I stumble over the words, my ears get fire hot and I feel something shoot through me like jumper cables on the wrong post.

He warned us about that hot feeling earlier and I wonder if this could be something and now that skepticism, it is restless like flag flapping in wind.

Several days later the preacher in chapel stops in mid-sentence during his sermon.  Just starts talking to air, like he is having a private conversation with God and the audience, and we all eavesdrop. Says to all of us that someone just gets healed in their right ear and I think this man is a complete loon.

Who does this? Stand in front of a crowd and just stop to say he heard God say this, that someone just. got. healed.

I sit in my room afterward; answer the phone. It’s the girl with the black bob and she is out of breathe with joy. She tells me it was her, she is the one he says got healed. How she felt something hot in her ear while she sat in chapel, had it checked by a doctor and it seems as though God healed her.

That skepticism slaps me in the face and runs right out the door.

That encounter, over twenty years ago, it’s a page in the story he writes that is my life. How he redeems my unbelief in the healing of a girl that I didn’t know existed before that night.

You and me, we are all dispensers of spiritual gifts he gives away free.   Just receptive cupped hands to hold the mercy, grace, forgiveness, kindness, healing; that’s all he asks. So we can give it away to others.

And how do we know when what we have in the cupped hand is ready for blessing? Practice. Risk and practice. Practice and trust in the one who gives the gifts.

Linking with GracefulPlaydates with God, Write it Girl! and Ann to count the gifts.

  • For a packed suitcase and expectant heart as I board the plane to fly to England today!
  • You, because you will come with me. Yes?
  • Time in an airport to read and write during layovers.
  • The mother-in-law that lives with cupped hands and watches over kids so I can do this with my husband.
  • A slow walk on the beach with her.
  • Pink and blue cloud reflection in the water that skims the surface of the sandy beach.
  • Reunion with Oliver North on church steps and the way it brings back memories of before we married.
  • White chocolate dipped gingerbread cookies from Trader Joes.
  • For this post and the way it makes me grateful on Thanksgiving.

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  1. Meredith Duke

    True obedience, even if a bit skeptical…

    What a story.
    How miraculous!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      It was actually inspired by the sermon on Sunday. How god intends us to be dispensers of grace not hoarders. And this story came back to me. Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. kd sullivan

    I love this story! Especially since my left ear isn’t hearing so well…God is powerful!!!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Yes, he is and I pray healing for you too! Amen.

      • kd sullivan

        I receive that healing…

  3. Diane Bailey

    Yes, Yes, this is the God I serve!! Take me to the next John Wimber event with you! Love it when God is allowed to just be Himself!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Oh Diane, wouldn’t that be fun! More like life-changing. This actually happened while I was in college but have had many other encounters since.

  4. Deidra

    Your writing is amazing. And this story? This true account of God at work through you and in you and around you? It just leaves me speechless.

    Blessings as you travel…

    • Redemption's Beauty

      thanks Deidra. It came to me in church when our pastor talked about using our gifts. Because we are rich in what He gives. Appreciate your prayers as I travel. Already delayed to Atlanta but luckily lots of room in between flights.

  5. Boo Peace

    All I can say is WOW! And yes I am coming with you to England! Happy and safe travels!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Yay, glad to know you will be with me Boo.

  6. Amy Sullivan

    Wow, you drew me in quickly with this story, and your reactions (like wanting to run!). Beautiful writing.

    Hope you have a safe trip to England.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Amy, thanks for your encouragement. Had fun writing about it. Brought back so many memories that make me grateful.

  7. Michelle DeRusha

    Wow, Shelly, this story is just incredible. And Deidra nailed it — your writing is spot-on here.

    Happy travels!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks so much Michelle. Enjoyed sharing the story of how God taught me about using the spiritual gifts all those years ago.

  8. Paula

    You have always been a dispenser of grace. One of many early references to you beginning in infancy was “she IS a little angel”. I shall always believe it to be the truth. I will be traveling with you too.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Paula, you are too good to me. Love you!

  9. mamaabby

    I too was drawn into these story and just love how you close it out…the cupped hands ready to receive and give. This is what it’s all about…and thanks for keeping it all real:}:} Nice to meet you Shelly:}

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Abby so nice to meet you too! I know you are getting ready to engage on your own journey abroad. Blessings!

  10. roseann elliott

    I love how God’s kindness wins us to Himself…cupped hands…may they become opened hands…giving what we have…thanks for this…
    Oh a trip with hubby…blessings and look forward to hearing about it…blessings as you travel and enjoy this precious time with your man…

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Roseann, love your thoughts on the open hands. Yes, Lord. Open hands to receive and give away!

  11. Lindsey van Niekerk

    Oh, I had a situation like this happen to me once in praying for a partially blind woman in India who was healed….and how God challenged me and my faith and opened up my mind and heart to all that He wants to do in the lives of people. I love your story! Thank you for sharing!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Lindsay, know you are also an ORU alum. This story happened during my time as a student there. And wow, what a privilege for you to share in the healing of a blind woman. Love that story!

  12. Stacey29lincoln (@stacey29lincoln)

    This beautiful testimony is written in such a way that I can be right there with you the whole time!

    Thank you for sharing and being part of Write It, Girl!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Stacey, the best part of Write it Girl is getting to know other bloggers like you and Katie. Thanks so much for the November link up!

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