Okay, so anyone who knows me knows that I have an enormous amount of respect for Todd White. (If you don’t know who he his, just look him up on YouTube. I swear, the man is like a walking John the Baptist…with dreads. AMAZING)
He played a significant part in my decision to close up shop and start this. God is constantly using his example to challenge and push me. CONSTANTLY.
One of the primary things Todd White is known for, is that he prays for people everywhere he goes. Like, ALL THE TIME. Miracles happen, people are healed – it’s Jesus power exploding everywhere.
And if you ask him why he does this, he will simply tell you, “I’m a Christian. This is what Christians do”.
That statement rocked me and Zac in more ways than I can even tell you.
I’m ready to put on my big girl pants and be a real Christian. You know, the kind that you see in the Bible. Old school style. Like the disciples of Jesus. Like Todd White.
So I’m at Walmart. No kids (which is a miracle in and of itself). Just me and my grocery list. Right as I go inside, I see a woman with a scarf on her head. She had a pained look that I recognized; it was evident she was in the deepest throes of Chemo
Then the Lord spoke. Not audibly, and not in a conversational way like he does other times. He just reminded me of one man: Todd White.
I stood frozen in front of the apples and started a living argument inside my head. It went something like this:
Okay, I want to pray for people, Lord, I really do. But, she doesn’t know me and it could be awkward and strange and God….are you sure?
Then he spoke for real:
Anna, this is her first outing. She’s embarrassed because of her hair. She needs encouragement.
Lord, but I CAN’T!!!
My heart was compelled, but something gripped me. Fear? Insecurity? I don’t know. Whatever it was, it was paralyzing. And, I did what any good church goer does. I bargained with God.
Okay, I’m going to go down another isle and if I happen to run into her again then I know it’s you and I’ll pray for her.
I left the stationary pile of apples I had been staring at for far too long and moved into the bread section. And, wouldn’t you know, guess who I nearly collided with? Yep. It was her.
And, do you know what happened? Our eyes met, hers filled with fear and I stood there like a statue. Couldn’t move. Couldn’t talk.
Apparently someone who prays boldly inside of churches and Starbucks couldn’t pray for a cancer patient in the bread section of Walmart.
I walked away.
I hate that this is what happened. I hate that I can’t sit here and tell you of a miraculous encounter at Walmart, where I was going all John the Baptist style and calling down healing fire from heaven. Nope. That’s not what happened AT ALL.
I kicked myself the entire way home.
But, you know what? God didn’t kick me. Not one bit.
Part of me thinks he knew I’d freeze up….maybe he wanted me to see my own heart. Whatever the case, it was something I won’t forget.
Later that week, I had a dentist appointment. I had to get some fillings taken care of (I have been cavity free MY ENTIRE LIFE until I started having babies. And with each one, I get more. I’m like what the heck??? Could be the large amounts of ice cream….but we won’t talk about that)
Soooo, I’m sitting in the chair and my dentist comes in. We go through the usual stuff and while he’s working on my teeth, he starts talking briefly about not being able to use his hand like he used to because of his “condition”.
Immediately the Lord said to me,
Ask him about his hand
Mind you, I’m laying in the chair with my mouth and HALF OF MY FACE COMPLETELY NUMB.
I cringed and my head sounded something like this:
Oh no….I know where this is going
I knew it without him even having to say another word.
I was supposed to pray for my dentist.
While my mouth was numb.
After having 4 fillings.
He finished and I sat up. Half my lip was hanging totally useless while he gave me instructions on how to eat, etc. It was lovely.
He stood up to leave and before I knew what I was doing, I blurted out of the one functioning side of my mouth,
What’s going on with your hand?
He sat down and opened up to me about a condition he had recently been diagnosed with. He had already undergone 3 surgeries and was about to go through another one.
He talked about how hard it’s been not being able to fully do what he loves.
However, THE ENTIRE TIME, all that’s going through my mind is that somehow before he leaves, I’m going to have to pray for him.
Because that’s what Christians do.
And, I’m supposedly one of them.
And, I should believe that God wants to know him and BELIEVE that I am made to be a conduit of Jesus’ love for him.
It was terrifying.
But, again, before I knew what was happening, I slurred,
Can I pray for you?
He looked a little awkward and said with a smile to the now drooling patient of his, “Sure”
Guys, what I’m about to say happened next is embarrassing, but that’s okay. Because, as followers of Jesus we have to be willing to be uncomfortable. We just have to.
I laid my hands on his arm and with confidence started to pray. (Slurring, drooling, half of my mouth was numb so who knows if he understood what I was EVEN saying)
But, people, I PRAYED!!
In a dentist office
For my dentist
Who had no idea what was going on (but that’s okay)
After I finished, he straightened up and cleared his throat and managed to say, “thank you for that”
But what happened next is the cool part. No, I didn’t get to witness a miraculous healing. Not yet at least. But, what I did get to be a part of was a MUCH LARGER STORY.
He began to tell me about his mentor in dental school, who was a Christian. He told me how he carried his Bible everywhere and told him about Jesus.
He then told me about how he wants to open up a practice to serve people who cannot afford to pay. His eyes lit up as he shared a vision he’s had to fill his ENTIRE office with patients who can’t pay.
Whether he realizes it or not, he has been on a path towards God for a quite some time. God placed in his heart an orchestrated vision and giftings to fulfill it. He gave him a Godly mentor who planted numerous seeds while in school. And, then God sent me. Just a normal, regular patient to sit in his chair. A girl who loves Jesus and was crazy enough to start acting like it.
Before I left I told him that the vision he has to help the poor and needy is God designed. I told him that’s why he needs his hand healed and why I will continue to pray for him.
I’m not perfect at this. I still have sea legs. And, I’m probably going to miss the mark at some point again in the future. But, the times I get it right….the times I listen and open my eyes to the rescue mission in front of me, those are when I taste a bit of what it is to be like Jesus.