June 12, 2015

Bruised, Hurting and Dirty / George Kane

Hearing the word, seeing God’s healing hands at work

George KaneMy friends and fellow missionaries Rus, Ben and Gabe are what some people would call “specialists” when it comes to reaching at-risk people. One day, they felt moved in prayer to visit Devon, a young leader with a circle of friends who live, as they call it, “on the streets.”

As they knocked, the voices inside dropped.

“Who is it!?”

“It’s the missionaries!”

The door cracked open, and Devon peered out. “Oh, man, come on in guys.” The room was filled with smoke, and seven men in their late 20s with varying levels of tattoo work, piercings and pant heights.

“What’s the word?” asked Devon, who knew that the missionaries always brought a message from God when they visited. Rus pulled out a Bible and rubbed it between his hands. “The word today was to read a Gospel story, and I’m gonna let God choose it.” He flipped open to a random page, Matthew 15, and began reading.

Then they hit verse 11, where Jesus says, “What enters the mouth does not make a man unclean, what defiles one is what comes out of his mouth” (Mt 15:11). They talked about that verse for a while until Devon, apparently feeling some conviction, said, “Man, the only reason so many people smoke weed is because we’re so bored.”

“Come do mission work with us! I promise it won’t be boring,” said Rus. But Devon quickly changed the subject, saying, “Let’s pray.”

One of Devon’s friends, Gavin, had an aching tooth and looked miserable.

“You down to pray for healing?” asked Rus. “We’ve been seeing God heal.”

Gavin was down.

“Y’all can join, too,” said Rus, laying his hands on Gavin’s shoulders. Surprisingly, every guy in the room joined in.

Rus asked Gavin how bad the pain was on a scale of one to 10, and Gavin said, “It’s a nine.” Rus led a simple prayer: “In the name of Jesus, pain, go away.”

Silence.

“It’s like an eight now,” Gavin reported, somewhat hesitantly.

“Are you sure?” asked Rus, “I mean, you can be honest, maybe it’s a 10! God doesn’t do fake healings.”

“Naw man, it’s definitely better,” said Gavin, now with more confidence.

“Great! Let’s pray again!” said Rus, surprising Devon and his friends. It’s been our experience as missionaries that sometimes we need to pray with people multiple times for healing before it takes complete effect, like Jesus did with the blind man in Mark 8.

Rus prayed another simple prayer.

Another pause.

Gavin stretched his mouth open and closed, looking confused. “It’s … it’s a three,” he said quietly, not looking up.

“Praise God!” said Rus. “Let’s pray again!” This time, only Ben and Gabe joined him. When they finished, it was deathly silent in the room.

Gavin poked his jaw. Once. Twice.

“Whoa. … It uh … it doesn’t hurt.”

Alleluia!

Ben and Gabe whooped and hollered, and Rus shouted, “God must love you a lot, Gavin!”

“Man, I guess so,” said Gavin, still flexing and poking his jaw, looking as stupefied as the rest of the room.

As Rus led his team out the door, he excitedly pointed at every guy in the room, exclaiming in staccato singsong, “God—has—a—all—on—all—y’all’s—lives!”

Thank you, Lord, for your healing!
 

(George Kane is a graduate of Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis and a former member of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Indianapolis. You can read more of his columns at georgekane.wordpress.com.)

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