Tell Me How You Really Feel

A few Thursdays ago, we did something totally and blessedly spontaneous. We had just gotten home from Mass and were sitting down to breakfast, when the phone rang. It was Fr. Roland—he was sick and wouldn’t be able to come to Holy Hour that day. He wasn’t the only sick one that day either; Pam and Stephen were also both feeling under the weather. A few minutes after we got the news, I randomly mused aloud, “Hey, do you know what we should do today? We should go somewhere!” I had been thinking for a while that it would be so great to just up and make a trip one day, but usually there was some reasonable explanation as to why we couldn’t—language class, all of us being unable to fit in the car we had that day, various appointments, etc. This day, though, seemed to be perfect. Although we were definitely bummed to leave Pam and Stephen behind, without them, we could all fit in our car. So, after double-checking agendas, we decided to head to Aachen—the nearest big city around us.

We were looking forward to fun, a little shopping, visiting the Cathedral and keeping our eyes and our hearts open to whatever divine appointments the Lord had for us. It didn’t take long to discover our first one. After stopping in a bookstore to stock up on foreign language supplies and some fun reading material, we decided to go check out the Cathedral. As we walked, we saw a homeless man, sitting, holding a cup on the steps of a church. I was really nervous, but felt that this was it; we had an appointment with this man. We decided to go talk to him and asked him if he wanted something to eat. We went to grab something for him from the closest bakery, and as we were walking back to deliver his lunch, Alyssa suggested that we pray over him. I told her candidly that I wasn’t really too keen on that idea. I told her that I’m not super comfortable praying over people when I do know them, and even less so if I don’t. I added, though, that we could ask if he had any prayer intentions. She didn’t press the matter, and as we walked back up to our new friend, we simply asked him what his name was. I don’t remember exactly how the conversation went from there, but the next thing I knew, I was asking Stephan if we could pray over him. It was so baffling because it was as if the Holy Spirit had simply taken over. As the words were coming out of my mouth, it seemed like the most natural thing in the world. I felt no fear about what he or anyone else would think and wasn’t concerned with my German being good or not or what to say. It was a miracle.

After we finished praying, we bid Stephan goodbye, and we continued on our way to the Cathedral. We soon discovered our second appointment just a few steps outside of the Church’s entrance. The Lord wanted us to spend some time with Tomas. It was really the craziest thing, because we simply asked him how he was doing, and there began an outpouring of all of the current hardships and pain in his life. While we couldn’t understand everything he said, we all listened and then, all of a sudden, I found myself asking if we could pray over him. He said yes and then I quickly asked him if it was okay if I prayed in English because it would be easier for me. He was fine with that, so we started to pray. Once more, to my amazement, I found the exact opposite of what I had said coming to life. The German was flowing and I suddenly knew that it was because the Lord wanted Tomas to hear and understand the words that we were offering for him. It was amazing.

Next, on our way to grab lunch, we ran into a university student who wanted our help filling out a survey. One of the first questions was about your employment status—missionary wasn’t one of the boxes you could check (surprisingly enough ;)), so I asked what we should put. A few minutes later, I was done and we were just waiting as Alyssa finished up her form. As we waited, I took advantage of the fact that she already knew we were missionaries and asked her if there was any way we could be praying for her. At first she said no. I didn’t push her, but instead just asked what her name was—thinking we could pray for her in our intentions later. She told us her name and then shared that she actually could use good thoughts/help/etc (read: prayers!) for finishing up her thesis. We told her we would be praying for her and said our goodbyes.

The day was so blessed for me because the Lord showed me not only how big He is, but also, how free I am. I am free to say no. I am free to say how I feel and share my fears. He won’t push me; but if I’m honest and open, then He can supply all the grace I need (and more) to do His work. Praise Him! “My God will fully supply whatever you need, in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

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