Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Listen. Learn.

I wasn’t raised in a Christian home. I do have a fond memory of being a little girl of about 8 years old and walking up an old country road to a little Baptist church. I was going there to attend Vacation Bible School. On the Friday that ended the week, I found myself answering the “altar call” and prayed with an old lady named Mrs. Romine (I’m sure she wasn’t old at the time, but she was old to me). I remember asking Jesus to come and live in my heart. I’ll be honest to say I really didn’t know what that meant. I just knew I wanted Him to come and live there. This new found faith wasn’t fostered where I grew-up, but I never ever forgot the Bible verse I memorized that week.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

It wasn’t until 1989 (nineteen years later) that I came to know Christ and made Him lord of my life. But I will have to save that story for another time.

I have no memory of ever hearing anyone pray. Now I’m not talking about a “thank you” prayer at meal time. I’m talking about, you know, praying-praying. So, what did I do? I just talked out loud, next to my bed, on my knees, and always started with these same words, “Hi. It’s me.” And then I would just talk to Jesus like he was sitting right there next to me, as my friend. I didn’t realize at the time that (1) he was, and (2) he was.

Now it came to pass that I heard about a Concert of Prayer taking place not too far from where I lived. I hadn’t ever heard of such a thing, and looking back, it may have been the first time it was ever held. Thousands of people were going to gather to pray. I wanted to be a part of this prayer service. It may not be for the reasons you might think.

I remember walking into this massive room with hundreds and hundreds of chairs that were being filled with people. Praying people. I already knew what I was going to do and got busy looking. I was looking for something very specific. It didn’t take long. I found what I was looking for up toward the front, and a little to the right. I can see the scene very clearly in my mind’s eye. It was a group of white-haired black women.

In my heart, I knew there was something to learn from people who had suffered, and suffered greatly. These little old white-haired ladies’ eyes had seen many things. I just walked right up to where they were and took my seat. Sure enough, a little later, chairs were moved, a circle was formed, and I was the lone white girl in the middle of these little old white-haired ladies. We held hands. I do not remember their prayers. I don’t even remember if I said anything. I will tell you this, I have never forgotten that moment. And I have never ever forgotten what I learned that day. Prayer changes things.

One of my favorite Bible verses found in Psalm 46 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” God honored the deep desire of my heart that day.

I hope someday to once again take the hands of these sweet ladies and thank them for the impact they made on my life. I’m sure they have long since died and gone to be with their Lord in Heaven. They never knew how God used them to change the life of a young woman who wanted to know how to pray. I learned by listening.

Sometime I’ll have to tell you about my 3 a.m. wake-up calls.

Pray on!

1 comment:

  1. Michelle, this is soo special!! "...getting to know you, getting to know all about you..." xo