A year ago my daughter, Eloise, and I walked into our local Target to pick up some groceries. I probably showed up at this Target at least twice a week because, well, it’s Target. Eloise was just over one at the time and we were in the sweet spot where she thought sitting in the top of the grocery cart was the best thing ever.
So I put her in, turned to go on our normal route around the store, and locked eyes on a woman nearby me who was limping into the store. She was young, fit, and with a bandage wrapped around her left foot. There was no question that she was in a lot of pain.
I turned back to Eloise not thinking much of it until I felt that inner pull from the Spirit suggesting that this wasn’t a situation to take note of but one to go participate in. God instantly reminded me of when I watched him heal a young woman’s knee in South Africa years ago. In the clearest whisper I heard the words, “What will you do with what you see before you right now?”
There was no mistaking the moment I was entering, with God leading me to consider how I might partner with him in changing the environment in one of the most ordinary places, our local Target. I’d love to say that I instantly headed off to pray for her, but the truth is that I fought this nudge the entire shopping trip. I wanted to step into what God was doing, but I also felt unsure and awkward.
So around Target Eloise and I went. While on the outside everything looked normal, inwardly I was conflicted between God’s leading and my own flesh and fear meshed together.
I had an intense conversation with God as I walked the aisles of Target. I was trying to assuage this urge within me to participate in what was before me and what he might want to do with me. He was, in turn, encouraging me that whether I stepped into this or not didn’t determine his love for me but could showcase his love through me.
What added comedy to the situation was that I ran into this woman at least six times as we walked around the
store. Time and again I would turn down the clothing, home, shoes, or skin care aisle and there she was.
Finally I got to the point where I had wrestled long enough. “Okay,” I resolved, “when I see her next I will go up to her and ask her if I can pray for her. This time I’ll do it.”
Sure enough I ran into her in the vegetable aisle, strolled up to her and said, “Excuse me. Hi. I’m sorry to bother you but I haven’t been able to stop noticing that you’re limping through the store. I actually have witnessed God heal people in the past of ankle problems and was hoping it might be okay if I quickly prayed for you?”
Kind of stunned, she let out an exhale. “I literally have tried everything and I just came back from getting X-rays today. I’ve done acupuncture, physical therapy, everything. I don’t know what’s wrong with my foot.”
“Well, would it be okay if I prayed for you right here and asked God to heal your foot?”
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