He was just one Walmart aisle away now. Standing there, clueless as to what was about to happen. Poor guy: Mister stranger with his arm in a cast, minding his own business, probably shopping for Cheetos or a pillow or something.
Meanwhile, I was bent over with my hands on my knees, palms sweaty, and breathing heavily (basically hiding) in the aisle next door. “Am I actually about to do this?” I thought to myself.
Determined to make a move, I stood up straight, turned around and started walking right toward him. “Breath! Breath!” I needed to remind myself. It was now or never.
Me: “Hi! How’s it going today?”
Me: “Awesome… umm… so I noticed you have a cast on your arm, is it cool if I pray with you for healing?”
Asking that question was super scary but as soon as I got it out, I felt a much-appreciated sense of excitement and adventure begin to well up within me. When he finally responded, I was so surprised I couldn’t believe all of this was going down in a normal neighborhood Walmart.
So I asked for his name and proceeded to ask God to bring healing to this guy’s arm. The prayer must have lasted only ten seconds. I ended the prayer, he said “thanks,” and then he walked away. Just like that, it was over. I had no idea if God healed him in that moment. I didn’t know if any of that made a difference to him. But I do know one thing: I responded in faith to God in a new way that day – and it changed me.
That day, God invited me into a situation that cost me my comfort and challenged my resolve to follow Jesus. And like the 72 who were sent by Jesus to preach and heal (Luke 10), I came back from aisle 8 rejoicing. Pope Francis summed it up best when he said: “Life grows by being given away, and it weakens in isolation and comfort. Indeed, those who enjoy life most are those who leave security on the shore and become excited by the mission of communicating life to others” (The Joy of the Gospel, 10).
I believe the difference between a Christian and someone who is “almost Christian” is supernatural faith in a Jesus who is alive and in the world today, just as much as he was 2,000 years ago. This week, I invite you to spend some time inviting God to reveal Himself to you throughout your day. How is God inviting you to follow Him more closely? Do you believe God is really alive and able to work miracles in your world today?
Jesus, I give you permission to reveal your love for me in a new way. Lead me to those who need your healing. Help me believe that you are always with us to enlighten, strengthen, and free us. Jesus, I trust in you.
This blog post was written by Tim Jara, Coordinator of High School Youth Ministry here at St. Francis of Assisi. If you’re interested in writing a blog for St. Francis of Assisi, please contact Joseph at [email protected].