A Stranger’s Prayer

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Would you pray for a total stranger, without being asked to?

Here’s how it happened, for me.

This week, I received an email reply from the secretary of an organisation I was making some enquiries with. I had written in a couple of weeks ago, as the matter was not urgent, I didn’t bother to call up to check. So this email reply is in fact three weeks late.

When I read the first line of the email, something stirred in my heart. It goes ” I’m sorry for the delayed reply as my son was hospitalised.” At that split second, I felt a nudge, but I tried to shove the nudge away with a “self-conversation”, that goes like that:

” Are you sure you want me to do this?… What should I say? Yes I understand her child is sick but how would I know she’s open to it?  Who knows her son may have recovered by now so doing this will be redundant right? .. What if she rejects me out right? …”

After a few minutes which seemed like eternity, I resolved:

” All right, if you really want  me to do this, you need to give me the words. And if this is really it, let her be the first person to pick up the phone when I call her.”

After this, I picked up my phone and dialed the secretary who sent me the email. The line was connected, a sweet sounding lady answered the phone.

” Hello, may I speak to Jenny please?” I asked

“Yes I am” the lady on the other end replied.

“Oh, Hi Jenny. Thank you for your reply. hmm.. actually I’m calling you not to make further enquiries …  hmm … I just feel I need to call you when I saw your email.  You don’t have to tell me what happened to your son if you’re not comfortable to but I’d like to pray for your son right now over the phone. It’ll take just a minute, all you need to do is to stay on the line with me and say Amen together with me.”

“Ok” she replied.

So I said a short prayer on the phone with her.  There was a short silence after we said ‘Amen’. Then her voice came on again:

“Wow, that means alot to me. Thank you.”

“Well, that’s the purpose of my call today. You have a good day.”

“You too” she replied.

And so we hung up. Here I am, trapped at home (feeling rather useless) due to recuperation needed for my own health issues. Yet I felt joyful that even in the midst of my own health issues, God can use me to pray for someone else’s healing – and more so – a total stranger.

I am constantly amazed by my awesome Heavenly Father.

 

Isaiah 55:8

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.


 

 

 

 

 

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Recovery: 10 Years Later

BeautyBeyondBones

Sometimes I am really blown away by people.

In a good way.

Not in a Kendall Jenner, Pepsi/Fyre Festival fiasco sort of way…


But in a, wow, how did I get so lucky, kind of way.

My best friend said the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me the other night.

We were sitting at a bar, and she proceeded to floor me with kindness.

And honestly, I’d muuuuch rather be self-deprecating than self-affirming, but I’ve decided to share this with you to show the full circle that God has brought me on.

She looked at me and said, “I’ve finally figured you out.”

And I asked her, “What do you mean?”

She said, “Caralyn, I’ve been your best friend since we were seven, and I’ve seen people just be drawn to you. Attracted to you. And I could never pinpoint what that “it factor” was. But…

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Vertical versus Horizontal

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Horizontally-speaking, life feels rather one-dimensional: hard.

Having a horizontally-challenged perspective is a big part of what makes us human. Too often, the limited perspective makes us believe this moment is all that is and the scene in front of us is all that will ever be.

Of course we know better than that, but at times that’s how it feels.

 

What we need is a vertical perspective when we’re waiting for something life-changing. We need assurance there’s an end in sight when we’re going through something heart-breaking. We need faith in a sovereign God when we’re called on to suffer.

God promises a future and a hope. He promises sustaining grace for every trial. He promises His presence with you—as close as your heartbeat and as near as your breath. He promises to never leave you. And never to walk away.

So today, allow God to take away your fear of the unknown and replace it with a calm, quiet confidence. He knows the path of your life from a thousand feet as well as the route that you take on your way to work today.

So, if you’re struggling today, it’s going to be OK. And if it’s not OK yet, then it’s not the end.

Job 23:10: “But [God] knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.”

You may not see it, but . . . the best is yet to be.

Another Divine Appointment

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It’s Friday evening, I just knocked off from work, ( well actually more like knocked out ).  It’s one of those days that you unknowingly made a teeny weeny silly mistake and start feeling a wee bit down.

As I stepped into as busy mall, can’t help but noticed the crowd, shoppers, diners;  after all It’s the weekend.      Not wanting to wander around aimlessly alone, I decided to grab a quick dinner at a busy food court. As I plunked down onto my seat with my tray of food, I thought to myself “Oh well, I have breakfast alone, lunch alone ( because I’m the only employee in office,  you don’t really count your boss as a lunch buddy right?), and now dinner alone. But I thank God I have food to eat! ”

Before I could take a second mouthful of food, a young lady with long hair walked up ” Is this seat taken? ” The seat opposite me was empty. “No, You may sit here.” I replied.  She thanked me with a smile and sat down. Out of curiosity, I asked “You don’t sound like a local, where are you from? ” She smiled again and replied “Myanmar “.

We started chatting, about the food, what she does and how long she’s been living here. ” I’ve been staying here for 10 years, I love it here but I’m going back next month to take care of my mum.”  At this juncture, I thought this may be the last time I see her, perhaps I can pray for her mother or share about God’s love and healing to her. However, to my surprise and delight, she’s already a believer.

“It’s tough when I first came, I had to adapt to the culture and work was stressful, so much so that I dreaded going to work everyday. ”  “That must have been tough on you, how did you overcome that? ” I asked eagerly.  Her answer was simple yet amazing ” I just focus on God throughout the day, all the time, at every hour I’d whisper a prayer to thank God for bringing me through another hour. After some time, things got better. ”  She went on to recount how small  David defeated gigantic Goliath, one of her favourite accounts in the Bible, she  added ” Though the Goliaths in our life look formidable, we have God on our side.”  I am so touched by her simple yet steadfast faith. We chatted over dinner about life, family, her love for cooking, life in her country. She had a passion for ministry and desire for sharing God’s love to our countrymen.

At the end of dinner, we’re like 2 old friends reunited. We exchanged contact numbers and I told her we should do dinner before she goes back to her home country. ‘ Yes, and if you come to my country, I’ll bring you around, and who knows, we can become ministry partners one day!’ She chuckled.

As I made my way home, the initial lonely ‘down and out’ feeling was gone, instead I feel so encouraged by the faith of my new friend  and her passion for helping her fellow countrymen. I never thought I’d be engaging in such an inspiring conversation tonight. I had started out wanting to help her but instead I was the one being helped (encouraged).

You may call it a chance meeting but I can’t help but feel amazed by this divine appointment.  I concur witj the famous scientist, Albert Einstein “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous. ” I thank my heavenly Father that once again He has given me what I needed when I needed it most, He truly is watching over me!