Well, I am still having some ups and downs with this healing situation. I know that it is a stumbling block from Satan because it comes up quite a lot when I am really worshipping, and it makes praise and worship very hard. And it did come up this weekend. As I go through the details of Praise Gathering, I will tell you more about how it fit into the weekend. I got Bruce Carroll's tape--or should I say tapes since I got two of them?.
Vicki got here yesterday around 1:00 in the afternoon. She came into my room and was sitting on the floor playing with Elli, and she just started spilling out her feelings and things she was really hurting about. I had no idea of the pain she was in. We just prayed together and talked and hugged for an hour and a half before we had to leave. This was one of the MOST BEAUTIFUL things I have seen in a LONG time.
"I really need God's children right now," she said, "but it seems like they're all hurting."
Yes, they are, and many very deeply. I don't know one who isn't. But there is hope for us in Jesus Christ, and together we can give this hope to each other. When my brothers and sisters are hurting, I can see that and lay my own fear and pain aside and share my little tiny bit of faith with them. And when we combine those little tiny bits, we see enough that we can see it growing. And it keeps growing and growing and growing ... even though we may feel as if it is faltering sometimes. It isn't, and we will realize that when we come out of the hole for a moment and can remember and marvel once again over what our faith has done for us in the past.
Last night was a beautiful night, and for a while I was free of this stumbling block. Of course, I had it coming because Satan saw how my heart was drawn into real praise and worship. He sees those things, and that's how he attacks us.
Anyway, about last night, I don't even know where to begin or remember a lot of what happened. A few things stick out to me. My seat for the weekend was next to Peggy Benson, the wife of Bob Benson, an author who died of cancer about three years ago. Bob was also one of the starters of Praise Gathering. In the middle of the service some folks started reading some of his quotes. Peggy just cried for about thirty minutes. I didn't even know her, but I couldn't stand for her to be alone in that. So I did something I would hope someone would do for me. I just put my arms around her and held her for that time. What grief or healing she was experiencing is something I will probably never know. All I know is that tonight when she left she said, "I will never forget you." I don't boast about this. I only did it because for one moment I wasn't in the artists' section. I was in a seat next to a person with a terrible burden. And I did for her as I wish people would do for each other more often. It crossed the lines of friendship and age and social status ... For that one moment I was who I want to be all the time. And it meant s o much to meto do it!
At the end Sandi Patti sang "Yes, God Is Real." Well, the whole last hour was Sandi. She had more energy than I have ever heard. But when she sang that song, something was going on, and it was more than Sandi's skill or beautiful voice. I could feel it in the whole audience and in Sandi herself. I knew that He WAS real and WAS RIGHT THERE without a doubt, and I could almost reach out and touch Him.
My first attack came at Sheila Walsh's seminar this morning, and even it wasn't all bad. She had talked about a letter she had gotten from a 29-year-old who was dying of cancer. It said, "Sometimes I can't watch the 700 Club because you only show the people who get well. you don't show the quadriplegics who love God or the blind people who love Him the way they are." Sheila is cohost of the 700 Club, and I heard great sadness in her voice as she talked about this. She probably had no idea. I doubt that a lot of people realize what these healing services do that they aren't supposed to do.
I was sitting on the front row crying my eyes out, but I wasn't sticking out because so was everyone else. After the seminar was over I went up and blurted out a very short version of this story. Sheila didn't say anything, but she just prayed for me, that the stumbling block would be removed. That was the most meaningful thing I have ever experienced. Out of all the people I have gone to in person about this, she is the first who has done that.
Tonight was another beautiful night. And then two songs were sung about asking for healing. I broke down AGAIN, so it was Peggy's turn to do the ministering. The first song was okay and even had me excited because I WANTED emotional healing, and I know it is somewhere. Then Satan threw the block, and it landed right where he wanted it. But I got the last laugh tonight because I finally said, "Look, you just can't do this. I want to SING, and I WILL! So you can't make me cry about this any more." I would just like to have a little while when I am free of this. I really don't care about physical healing as much as I want the peace of God and the opportunity to be used by Him as I was this weekend.