In order to continue taking in the entirety of God’s resolute love, (“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” ‘declares the LORD.’ “As the heavens are higher than the earth so are My ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is My word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire ad achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD’s renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed.” Isaiah 55:8-13 NIV), I began fasting. No television or food, only water and breath mints until lunch would be served at the hospital on Monday. A spiritual cleansing reasoned necessary. My mind felt frenzied with many distractions. The time had come to apply myself to effective communication with God, spotlighting on His growth plan for me.
The first challenge:
I went to the Base Exchange to purchase a Bible. Yes, I had my Bible but remember that any personal belongings I took into my hospital room would have to remain in there once I was released. Therefore, I decided to purchase one that I could leave in the room. With cheerless eyes, the cashier looked at the Bible, then at me. She asked if I were a Christian. When I confirmed, in a limp voice, she whispered, “Please pray for me.” She had no smile on her face. Actually, she looked as if the devil was standing behind me at the moment, bullying her to say nothing further. I asked her name, said that I would pray and walked off. With a crying desperation in her voice she implored, “Pray for me pleeease.” Turning only a ¼ of my body around, waving at her, I said, “I will,” and walked back to my room.
Later in the evening, my mind began to taunt me. Unsettling. My mind, it would not colonize. Visual memories of the cashier’s tormented facial expression chastised me. “Why didn’t I pray right then?” I questioned myself. So, I prayed. Apologizing to God for rushing off to “no where” instead of praying at that moment, I pardoned for another opportunity. The exchange had closed by then but the next day, I boldly entered that exchange in search of my “stranger…”
“See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many…Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, ad those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” Hebrews 12:15-13:3 NIV