I was checking out at a Cub Foods and as the cashier was scanning my items a woman, another employee, approaches and tells him to close out after me so she can clean the area. She replies ” My tootsies are killing me! I am not used to just standing all day.” He nods understandingly and walks away. She is now alone with me and I know what is coming next. No Lord! It has been a long week, I am peopled out and frankly just not feeling like Jesus at the moment.
As I start to bag my groceries I decide to keep my head down and not look at her. For some reason I think if I ignore her she will stop talking about her pain and I won’t feel obligated to do anything about it. She continues to clean around me while complaining about her pain.” Oh my feet hurt! My toes really hurt and I am not used to this.” Agggghhhh Dang! Daddy God I am just not in the mood! You see my hair is kind of messed up and stuck to my head because it was raining outside. I never bothered to put on makeup today and you know how scary I look with these white eyelashes and eyebrows. Like Chucky! Or an albino! I don’t want to look at her. Or anyone right now. Besides the rotisserie chickens are the best when they are still hot and……
In a flash, God just gave me this immense love for this woman and I forgot all about my self. “Oh what did you do to your feet?” She has this stunned look on her face that a customer would bother to ask and then with a big smile on her face continues to tell me why they hurt. “Oh I am sorry, can I pray for you?.” She walks over to me and responds” Well….sure! I believe in that. I believe in psychics too”. I smile and thank God for His grace because He is only asking me to help and not to correct. I laugh as I tell her that people often walk by me in public and announce their pain and then I know God wants me to pray for them. “Really?” “Yes, really.” Now she is more than happy to let me pray.
So right in the middle of Cub, at the end of a checkout, I lay hands on her and pray my heart out and at the end say “Lord as she continues to walk around Cub let the pain go completely away and never return.” She is delighted and gives a little hop as she walks away and says “I sure hope this works”.
I talk to people all the time, in ministry, who have a hard enough time reaching out to pray for friends or relatives let alone strangers in public. How many people do we pass by that would love prayer but we are just not in the mood? Or not looking our best? Or don’t know how to initiate contact? No one wants to look foolish or like a religious nut job but most of all we just don’t want to be rejected.
God still loves you even if you NEVER lay hands, but for those of us who want to, we need to learn how to get past ourselves. Just start up a conversation first so you don’t look like a serial killer. I have only had 2 person refuse my offer of prayer. One was a server who never came back to our table with the bill. The other one, I just thanked and squeezed their shoulder as I walked away. But as you can imagine it wasn’t just a squeeze. You don’t have to be weird, you just got to be clever!