Our church has its thumbs into many different community pies bringing support, prayer and insight into the lives of all kinds of people.
On Wednesday mornings we are involved in a ministry called Catalyst. It’s all about being God’s agents to bring about change in some degree or another.
Being on a Wednesday, it’s only during the holidays that I am able to go. For the most part, the times that I have gone have been pretty much an opportunity to meet with other Christians and exchange information and encourage one another. I have made new friends but not really had the chance to minister to anyone – not the yet-to-be-saved. My main reason for popping in this morning was to see if my friend Kathryn was there. The first time we had met, a years or two ago, we connected, talking about our faith, our challenges and our poetry. I hadn’t seen her for a few months and hoped to find her there.
The place was empty but for a couple of people I didn’t know. They were deep in conversation with an open Bible on the table. After the introductions were made we began making connections. One of the people knew me from a few prayer meetings we had both attended. The other person knew my friend Mark and both of them knew Kathryn who was a Street Pastor.
I thought I would give it the time it took to drink my coffee and if Kathryn hadn’t arrived by then I would do some shopping and go home. I may have the appearance of being quite the extrovert but I find new people very intimidating to get to know. I was not part of the “team” and not particularly confident that I had any contribution to give. These people were trained experts to my mind.
A lady walked in. She had carefully read all the posters and notices in the window. This was not just any other coffee shop – not on a Wednesday morning. She came in with the knowledge that people were going to talk to her – perhaps even ask gentle probing questions. She came in with the intention of finding answers.
She joined the two of them on the sofa. I wasn’t any great distance away, but they were talking quietly and my hearing is not so good. I made myself useful by praying quietly – that the woman would feel she was in a safe enough environment to share her heart, and that the couple listening would have God’s wisdom to bring insight and answers.
I was waved over to join with them in prayer. I had heard snatches of the conversation, but not really enough to feel I knew what to pray for so I stayed silent. I heard snatches of the prayers said, but not really enough to understand what the issues were.
How do I explain what happened next? Did I feel sea spray on my face? Were there rocking waves beneath my feet? I just knew that this woman was going through a storm – a bad storm. Whatever strength she thought she had to deal with her trials, it was gone and her ship was about to break apart. Then I pictured Jesus standing and spreading out his arms and rebuking the wind and the waves. There was not gradual stillness, but an instant calm and an immediate peace. So that is what I prayed – the whole scene from storm to stillness.
I don’t know who was most encouraged – the lady I prayed for, the two others on the sofa – or me. I had entered the coffee shop thinking that I had nothing to contribute but God had a different view.
I can’t wait for next Wednesday!