Easter celebrations have just recently ended. For my home church thousands came forward to make decisions to follow Jesus Christ. I found myself overwhelmed with joy and tears as hundreds came forward and wondered why it is so emotional for me. I think it’s because of what happened in Haiti. In Part three of the Love Series, https://godslovetransforms.com/2015/04/16/loves-miracles-the-haiti-series-part-three/?preview=true&preview_id=363&preview_nonce=c061bfc65c I talked about gathering outside a small school to spend time with and pray over children. I haven’t yet mentioned a young man who was, quite frankly, getting on my last nerve. I first encountered him inside the classroom. He was clearly the oldest and largest in the entire school …somewhere between 15 and 17 maybe? He sat in the back of our class, arms folded, glaring. And when we started to make animal balloons, he didn’t seem so thrilled…until the younger boys started enjoying themselves. Then, he became “interested” enough to mess with their cool hats and pop a leg on the giraffe just for fun.
It’s safe to say, I took an immediate disliking to him.
His tyranny continued while we were outside. He avoided the center of the group at all times, always lingering and prowling around the edges. If a younger kid ventured toward the outer boarders, there he was, waiting to pounce and steal their balloons. I remember looking up at one point and he was covered head to toe in balloons that he had taken. He was popping some, reworking others and proudly wearing some of his new re-designs.
Bully, I thought. I think I even physically sneered.
When the moment came to invite the group of children to ask us for prayer, no one made a peep. The silence was deafening. The pastor gave a 2nd invitation. Again, silence.
It was starting to get awkward and I was starting to get disappointed. I scanned the faces of the kids looking for signs of openness and praying for God to direct us. That’s when our eyes locked: the teenage bully was the only one staring back at me with his arms crossed, his head hung and his leg up on the wall behind him. I scoffed but that’s when the little voice in my spirit said, “Him.”
No way! I thought and my eyes scanned the audience of kids again. Anybody else! They landed on the teen bully again and again I heard, “Him.”
A tantrum broke out in my head: it consisted of me giving God all the reasons this balloon-stealing-rebel was CLEARLY not receptive to God or anything good! There’s no WAY I’m hearing this right, I thought.
“Who is being the rebel right now? You or him? And what if I’m right and you’re wrong?” Those questions got my attention and I decided I would take the risk of being wrong.
I stepped forward and fixed my eyes on teenager in the back. I asked the translator to call him out and tell him that I felt like God was telling me to ask him specifically what he wanted prayer for. Judging by his posture, I assumed he would shrug it off, shake his head and say, “nothing.” Instead, the young boy looked up at the translator and then at me with wide eyes and said, “Yes. I do want prayer. I think I would like to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.”
I don’t know who was more shocked: me or the little boys he had taken the balloons from! Then conviction hit my hard heart and brought me to tears. The pastor called the boy forward and embraced him. The men led him through a prayer of belief and asking God to be Lord of his life and as I watched, I saw a softness in his face that was there all along. I saw a precious, loved child who was eager for all that was good. I saw an open heart, a destiny as a spiritual leader and a warrior for the Kingdom of God.
This same young man…whom I had judged so harshly was the very same young man that would be called leader in the Kingdom. He was soooooo important to God and I had totally missed it. After his declaration, the rest of the group was eager to ask for prayer and many got released and healed as a result.
That night, I wept. His name was Will. A princely name, I thought. I repented for seeing him so poorly and for not having the loving eyes of Christ, who searches the heart and not the outward appearances. How marvelous and worthy of rejoicing is the witnessing of the greatest miracle of them all: the love and grace of God who leads us into redemption and salvation.
Yes…the greatest miracle of all…
“For God soooo loved….” –John 3:16