I dread encounters with the holy spirit. Honestly, I do. Its terrifying, I’m sweating, I’m wondering if anyone else is noticing how awkward and nervous I’ve become over the past few minutes.
These occasions are not beautiful to me, in the moment. They are dreadful. Dreadfully promising. Ugh, is that a real thing?
Today we had family pictures. Yes, planned, professional family pictures. First time for all six of us to be in a photo shoot, together.
I could write an entire post about family pictures, but I will narrow it down to this one, factual statement; trying to not have a heart attacking, emotional breakdown in the process of preparing all the things, that lead up to being prepared for family photos, is a real thing.
After the shoot, my daughter was supposed to have soccer practice, but we got an email that it was canceled , so we decided to go out to dinner.
A normal, semi-chaotic dinner was under way, as usual for us Klinges. Some of us argue about kids menus and the others wonder if they should have salad or a double bacon burger… yes we have food issues.
As our order is placed, my attention is drawn to the family who is being seated in the booth directly behind us. It is a husband and wife with their, about 10 year old daughter, and an older women that may be a sister of the husband or wife. They are excessively paying attention to the young girl, and although I cant hear them talking, I am alarmed. I cant stop looking at them and my heart is racing.
Our food comes and I am distracted the entire time. I am awkwardly looking at my husband, I am not engaged with my kids. They are talking and I am not listening.
These thoughts that say “something is wrong, ask them if they need prayer” keep flooding my mind. And mind you, I’m like trying to eat my dinner and just be normal.
My husbands back is to their back, so they have a booth seat in common. We are almost done with our meal and I ask him in a whispered voice “can you hear what they are talking about?” He says no. I’m frustrated because I dont want to talk to these people, honestly. Remember, my heart is racing outside my chest. I just want to pay and go.
I am keenly aware that the The Holy Spirit is not only with me, but with THEM, and hes trying to send THEM a message.
Ugh!! I quickly realize it’s not about me, and my sweaty, awkward, nervousness and comfort.
So what do I do? After we pay, I tell my family to get in the car while I stay behind and fumble to put left overs in a box, in a really long and aggravating way. Yes that’s right, I dont have the guts to say ” I’m having a moment with the holy spirit and I’ll meet you in the car. No, no I’m literally shaking and spilling alfredo sauce all over the to go box.
My kids go to the car. Nows my chance. My chance to what??? To Make a complete fool of myself to these atheists who are loving life and have not a care in the world and are going to laugh at me when I ask them if they need prayer?? These are the dumb thoughts that go through my mind.
I get up and walk over, literally my heart beat is in my throat. And I blurt out “I’m so sorry to interrupt you, but is there anything you need praye for?” Immediately the mom looks all around with tears in her eyes and says “did someone send you over here?” I said “no, no we were eating dinner in the booth behind you and ever since you sat down I felt like God was telling me to come and ask you if you needed prayer.” The adults immediately started to well up with painful tears, and the mom said “our mother just died and her viewing is tomorrow.” The other woman put her hand over her mouth in disbelief. I was welling up.
I’m not sure I can accurately explain to you what is going on in this moment.
You see, there are millions of moments in our days, where the Holy Spirit is not giving you direction. Should I put my pants on first or my shirt? Should I buy Kirkland brand or Bounty?
Millions of undirected moments.
Then there are the times when The Holy Spirit uses you and when you say yes, He takes over.
That is what happened tonight. I looked at the little girl and asked “so it was your grandma who passed away?” Her eyes were filled with tears and I cant even imagine what she was thinking, but her look, her eyes were amazed at me. The mom answered for her, choking back tears with her hands on her daughters shoulders “yes, yes her grandma.” I looked at that little girl and I told her ” God sees you and he is always with you.” I looked at the rest at the table and said ” I’m so sorry for your loss, but God is with you. And I will pray for you.”
They said thank you, maybe a hundred times, and then I left.
I was in tears. They were in tears.
I cannot comprehend the impact that encounter had on those people.
God loves people recklessly. And he does it through super average dorks like me and you.
So my final thoughts? I don’t know man, I’m so undeserved of these encounters. God uses those who are willing. Dorky and willing, that is where its at.