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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Blindfolded



By Cheryle M. Touchton

The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady


For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7


I’ve never been a big fan of games that put a blindfold on me so it should come as no surprise that sometimes walking by faith and not by sight is a little troubling. I like to plan. I’m good at planning. God often treats me by letting me use that skill in organizational structures but mostly, God reveals His plans to me personally one traffic light and donation at a time. By the time Saturday night rolls around when I’m on the road, I’m starting to wonder what time I need to set the clock for church the next morning.

“I need a suggestion for church tomorrow,” I said to the campground attendant.

Church? she said with surprise.

“You know,” I said. “That place you join others and worship God.” She laughed and I said, “I looked on my Church Finder app and drove around and didn’t see any. Any suggestions? I don’t much care what flavor it is as long as it is Christian.”

“I think there is one about a mile up the street. I don’t know the name of it but you could drive up there and look.”

I did. It was a tiny building. I couldn’t tell much about it and didn’t recognize the “flavor.” I called Bob to look it up on the internet. We still couldn’t tell much about the church but at least I found out what time to set the clock.

“What is God saying about which church?” Bob asked.

“I haven’t heard from Him. That’s why I’m calling you to do research.”

I don’t know why I do that – try to live by sight rather than by faith. I should have known God had my church picked out.

The next morning, I was aggravated when I woke up an hour before the clock went off. I grabbed my phone, looked at Facebook, and had a message from Facebook friend, Cheryl Kipreotis. Her church, Faith Alive in Laconia, New Hampshire was just 45 minutes away and because I was up early and dressed, I had exactly enough time left to get there. Coincidence? I think not. I bolted.

I walked up just in time and Cheryl was waiting for me. We’d been encouraging and praying for one another for awhile on Facebook and were excited to meet in person. We took a moment to hug and went in. Faith Alive’s faith was indeed alive. I relaxed and let the intimate fellowship and rejuvenating worship minister to me.

After church, Cheryl and her young granddaughter invited me to lunch. At Wendy’s, I noticed a mother holding a baby in the air and laughing. Then I saw another young boy.

“You are blessed with 2 boys,” I said.

“Actually, 3 boys and a girl,” she said, smiling. “My oldest son is 21.”

“No!” I said, shocked. “You can’t be old enough to have a 21 year old son.”

“Thanks,” she said, beaming. Her husband and daughter walked up.

“I love your body art,” I complimented, noticing the artistic detail. “Tell me about it.”

“We always use the same artist,” she said, nodding towards her husband. “I have spiders and vampires.”

“I know vampires are popular,” I said. “Tell me about the spiders.”

“I like them.”

“A friend of mine is the bass player from the band Cold. I sometimes meet his fans who have tattoo spiders to represent his band. Yours look different so I’m guessing they aren’t to honor Cold.”

“No,” she said. “I just like them.”

“Where are you from?”

“Plymouth,” she said. “We just drove over for the day.”

“I’m not from here either. I drove over to go to church with my friend. Do you go to church back in Plymouth?”

“No,” she laughed. “Our oldest son does. He’s started going to a Christian church. He isn’t the type of person you’d think would go to church so everyone is surprised about how serious he is.”

“I’ll bet it’s changed him,” I said. “Has he mentioned getting born again?”

She nodded. “He really likes it. Maybe it is because his friends go there.”

“It’s probably because he met Jesus. He’s probably praying for you. That’s most likely why I’m here. My job is to help people have faith in Jesus. I always ask people who prayed me to them.”

“He probably is,” she agreed, sighing.

“Did you ever go to church?”

The husband and wife looked at each other. She answered, “We went some to the Episcopal Church when we were younger.”

“Did you ever develop a personal relationship with Jesus?” They looked at each other again and both shook their head.

“What about the afterlife?” I asked. “Do you know where you’re going?”

“No,” she said. “I’m hoping for reincarnation.”

“Really? I hear that a lot. What do you want to come back as?”

“Probably a spider.”

Cheryl spoke up. “Then I’d probably step on you.” Great job Cheryl, I thought. The job of the second evangelist is to provide what I call the “color” and it was perfect -humor, no judgment, and truth.

“I thought about that,” the woman agreed. “I’d probably just get squashed.”

“Do you have any level of belief in Jesus – His birth, death, and resurrection? Have you heard that God loved you so much that He sent His only son to die on the cross for your sins so you that you could really live?”

Again, they looked at each other and finally both nodded. “I guess we both still believe,” she said. “We were taught that when we were younger.”

“God loves you so much,” Cheryl encouraged. “He wants to have a relationship with you.”

“All you need to meet Jesus is a mustard seed size of faith.” I gave the Gospel scriptures. I noticed both of her older children listening so I pulled out 2 liberty bracelets and gave each one of them a bracelet, retelling the Gospel using the colors of the beads.

“Your older son is probably praying for you to meet Jesus. Can I lead you in a prayer doing that right now?” They agreed and we prayed. When we finished, I asked each member of the family if they had prayed. The mother, father, and 6 year old son met Jesus. Their daughter did not.

“Call your son today and tell him you asked Jesus to be your Savior,” I encouraged. They excitedly agreed. “I can see it on your face – you are feeling the Holy Spirit. I’m sorry but you won’t get to come back as a spider – you will be in heaven one day with us and your son.”

“Will you be my facebook friend?” I asked. She said yes and we exchanged contact information. What a good day. Cheryl and I loved being used by the Holy Spirit.

I thought back to the frantic internet search the night before and the setting of the clock. I could have just gone to sleep without thinking about church and God would have awakened me at exactly the right time to accept the invitation waiting for me in Facebook.Unfortunately, that feels too much like a blindfold so next Saturday night might find me searching again. Any suggestions?



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