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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

High and Lifted Up

Pocket Full of Quarters Journey 2015
High and Lifted Up

Written In: Enumclaw, Washington
By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" Isaiah 6:8

"I don't have time for a massage."

"Cheryle!" Bob said. "You haven't had one in weeks. You know what happens if you go too long. Your credits are stacking up at Massage Envy so it won't even cost you anything. It is literally 10 minutes from your campground. Call them and make an appointment."

It was Monday and I was trying to get a Monday Ministry Moment out. I was hoping they didn't have an appointment because I had so much to do. I know many think of massages as a relaxing treat. For me, they are therapeutic. My muscles tend to get painful knots or what they call "trigger points." The pain gets worse and eventually stops me if I don't get them worked our regularly. The longer I wait, the harder they are to work out. Working them out takes deep pressure that I literally have to breathe through the pain to get results. Massages have always hurt but my life is rugged and Bob and I decided years ago that they are essential to performing my job. Bob keeps up with the schedule way better than I do. After all, he has to live with me when I've waited too long.

But alas, they had a morning appointment. It was an exercise to pack up the camper and get there on time. I kept losing and dropping things and had to wait for the shower. I muttered, "What is the point of a massage if it stresses me out to get there?" Shiloh didn't answer.

Also, I was meeting my host for the 2 events I was doing the next day and knew that I'd arrive at lunch with greasy skin and hair and smell like peppermint. By the time I arrived at my massage, my fruits of the spirit were rotting and plopping to the ground, one by one.

In the Bible Study I had attended the day before, they had asked the question, "If you're having a bad day, are you more or less likely to share your faith."

I'd glibly answered, "If you pray for opportunities and depend on a process and the scripture, how our day is going isn't relevant."

Someone had asked the question, "Isn't God better able to use you if you are peaceful and feeling close to Him?"

I had already spoken to the first question and decided to let others answer it but my answer would have been, "He will use me either way. I just enjoy it more when the fruits are blooming in my life." I would have also added, "Letting God use us and seeing the Holy Spirit at work is the quickest way I know to allow the Fruits of the Spirit to begin blooming again."

Apparently, that was true. I undressed, laid face down on the table, and wasn't 60 seconds into the massage before I realized it was a Divine Appointment. Because I named where I was, I'm not going to go into the personal details of the encounter but trust me when I say that we both knew the encounter was orchestrated by God. My massage therapist had actually been seeking the answers to the questions she was asking. When it was time for her to pray and invite Jesus into her life, we both agreed that we should wait until the end and I had clothes on. I was relieved but have prayed with people while lying under a sheet on a massage table.

I called an apologized to Bob. I thanked him for playing the "Head of household" card and insisting I go. The massage had indeed hurt but she had found the exact points that were causing the shoulder pain I'd been having. I write this today having use of my right and left arm - so much more convenient. I left that massage feeling like the song says, "High and lifted up."

I had a delightful lunch with Valerie McKay from my publishing house, Redemption Press. I didn't worry at all about how I looked or smelled but it wouldn't have mattered anyway because she is a certified Massage Therapist and understood completely. I finished the Monday Ministry Moment, wrote a blog post, answered dozens of emails and messages, coordinated other upcoming events, and washed laundry. I did get in bed a little late but everything got done. It was a great day.

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