Blown away by God’s love and pursuit of a 72-year-old woman.
Just had a Jesus and the woman at the well experience; how Jesus made sure He passed through Samaria so He could reach that one woman, who in turn, told her whole town about Him, and many were saved.
My experience with this 72-year-old woman also reminded me of the parable Jesus taught about how the shepherd leaves the 99 in search of the one. I played back everything that brought me to that room where she and I were alone, and was so touched by God’s love and pursuit of her.
I needed an oil change for a long time, and kinda forgot about it until hubby reminded me this morning. So, after I dropped him off at work, I drove to Roberto’s shop. He was too busy so I went for option two: a Jewish mechanic in another city a good 25 minutes away, but then remembered it’s the Sabbath so he’s closed.
As I’m driving, I look to the left and see a shop I’ve never-ever seen before, “Mac Auto,” across the street from Roberto’s. It didn’t look half as packed as his so I give my dad a holler, and he says to go for it, that’ll it likely be around $30 to $35 bucks.
I go, and it’s actually $15 and change! The guy, Pablo, said I didn’t need the more expensive ones for my ’03 Toyota (I know, a mechanic who didn’t try to up-sale me. So the Lord!).
Anyhow, Pablo says it’ll be an hour-and-a-half wait. So I give my sister a ring, who lives nearby, and ask if she can scoop me up. She says sure, that she’ll come after prayer.
So Pablo points out the waiting room, and in I go. Seconds after, a woman comes in. As I read my Bible on my phone, we sit in silence. I don’t have that compelling prodding of the Holy Spirit to speak to her, so I pray a prayer in my mind, asking something I usually ask, but also for something I never ask; something like this:
Lord, if you desire me to minister to her, open the door of conversation, give me the words, but let me grow a love for her.
See, since I didn’t get that prodding, I wanted to tell her whatever Christ wanted me to tell her and that it would be from love, not obligation. If I had opened my mouth right then and there, it would have been from obligation to preach the gospel, a duty, rather than a service of love.
So after about ten minutes of silence, Pablo comes and closes the door, which causes the woman to ask, “Why did he shut the door?”
I, knowing God is up to something, go with it. “Well, there is A/C in here.” I stood and turned down the wall-unit. “Thank God it’s not as hot out today.”
“Well the heat is better than up North. I couldn’t take it up there.”
We begin talking about where she’s from and then something amazing happens: she tells me things that cause compassion to instantly rise in my heart. She continues, and more compassion floods in. She is from the Rosa Parks era. She said she was worse than Rosa Parks, and never sat on the back of the bus. She mentioned a few more things that just caused me to grow a love for her—the love Christ has for her.
And so my opportunity came. I told her about the Holy Spirit, a little about how He changed me, the necessity of Christian fellowship, of Christian family (she had been raised in the church, and enjoyed a very close fellowship of sacrificial love and what she called a “melting pot” of believers in her old neighborhood). But after moving here, she went to the church buildings and experienced a lot of politics and emotional abuse from false prophets and money-hungry goons.
Interestingly enough, hubby and I no longer attend a service at a building, but just gather at a home where there’s food, prayer, worship, study, fellowship and accountability. We are like a family. I was able to share this with her and she even allowed me to pray over her. From all that she’s been through, and the way she reacted to a rowdy customer, I knew she was a tough woman. But after the prayer, she had tears in her eyes, and I saw a softening in her heart.
And this is the God I serve. Jesus Christ is exactly who He said He is: the Good Shepherd who came to seek and to save the lost, to heal the sick, and to set the captive free. She needed emotional healing, and I believe this may have been the start of that process.
To think, she is 72-years-old, no longer in deep community with the church, and here Jesus pursues her and reminds her of His love for her, the importance of Christian fellowship, and who knows what else. But He didn’t look at her age and go, “Eh, there’s younger folks out there who have more time. I’ll focus on them.” He doesn’t discriminate based on outward appearance. He searches the heart, and draws all people to Himself. Not all will come when they hear Him call, but some will, and even if it’s just one, He will make time for that precious soul.
This is me, mind-blown at Christ’s love for a 72-year-old woman.