Recently I experiencing healing in a very unique and incredible way. It started out as a normal trip to the grocery store. I walked in, grabbed a cart and went through the aisles. I was picking out bread when I looked up and saw Jesus standing by the English muffins. He looked right at me and calmly said “Don’t panic. I’m right here no matter what is about to happen.” First I laughed out loud, then I got nervous. I shivered and felt the need to slowly turn around. Standing on the far side of the aisle from me was someone I least expected to see. This person has been hell to deal with in the past. A person who I fear just out of sheer terror of what they are willing and capable of doing. Let’s just say I’ve made sure there is plenty of distance between us and the LAST thing I expected was to have a confrontation in the middle of Whole Foods. There was a moment where I stepped back as soon as we made eye contact and I thought about leaving the store- abandoning my groceries in the cart. A quick exit.
But Jesus whispered again “You’re protected Kara. What do you have to fear? I’m still right here.”
Walking towards me was a person who I’ve thought many times about inflicting pain on because of what they’ve done to me. You know, just a quick punch in the face to cause a very expensive break to their nose.
Out of my mouth came the words “why?” One word. That was all. I just wanted to know WHY have you hated me so much? What has caused you to attack me over and over??
This person walked up, stopped two feet in front of me and began to weep. I mean those deep sobs that can only come from the heart. I was stunned. And then came the two words that would change everything. “Forgive me?”
WOW. I thought I had already forgiven this person, but at that moment, with the question being asked of me I realized I had not. Forgiveness is a funny thing. Just when I think I’m ready to forgive, Satan jumps in and says “wait, wait, wait. Think about this! Isn’t bitterness and anger easier? Isn’t revenge sweet?” I stood there and waited for Jesus to tell me what to do next. He stood next to me, protecting me, in silence. This was my choice. I had to decide what I wanted for both myself and the other person.
I closed the gap between us and put my hands on their shoulders and began to pray. I prayed for peace, redemption, restoration. I prayed that all fear and anger would be removed between the two of us. I invited God to heal this deeply wounded person. I cried out for his healing hand to be upon them. I said Amen, looked into their eyes for a brief moment and walked away.
I got back to my car after paying for my groceries and was overcome with what had just happened. Death brings life. Sacrifice brings resurrection. Peace and love abound when bitterness and anger are let go. Freedom happens. Healing begins.
I’m still in awe that this encounter even happened. I move forward in life thankful that God brought me back face to face with this person. I think Jesus began a good work in them that day in the middle of the grocery store and I was a part of it. Crazy but amazing. Last year I asked God to put me in the uncomfortable places in life. To be a part of other people’s healing. And He’s answering!
Chosing to love people can be hard at times but I’m learning the value in living my life out of love instead of fear.
My story is one of love. And it continues…