God still does the miraculous. I so confident in this. I am confident that God loves people radically and furiously. Signs and wonders, miracles and healing are the display of His amazing, furious love in the world today. Let me tell you about His love in display in Nepal.
We began the climb up the mountain just after lunch. It was hot and the incline on our hike had been intense. When we finally reached the house, I was drenched in sweat and my lungs were burning. I grabbed my water bottle and sucked down as much water as I could without making myself sick. I looked around me, taking in the scenery. The house was made of mud, built on the mountain, tucked away in the trees by itself.
The family living there came out and greeted us with the traditional “namaste” and placed mats on the ground in the shade for us to sit on. I managed a smile and a weak “namaste” in return. I welcomed the shade and reprieve from the sun’s hot rays. We all caught our breath and soon began speaking with the family. There were 12 of them living in this little house on the mountain. The mother was drunk from the day’s festivities (it was a day on which the sisters worship the brothers in the Hindu religion), which explained her out-of-place laughter. I loved her immediately. The young children stood in the doorway, peeking out with looks of curiosity and uncertainty. White people are not regular visitors in this village. We conversed with the family for only a short time, introducing ourselves and fumbling to try to pronounce their Nepali names. We soon learned the father had been a believer for 10 years, but the rest of the family had recently become believers and they were still caught between following Jesus and the traditions of their past.
Simon, our translator, explained that the family had prayer requests and we found that many in the family were sick or in pain. We decided to divide and conquer, one of us with one of the family members who were sick. I went with a young woman, about 16 years old, who had back pain. I walked with her to an area a little away from the rest of the family and began to pray for her.
As soon as I placed my hand on her, I saw something in my mind’s eye, a vision of sorts, and I knew Holy Spirit was already at work. I saw me doing something I had seen my grandmother do when I was young with our family when we had back pain. I looked at this young woman in front of me and tried to decide how I was going to do what I had seen with someone who didn’t speak English and had probably never seen anything like it.
“This is gonna freak her out,” I told Holy Spirit.
“Probably,” He replied, the smirk coming through in His voice.
I smiled and knew this was going to be fun. Her eyes had been closed for prayer, so I poked her arm so she would look up at me. I smiled at her and pointed at her and then at me. “You do what I do?” She blinked at me with a blank look and so I gestured again. She smiled and nodded her head. I straightened my shoulders and pointed at her and said, “Now you.” She stood up straighter and looked at me shyly. I looked back at her, trying to to express confidence with my eye contact, though I was far from confident. Next I put my arms out straight in front of me, palms together and I looked at her. She began laughing and put her arms out in front of her, palms together like mine. I looked at her hands and it was clear that one hand came out further than the other by about a 1/4 inch. I began speaking to her back, commanding vertebrates to come into alignment and muscles to relax. Immediately, her hands began to become even and, within a few seconds, they were perfect. She looked at me with wide eyes and I smiled at her. “Jesus is healing you,” I said as I pointed at the sky. She just looked at me with bewilderment.
We weren’t done and I knew it, but I also knew I’d need a translator for this next part. I held her hand and gestured for her to walk with me. “Simon!” I called. “Simon, can you come over here? I need your help.” He came walking over and I asked him to tell her to sit down with her back straight. At this point, we had a little audience of family members giggling and curious about what this strange white woman was doing. The girl sat and I gently asked her to take her shoes off. I knew this part would be a little strange to her because, in Asia, you don’t really touch other people’s feet and I was about to hold her’s. I looked at her and said very gently, “I know this is weird, but please give me your feet.” She looked around at her family, giggled awkwardly, and then picked up her feet. I cradled them in my hands and, once again, immediately saw her feet were uneven. One leg was clearly longer than the other. I commanded the spine and hips to align, and watched as her leg came out to become even with the other. She didn’t move. I didn’t pull or push. We all watched in wonder as God brought alignment to this young woman’s back. I looked up at her and smiled. She returned my gaze with bewilderment. We’d all seen it.
Her leg had clearly grown out to the length of the other.
“Can you stand up and do something that used to hurt?” I asked. Simon translated and she got up and walked around.
“It’s better,” she said.
“Is it all better? No pain?” I asked. She looked at me and Simon said, “Her back is better but her leg hurts.”
“Where?” I asked.
“Here,” he said as he pointed at her thigh.
“Ok,” I said. I placed my hand on her leg and declared healing to her leg as others in our group joined in prayer.
“Try to walk again,” I told her. She took a few steps and then looked at me.
“Better,” she said as she smiled and nodded.
“All better?” I asked. “No pain?”
“No pain,” she said.
“Yay Jesus!” I said and laughed. It was that simple. She’d been shown the love of God through His healing touch and the whole family had seen it. We blessed this family who had shown us hospitality and moved on to visit more homes before we would climb back down to our tents for the night.
This is the Gospel. It doesn’t just come with words but it comes with power. Jesus didn’t come to earth and merely speak of the Kingdom. He displayed this Kingdom with love and compassion. He declared the power of God as He healed the sick, opened blind eyes and deaf ears, raised the dead, and so many other acts of power. He didn’t just speak a message, He was the message. I am to be an imitator of this God who powerfully changed my world. Therefore, I am also the message. I don’t come to people with just words, but with demonstrations of power, not to build a kingdom of my own, but to declare the greatness of the love of my God for the world. He has healed me and set me free and as freely as I have received, I am to freely give.
My dad always told me when I was a kid, “You might be the only Gospel people will ever read, Chels.” Let’s be a Gospel of love and power to the world, Church.