Like Sheep Without a Shepherd
I forgot one thing on the trip we to took to Sedona for our wedding anniversary… shaving cream. We had about an hour before we could check in to our hotel room and my wife had been having leg cramps the last two nights so we decided it would be a good idea to pick up a potassium supplement. My wife entered Walgreens pharmacy into her phone and give me directions how to get there. It was less than a mile from where we were. As I pulled into the parking lot I said, “You know what I like about Sedona? Every time I come here I feel like Jesus must have felt when he was looked over the city of Jerusalem and wept for them. He had such a heart of compassion for the people. He said they were like sheep without a shepherd. That’s how I feel about the people here. They’re looking for the true light, they’re looking for the right path… the one that leads to truth and life, but they don’t always find it. They really are like sheep without a shepherd.”
We went inside and I asked an employee where I could find the shaving cream. She directed me to the end of aisle one and I picked up the brand I always get. Finding the potassium supplement would not be so easy. We wandered around the store for a while looking and finally decided they must be near the vitamins and supplements. My wife located a bottle but because the bottle was opaque she couldn’t tell if the pills were too big for her to swallow. She has trouble taking large pills so I tried to encourage her. “I’ve taken potassium before and if I remember correctly the pills are pretty small. I don’t think you’ll have a problem with them.” The bottle she found was larger than we needed so I looked for a smaller one. “Hey honey…here’s a smaller bottle and it’s a lot cheaper.” It was about that time that a thin, elderly woman interrupted us. Sticking her face a few inches from mine she said, “Excuse me sir…my sister has this kitty and I want to buy a gift for it. She lets the cat play with those little stuffed mice.” She held up a stuffed snowman about 6 inches tall and asked, “Do you think this little snowman would be okay for her cat to play with?”
My brain was reeling at the fact that someone would bother to ask a stranger whether they thought it was okay to give their sister’s cat a stuffed snowman as a toy. It’s not like I’m some kind of feline toy expert. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings but I didn’t know what to tell her. Thankfully my wife had some advice for her. “The thing that concerns me,” she said “Are those little felt arms on the snowman. The cat might tear them off and choke on them.”
“Well it’s on sale and it’s only a few dollars, so I might just get it for her little kitty and if she won’t play with it, that’s okay. Thank you so much for your help. I really appreciate your time.”
“No trouble at all, ma’am,” I replied. It was my turn to roll my eyes. I thought to myself, “They really are like sheep without a shepherd aren’t they?” With shaving cream and a bottle of potassium gluconate in hand we headed for the checkout stand, but we didn’t get far. The aisle we chose to get to the checkout happened to be the same aisle the odd lady with the snowman was shopping in. As I walked past her I noticed she had an immobilizer on her left foot; a fact that had escaped me a few minutes earlier, probably because I could not see her feet with her face pressed up against mine.
“Excuse me,” I said. “May I ask you a question? Why do you have an immobilizer on your foot?”
She looked down at her foot. “Oh that. I was walking down the steps at my apartment and I thought I had reached the last step but there was one more and I landed with my foot in a strange position and injured it.”
“Did you go to the hospital and get x-rays?”
“I don’t have insurance, so I didn’t bother.”
“Does it still hurt?”
“Oh yes, it hurts all the time.”
“Well you know what… If you let me pray for your foot I know God will heal it.”
Her mouth hung open for a few seconds. “Do you really think so?”
“I’m pretty sure of it. Can I ask what your name is?”
With a huge smile she replied, “My name in Lynn!”
“Well Lynn, my wife and I just saw a man healed of back pain about an hour ago at Montezuma’s Castle National Monument. He was sitting outside playing the flute and he had back pain. I prayed for him and his back pain is gone. Now, the way I see it… if God healed him, I’m sure he’ll heal you.”
“Well I would just love that!”
We happened to be in an aisle that had folding lawn furniture so I pulled out a chair and unfolded it. “What are you going to do with that?” she asked.
“I’m going to get your foot healed, but I need to you have a seat.”
She took a seat in the chair and undid the Velcro straps on her boot then took off her sock. As she did she whispered, “Do you know anything that works for foot odor?”
I sat down on the floor next to her. “I like Gold Bond powder myself…the green bottle. It works pretty well.” I held my hand about an inch above the arch of her foot for a few seconds. “Lynn, do you feel anything happening?”
Her face contorted slightly. “Yes…I do feel something. It feels like…Oh, what do you call it… I can’t remember the word.
“Yes! Tingling, that’s what it feels like.”
“You know…I prayed with a friend a few weeks ago who had knee pain. When I held my hands over her knees for a few minutes she could feel warmth coming from them. She said it was like my hands were two heat lamps. By the way, I want you to know this is all Jesus. I don’t use energy healing or anything like that. ”
“Oh, Jesus is my Lord and Savior!”
“Well He’s about to heal you.” I placed my hand on her foot and closed my eyes. “Alright Holy Spirit, let’s get this done. Lord, bring your presence. I command this foot to be healed in the name of Jesus. Bones be healed, muscles be healed, ligaments, nerves and tendons be healed. Pain and inflammation, get out, now.” I opened my eyes and noticed there were a few people standing around us, looking at us. A couple of them were trying to get past us. I moved out of the middle of the aisle to make room for them to get through. By the looks on their faces I could tell they were wondering what we were doing. “We’re just doing a little healing here, that’s all.” After they went on their way I asked Lynn to stand up and check out her foot. She got up and walked around. “How does it feel?” I asked.
“A lot better!”
“Is it one hundred percent better or is there still some pain?”
She sat down in the chair. “There’s still a little pain in my ankle, but these two toes here were very painful,” she said pointing to the two middle ones. Now they don’t hurt at all and look!” She flexed all her toes and spread them apart as wide as I’ve ever seen anyone spread their toes.”
“That’s pretty cool. Let me pray over your ankle one more time.” I placed my hand on her ankle. “Ankle, I command you to be healed in Jesus name. Cartilage, ligaments, bones, and tendons be healed right now.”
My wife leaned over and informed me that one of the store employees was concerned about what we were doing and pointed her out to me. The employee pretended like she was stocking shelves in the same aisle we were in, but she was just there to keep a close eye on us to make sure we weren’t doing something illegal or preying on a helpless store patron.
Lynn leaned in close to me and whispered, “I have constipation. Do you know anything I can take for it? I have Crohn’s disease.”
“I have a better idea. Why don’t we get you healed of it?”
“Do you think God would really heal me of it? I’ve had it for so many years.”
“There was a woman who had multiple sclerosis for 30 years. On a video, I watched her get up out of her wheelchair and push it out onto the platform and testify of her healing. There was a man who had an infirmity for 38 years who lay by the pool of Bethesda because an angel would come and stir the waters and whoever went into the water first after it was stirred was healed. One day a rabbi came and asked if he wanted to be made well. The man said, ‘I have no one to help me get in the water’.” The rabi I told him ‘Rise take up your bed and walk’, and he was healed.
“That’s in the Bible isn’t it?”
“Yes it is. And it doesn’t matter how long you’ve had Crohn’s disease. God will heal you.” I told her the story of a friend I prayed with who was healed of Crohn’s a couple of years ago.
“So I’ve been in unbelief all these years?”
“Lynn, I wouldn’t worry about that. I only started believing in healing a few years ago. Can I pray for you to be healed of Crohn’s?”
“Of course you can.”
I placed my hand over her stomach. “Crohn’s disease I command you to leave right now in Jesus’ name. Inflammation, I command you to go. Stomach, intestines and colon be healed right now. Lord, give her an awesome testimony to your power and goodness. ”
I got up from the floor and told Lynn that we needed to be going. She thanked us for praying with her. My wife and I both gave her a hug. I picked up the shaving cream and potassium from where I had set them down on the shelf and we headed for the checkout stand. Lynn was at the other checkout stand at the same time so we met once again at the entrance to the store. She gave us one more hug, thanked us for our time and we went to our car.
The world is full of interesting people. Some of them are sick or injured. Some have unknowingly wandered down a path that leads to darkness. But God loves them all and He sends us out into the world to help them. Some need healing while others need a shepherd to point them to the path that will lead them back to Him. As I look back on all the times I’ve run into people like Lynn, in spite of their peculiarities, I’ve never regretted spending time with any of them.