Friday, June 29, 2018

She Has Shine!


James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Before moving in with us, MIL resides in Cartersville, Georgia, just a 40 minute drive north of Kennesaw.  Once a week, my husband, Danny, and I trek up to her house to collect the mail and run errands for her as long as my son, Daniel, can arrange to take off work to stay with her while we're gone.

MIL tells us several weeks ago about a special cashier at her local Ingles grocery store named Barbara.  She is adamant that Danny pick up several items at the store, and search for this inspiring lady in the check-out line, especially to let her know why MIL hasn't been shopping there since January.

"Barbara saw me struggling with the handicapped carts one day, and quickly came over to help.  She inquired about my health issues, and I told her, 'COPD and heart problems.'  Right away, she laid a hand on my shoulder, and I don't like the feel of a stranger's hand on my shoulder, but somehow, I didn't mind this at all.  Then Barbara asked, 'May I pray for you?'  It took me by surprise and took my breath away in the same moment.  'Of course,' I said.  And oh, the indescribable feeling that overwhelmed me as she spoke words I can't recall, but that touched me to the core of my being!  Every time I visited Ingles after that, when I checked out with Barbara, she always offered to pray over me and with me.  I welcomed each one.  Barbara has a gift from God."

Growing up in the deep South in the 1930's and 1940's, MIL has distinct recollections of the phraseology employed by the African-American residents in her community when describing someone filled with the Holy Spirit:  "He/She has shine!"  MIL admits that as a child, she didn't understand the concept beyond its literal meaning, but came to know it later in life.

Danny and I have, too.

Through Barbara.

The first Ingles run after the Barbara request is done by Danny alone.  I'm feeling inclined to listen to the radio as there is no guarantee that the cashier in question will even be working.  When Danny returns, I detect tears in his eyes.  "I did see Barbara," he says.  "She dropped everything and prayed with me."

Oh, boy, did I miss out!  I vow not to make that mistake again.

So this past Tuesday, when we do the Cartersville run, I am all in to meet this amazing woman, willing to God that she will be there so I can thank her for her prayers for MIL, and bless her, too.

God, in His great grace, answers my prayer.



I introduce myself to Barbara, who greets every customer with a "How are you today, baby?" that sounds not in the least demeaning, but like an invitation to intimacy.  Of course, she acknowledges remembering Danny, then after ringing up our purchases, asks me for my hands across the check signing counter to take hers.

They are at once warm, sincere, compelling.  God's Holy Spirit is in their embrace.  Like MIL, I can't recall the words she prays, but the power . . . Oh, the power of God is in those hands, and it's a vibrant, pulsating sensation I will never forget.  Barbara's gift is overwhelming!

Even the printing of the grocery receipt pauses before the prayer is complete, and we share a laugh over this, a welcome respite from the tears threatening to flow on both sides.

And in this day and age, when so many businesses discourage employees from sharing their faith, my hat is off to Ingles for allowing Barbara, this unique, compassionate disciple of Christ, to freely express her love for others on His behalf.

She has shine . . .

Shine on, Barbara, shine on!

Amen!

28 comments:

  1. What a remarkable woman she must be! And for the store to allow her to do that. What a gift!

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    1. Barbara does have an amazing gift, Bill, and it was such an incredible experience to be in her presence.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. Beautiful! And, what an example for us to aspire to. Thanks, Martha!

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    1. Absolutely, Paul, and you're most welcome.
      Love and blessings!

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  3. I will say that Barbara has something very special. She did indeed cause some tears to flow thru the power of the Holy Spirit working thru her. Great blog Martha.

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    1. Already looking forward to seeing her the next time we're in Cartersville.
      Love and blessings, honey! :)

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  4. Everyone needs a Barbara in their lives. Better yet, we should be more like her :)

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    1. Amen, Carol, I couldn't agree more!
      Love and blessings!

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  5. What a wonderful blessing!! I'm glad you got to meet her and share some prayer time!

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  6. What an inspirational lady. Makes me want to pass it on! Thanks for sharing this story. love ya!

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    1. Barbara is inspirational, indeed, Jean. Makes me want to pass it on, too!
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Wow, Barbara is an amazing lady! I want to be like her when I grow up (well a combination of Barbara and one other person). She's a great example, I think, of being baptized in the Holy Spirit and so in tune with the Lord that praying for others is like breathing!

    Love and blessings!

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    1. I think you've assessed Barbara perfectly, Kim: "So in tune with the Lord that praying for others is like breathing." And like you, I want to be like her when I grow up. :)
      Love and blessings!

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  8. I have tears in my eyes as I read this...what a blessing and marvelous gift of God. So happy that you finally met Barbara...and that she truly does "shine" for Jesus! may God always give her that special touch to those in need. Praying that the world doesn't try to take this away. Praying for you and your MIL today as well. This was a wonderful story.

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    1. Pamela, as I wrote this, I knew in my heart that you would love it. Barbara is such a blessing to so many, and I truly believe God is using her in powerful, life-changing ways. As I said in the post, she is a true disciple of the Lord, spreading the Good News of His kingdom.
      Love and blessings!

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  9. Martha,
    This post made me smile :) What a blessing Barbara is to so many. She exemplifies what it means to be a Christian. Thank you for sharing this sweet story.

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    1. Yes, Beckie, Barbara absolutely exemplifies what it means to be a Christian. When standing in her presence, you KNOW you are blessed. I thank God for her!
      Love and blessings!

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  10. What a beautiful example of being bold and compassionate! Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Bold and compassionate . . . Great words to describe Barbara, Carrie!
      Love and blessings!

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  11. What a wonderful story, Martha. Thank you for sharing it.

    Here in the UK many businesses do not allow any expressions of faith during work. I remember years ago there was a story of a nurse who asked an elderly patient, "May I pray for you?" The patient complained and the hospital fired the nurse.

    It seems to me there is a definite objection to the Christian faith over here.

    God bless you and your family.

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    1. And that objection to the Christian faith is found on this side of the pond, too, Victor. That's why Barbara's ministry is so unique. I think the acceptance rather than rejection of her overtures of prayer have much to do with living in an area of the U. S. called the "Bible Belt," where churches abound, and so do people of stalwart faith. So thankful to live in this God-fearing area of the country!
      Love and blessings!

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  12. What an awesome story! So cool that our Father arraigned for all of you to meet and draw closer to Him in the process.
    What a blessing to find a sister with the gift of God in her that she shares by Him. Nothing is more powerful in His creation.

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    1. I agree, Floyd, that nothing is more powerful than meeting a true sister or brother in Christ. It's what gives us the conviction to keep on believing and sharing the power of Jesus' love in this world. Barbara reflected all of this to us.
      Love and blessings!

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  13. Beautiful story. I tell you somebody else that has shine: my lovely friend Martha Orlando. I also remember a woman on Twitter named Susie Star who took prayer requests from people, then she'd call the troops to join her. When my cat was hit by a car and ran off somewhere and disappeared, I was beside myself with worry. It happened early afternoon and by nightfall she was still missing. So I took it to Susie and she put out an immediate PRAYER ALERT for my missing fur baby. Next morning she was home with one tooth missing, but other than that she acted fine. One day I couldn't find Susie on Twitter anymore and, believe me, she was missed. She had shine too.

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    1. Thanks you, Debra, for sharing this powerful testimony about prayer here. Yes, it seems Susie had shine and then some. I wonder what happened to her?
      Love and blessings!

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  14. I love this, Martha! It is such a blessing to hear about people who are serving right where they are at that moment. Wouldn't it be wonderful if more of us faithfully served with love like Barbara! Blessings, my friend!

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    1. I agree, Deb, that would be wonderful, indeed. May Barbara inspire us all!
      Love and blessings!

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