Friday, June 29, 2018
She Has Shine!
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.
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!
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