Wednesday, 10 March 2010
Now & The Not Yet
I'm back in Lucknow North India teaching pastors at an OM conference (http://www.om.org/). Its a great honour to connect with these guys, one guy who really inspired me was a 23 year old pastor called Deepak, who has been pastoring now for 3 years, makes me feel old. Each morning we teach and in the evening we have been out in a village Church and a slum Church. The people are hungry for God and all want prayer, so its about 15 minutes message and the rest of the evening is praying for the sick.
On the Monday evening in a village gathering we started praying for people with eye problems the first lady that we got to pray for was blind in her right eye, you could see what I'd describe as a film/coating over her eye, it was red and had a growth in the corner. I prayed along with Will MacLaughlin, after a short pray asked her what was happening she said she could see a little, it was very hazy so we prayed again and again asked how it was going, her reply was a little better but everything was very dark, again, third time we pray and this time I covered her left seeing eye and asked her if she could see, she said yes, so not believing her and thinking she was being kind I kept her good eye covered, put up different fingers and got her to copy and she got 100% right.
So from there we continue praying for eyesight, many people confirming great improvement. Backs and pains were healed that night also but what I really loved was watching kids play with balloons for the first time ever- simple fun. It just seemed the most natural way to end a great time of healing. I must be honest it was our children's pastor @ VCD who insisted I take the balloons out, what a great call.
On Tue evening we headed out to a Church that was made up of people from nearby slums, very lively, lots of children who loved to sing and laugh. I talked little (hard to believe) then prayed for the children, and then we prayed for the sick with the children's help. People said they had pains that had gone as we laid hands on them which was great. Then we met a girl whom we prayed for last year who couldn't speak. Last time at her home we'd prayed briefly, and when we left she was saying a few words, so my heart leapt when I spotted her, then sank when I realised she had no improvement. She was recently seen by consultants in Portugal who found no physical medical reason why she couldn't speak. We prayed and prayed but no great signs of improvement. In an honest moment it felt as if the party was cut short.
I know the Kingdom theology of the 'now and the not yet', and how we live in the presence of the future, and yet in a moment of standing with a mother longing to hear her daughters voice it's a difficult, frustrating time. I love theology on paper but sometimes it's hard living between the page and the pavement. The thing is I have nowhere else to go now, I have tasted and seen that God is good, I have seen His compassion come and heal the sick. I live in holy frustration, continuing to contend to see more blind eyes open, the deaf hear and the mute speak. There is no other message other than the one Messiah, Jesus, came with. Again I'm cornered by the Kingdom.