Acts 1:8 (NIV)
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Today’s Holy Spirit Story comes to us from Lorraine Boleware, from the great state of Mississippi. It carries the quality of what I call “the everyday supernatural.” There’s so much to see here—the way “walking” opens up new vistas for the Spirit’s work; the matter of neighboring; the issue of food becoming literal daily bread; and the sheer compassionate care of almighty God for persons. The Holy Spirit is always conducting the orchestration of the ordinary all around us. He will do it with our willingness and even through our resistance at times. Below you will read the story in Lorraine’s own words and if you listen, you will hear it in her own voice.
I have my favorite Holy Spirit story. It proves to me that God is in control and we are his sheep.
I am not in shape. I’ve never been a runner or consistently exercised as I should. In central Mississippi, it was just so hot outside! My neighbor and friend down the street suggested we walk to church for our Wednesday night supper. The kids were already there for choir practice and she loves to walk. Well, I agreed and we walked the few blocks to church.
As a single mom on a limited income, my precious church people would often send me home with leftovers from Wednesday night supper. David knew that his creamed spinach was my favorite. Well that night after we ate, I was presented with a full and heavy styrofoam container filled with leftovers. I didn’t want to refuse because he was so kind, but I knew I was walking home and didn’t want to walk home with this huge container in my hand.
So off we went. Poor Patty had to hear me complain the whole way. I didn’t want to be walking and I didn’t want to be carrying this food. For two blocks I went on about it. As I neared my house, there was an elderly woman outside her house sweeping her porch. I had never seen her, even though she lived three houses down from me because she had never been outside.
Being Southern, we greeted her and said hello and she responded. Then my mouth opened and I said, “ Would you like this plate of food?” I have no idea what prompted me to say such a thing. I was a little embarrassed when I said it because it might be insulting or suspicious to this sweet lady sweeping her porch. What she said next surprised me so much and is the reason I’m writing this story. She said yes! Then she said, “I’m a shut-in and always get my meal on Wednesday night from my church but they didn’t have a meeting tonight, so I was just asking God where my supper was going to come from.” I told her, “I guess it’s me!”
I rejoiced immediately that God used my whiny spirit to walk and deliver a full styrofoam plate of food to my neighbor in answer to her prayer. God’s story, not mine. I have to remember that and just be amazed to see what he is doing and be grateful to see it and sometimes get to deliver it!
Abba Father! Thank you for this story of your supernatural kingdom at work in ordinary everyday life. This is where we all live. Thank you for Lorraine’s humble honesty and yet her willing participation to go with the story you were weaving into being. Thank you for our neighbors, especially the ones three houses down who we hardly ever see, if at all. Open our hearts to them. In fact, we offer ourselves as your neighborhood walkers and prayers—as your prayer walkers. Help us to listen to what you might be speaking over our neighbors and agree with you in it and be ready, open, and willing to participate in how you will sow your kingdom among us. Praying in Jesus’s name, amen.
Do you know your neighbor three houses down? Confession—I don’t know mine yet. It’s so easy these days to not know our neighbors isn’t it? How about rather than getting busy with a to-do list, what if we entered into a season of consecrating ourselves unto Jesus for his purposes in our neighborhoods—and then followed the Spirit’s promptings? Sound like a plan? Something tells me many more Holy Spirit stories might flow from this approach.
Today let’s sing our Saturday song, “Sanctuary.” Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true. With thanksgiving I’ll be a living sanctuary for you. Such a profound prayer of consecration. This is our story, dear friends. This is our song.
For the Awakening,
P.S. Holy Spirit Stories Welcome
I would love it if you would send a story of faith from your life we might use on a Saturday in the future. We will be glad to attach your name or a pseudonym or anonymity—it’s up to you. It can be a story of coming to faith, a story of transformation, a story of healing, deliverance, suffering and sufficient grace, family reconciliation, prodigal returns, answered prayer, and so forth. A word count of 500–800 words works well. We can’t guarantee publication, but we assure you of our prayerful discernment. You can reply to this email with your story and it will come to me.