It was another Sunday morning and she lay in the bed looking up at the ceiling. Even though she set the clock, she would automatically wake up early. Waking up early for her was around 4 a.m. It was natural to her every since she was a little girl. Her mother said that she was like the old farmers who got up early to go into the field before daybreak.
To her it was the best time of day. She loved the quiet before the birds began to sing. It was like a heavenly chorus on earth when they began. It didn’t matter about the time change; they were on a divine schedule. She called it the “Sound of Glory In The Morning.”
As she lay there listening, she often wondered what were they really saying to God in their own language. Creation was making a sound in the earth. Another thought came to her about the birds being taken of by God. She remembered the scripture in the book of Matthew about that. Could it be that their singing was like her early morning prayer? Everyone starting the day spending time with the Creator.
Her thoughts drifted back to the time when she was a little girl and had that experience in church. She often wondered about that over the years. She never told anyone about it until she got born again and even then she was careful because no one believed her. She was in church and looked up at Uncle Benji as he was preaching on the pulpit and all of a sudden there was a glow all around him. It was bright like a light was all around and in him. He was as bright as the sun through and through. She kept rubbing her eyes because it was blinding to her. When she told her older sister about it, she didn’t understand or believe her. After that she kept it to herself and from time to time she would often think about it.
Anyway, enough thinking and reminiscing for now. It is time to move. She rolled out of bed and headed for the kitchen to turn on the stove, heating the water in the kettle for a cup of tea. Just about everyone that she knew drank coffee. They thought that she was the odd one. She didn’t drink coffee because it made her nervous. It was the caffeine. Truth is that tea has more caffeine.
As she began to read the Bible and meditate on the Word, she remembered that ten years ago her life was a mess. She would always give thanks and praise God for where He brought her from. Ten years ago she would have not been getting up early. In fact she would have just been going to bed. She thought of how stupid she was because of crazy decisions and the time that was wasted.
The path that she chose was not what her parents had wanted for her. She was supposed to go to law school and work in the family firm. She could have been a judge by now. Rebellion cost her much. When you are young, you don’t think about how your life will be in 10 or 20 years. The time passed so quickly and before she knew it that which was precious was stolen.
She was a college graduate at the top of her class and graduated magna cum laude from a major university on the east coast. The problems started when the recreation of drug use turned into the nightmare of a habit. Everyone did it back in those days. It started out being fun until she became a functioning addict. One of those ones that appeared to be normal until the weekend came and it was time for the party. She was deceived into thinking that she had creativity for finances when she was high and it led to a dark path. The reality was that her thoughts put into practice worked and there was much profit. But the price was deadly.
The downfall came when she started working the strip clubs on the side. It was supposed to be just for a little while. Greed led to a spiral out of control. By time she had a three ring circus going. Selling drugs to support her “controlled” habit (in her mind), stripping, and an occasional act of prostitution. She was not about to give anything away. Not for free.
Sitting there with tears running down her face, she remembered the night of her rescue. The group ‘Stolen Property’ came in as usual to witness to the girls. They had a plan to shut the club down. This was a wild group of women from a local church who were not afraid to get down and dirty. The truth was that some of them had been in similar or even worse situations. The reason that they called themselves ‘Stolen Property’ is because they believed in stealing back from the one who stole first. They would always quote the scripture about the devil coming to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus came to that we may have life.
They would say, “We came to steal you back to your rightful place in God and our weapon is the blood of Jesus that was shed for you.” They would put the blood of Jesus on everything. Before you could say anything, they would say “the blood of Jesus.”
That night in particular, the one named Merita witnessed to her. She had been after her for awhile. It was God’s timing. Truth be told she was getting ready to do something that she had done before. The invitation to take a private jet seemed awfully glamorous, but there were deadly intentions and consequences that she had no clue of. Her lifestyle had taken her beyond the boundaries.
It was like God stepped in and said, “Not another day of this.” She stood up and walked out leaving everything behind. It was like she was walking down the yellow brick road, a path that was set just for her. It felt like an out of body experience. Thinking back, God must have set the time for the whole thing. It was a divine intervention.
As she pulled into the parking lot of the church, she saw Merita’s car. She had joined the church after attending for over a year. She was really checking them out because all churches were not what they said they were. She and Merita became close friends over the years. In fact she even joined the usher board and stood at the door with Merita. She felt sometime that ushering was easy because standing at the door would give her an easy exit if she needed. She needed to repent for even thinking like that. Actually, that was far from happening because of her desire to see more of a move of God.
One of the things she could not understand was that when she read the book of Acts, which was her favorite, there were all kinds of signs and wonders and none of that was happening today. There was maybe one or two, here and there. But it was nothing like she read.
Being an usher was like being a watchman on the wall. It allowed you to see much that was going on in the sanctuary. She had been there long enough to discern some things. Some of it was of God and most of it was not. Having been on the journey with the Lord only ten years, there were some things that the saints did that she did not understand. A lot of things did not add up or match that which was in the Bible. She found that it was in her best interest not to understand because some of it was traditional nonsense fueled by foolishness or something deeper. She just simply went to the source, God, for clarification. And if He did not give her anything, she felt that she was not supposed to have it right then or touch that area. She knew how to leave it in His hands.
One thing that she did not understand was why Evangelist Howard would always yell out in tongues when they were singing a song or when the Pastor was preaching. Let’s not forget the times when the Spirit was really high and she would jump in and out of the Spirit. She would be speaking in tongues praising the Lord one minute and turn around beat her grandson and then go back in. Now that was something to see. But the real issue was after all of that, when the anointing lifted, Evangelist Howard went back to being mean as mean could be. It seemed like she got meaner each time.
As she stood on her post, she said within, “I hope that something different happens today.” She was tired of seeing the same old thing. She was hungrily seeking God like never before. She thought, ‘this cannot be all there is. Surely I was not saved just to stand at the door.” Sometimes she would quiet herself and know that whatever His will was for her, it would happen. Then at other times she would wonder, ‘was I born just for this?’
Reading the book of Acts seemed to frustrate her even the more. Those people really did acts. And everything happened outside the physical four walls church. They were a mobile body of Believers, a church on the move.
Her favorite part of the service was beginning, praise and worship. She liked hearing the word, but there was something about worshiping and singing to the Lord. As she began to sing, she would get caught up into that place were she felt like she was floating. As it began, she felt something different this time. She did not know exactly what it was but it was different. The top of the church disappeared. When she looked up, she saw the figure of a man. She was not frightened because she knew within whom it was, Jesus. He was so bright shining like the sun. He was pointing towards her. As she looked she saw rays of light enter into her body and she began to tremble. Then He spoke. She could no longer stand and fell down on her face. Every part of her body began to tremble and tingle. His voice was vibrating through her. She felt His every word.
He said, “Go. Be my hands. Be my feet. Pray for those who are sick that they may be healed and know that I know their affliction.”
She could not even speak. It was as if she was just laying there seeing and hearing everything around her. All of a sudden, she was on her feet.
“Look towards the earth,” He said. “My lights, my people are not moving. Therefore I cannot move. Tell them they must move.”
As she looked towards the earth, she realized that she in a place that she had never been before. She had thought that during the service sometimes she was in His presence, but now she was really in His presence. Some of the lights were moving, but most of them stood still. The ones that stood still were dim, almost like they were fading out. He began to speak again and again she fell to her face. She could hear Him, but could not understand. As she closed her eyes and felt a touch.
When she opened her eyes, she saw Merita standing over her. Service was over. Merita had stayed behind to watch over her.
“Are you ok?” asked Merita. “You have been out for a long time. In fact you missed the whole service. God really did something with you today.” She could not even speak. She just looked at Merita.
She went home and sat down to process what happened to her. But she couldn’t because she just couldn’t. It was too much for her natural mind. A week later she was able to share with Merita what happened. As Merita listened, she felt fire burning within her and began to tremble.
“I have been praying for a refreshing of the Spirit for Stolen Property,” said Merita. “This is that which I have been longing for.”
She took it all in listening to Merita in awe. She still had not processed it all. Every time she thought about the lights, she would fall to her face.
“What is the strategy?” asked Merita excitedly. “I know that He gave you a plan.”
“It is very simple,” she said. “I just need to be His hands and feet to go and pray for the sick so they will be healed. That is what He said.”
“Ok, OK,” said Merita. “But when do we start?”
Looking at Merita, she had a thought, today. “Today is the day,” she said. “How about right now?
“Right now? asked Merita.
“Now is the time,” she said. “Let’s do it.
Before they knew it they were in the car driving to the hospital. They walked right in like they had passes to see someone. Walking down the hall, she wondered which way to go. Merita followed her closely looking intensely. She stopped and looked around.
“What is it?” she asked.
“You don’t see it?” asked Merita.
“See what?” she asked.
“There is a glow of light all around you,” said Merita. “Ever since you set foot in this place you have been radiating light and I feel the anointing on you like never before. Look at your hands”
She looked at her hands and she could feel the heat like they were on fire. Her palms were turning a bright red and there was what felt like electricity flowing through.
“I must be close to where I am supposed to go,” she said.
She made a quick left turn then a right one. The both looked at each other. They were in the ward of the terminally ill.
“Do you have any church information with you?” she asked.
“No,” said Merita.
“Write the church name and address on a piece of paper and put in the room after I have prayed,” she said.
As they entered the room, there was a woman, hooked up to several machines, apparently in a coma.
She wondered where and how to touch her. Just then she felt a force lead her hands to the head and heart area.
“Be healed and live to declare the work of the Lord,” she said. She turned around quickly and left the room.
“Is that it?” asked Merita. “Is that all there is?”
“Yes,” she said. “Simply follow the instructions.”
She began to walk swiftly looking for the nursery. When they got off the elevator on the third floor, it was right in front of them. Looking through the glass they saw a preemie in an incubator.
“We are not going in there are we?” asked Merita. “I don’t know if we can do this. How do we get in there?”
Just then, the nurse came out to ask if they were family. They both said no. They were there only to pray for a blessing on the newborn babies and especially the one that was in the incubator. The nurse was hesitant, but she said, “There is something different about you. I don’t know what it is but I believe your prayer combined with the one I have already said will let us see the miracle of God for this child.”
“What was your prayer?” asked Merita.
Before the nurse could speak, she had laid her hands on the incubator and said, “Be healed, live and declare the work of the Lord as you are a chosen vessel in the earth to do the mighty work of God. In Jesus Name, amen.
As she was leaving, she turned around and looked at the nurse and said, “Watch over these little ones with much prayer as they have been entrusted to your watch. Your words are some of the first words that they hear in the spirit as well as the natural. All of heaven is watching. Know that there are more with you than you can even imagine.”
As they walked out, the nurse stood there shaking her head. She called Merita back and asked, ‘Who is she?”
“Why,” asked Merita.
“Because she prayed the exact words that I have been praying over that baby since its birth,” said the nurse.
“She is just someone who wanted to see something different in the body of Christ. This day is a great adventure for her.” said Merita. Then Merita gave the nurse the church information.
That night she could hardly sleep for meditating on what had happened. She really could not believe all that had happened. It was something in her that she never imagined doing. She always thought that was for the Pastors to do. As she remembered about the lights moving, a thought came to her that the Pastors cannot do everything. Lying there, she wondered if this is what the book of Acts was about.
Several Sunday had passed since the great adventure. She and Merita were always on the post as ushers. Merita was on fire and wanted to go again. “It just can’t be a one time thing,” said Merita. “Surely the Lord has more for us to do. We have to go. We just can’t sit here after all that.”
“Let’s wait and see,” she said. “We can be in much prayer about the purpose and wait for instructions for an assignment.”
“It’s like were secret agents going into enemy territory retrieving stolen property,” said Merita.
One Sunday there was a visitor with her baby. Merita escorted them to their seat. While walking with them, Merita felt something on the inside unusual. Getting back to the door, she whispered, “Something is unusual about the woman and her baby. I felt something on the inside.”
“I felt something too,” she said.
They stood during the service just looking, knowing something, but not sure what. At the end of the service3, the visitor stood to speak. She began to tell about the accident that she was in and how her baby had to be taken early to save him even as her life was threatened. She was visiting the church today because two ladies had come and prayed over her and her baby. Although she was in a coma, she heard their voices and saw their faces in the spirit and would most definitely recognize them. She turned around and looked back and said, “I recognized you two in the natural and the spirit the moment I walked in. Thank you for your courage and obedience to speak healing and life to me and my child. We stand here today as evidence of the power of God in your prayers.”
All of the church looked at them in awe. She and Merita hugged each other tightly and wept sorely. For today they had seen the miracle of the mighty hand of God at work just like in the book of Acts. They were just ordinary Believers who had stepped out on His command. He had used those that were hungry and unsatisfied. Who is willing and who is available?