The Test

God’s timing is impeccable.

I’m sitting in the airport, writing last week’s blog post. Waves of travelers blur past my line of vision, dragging wheeled cases which wobble precariously at breakneck speeds. Parents tug on their slow-moving progeny. Companions chatter without any sense of their projected volume. It’s barely controlled chaos. Earbuds tightly fitted to block out the hubbub, I’m intently focused. The subject is faith over fear, inheritance versus insecurity. I’m fully vested, all senses honed to accomplish my singular goal of completing my task before boarding the plane.

Through the muffle of rubber plugs, I hear the cry.  It’s piercing, completely diverting my attention from the work in front of me.  Glancing momentarily up, my gaze is captured by a weeping young adolescent clutching her mother’s arm.  They’re lumbering past me. Child tugging against the leading of parent, mother determinedly forging ahead.   And just as I move back to writing, my periphery catches it: a swinging white stick held erect in the young traveler’s hand.  She waves it back and forth, tapping the carpeted aisle with each pass.

Blog post abandoned, I give myself over to the pageant of human experience playing out just a breath away.

Disappointment, disillusionment, and exhaustion line the older face. The girlish countenance overflows with confusion.  Her mind storms and whirls to make sense of a world far too vast, too intensely rapid.

The pain is so blatant. I squint in an effort to shield my soul from the aching glare.

And in that brief heartbeat of a space, I recognize the test.  And I’m terrified.

Lord, she’s a total stranger! Why would she want anything to do with me?

Just GO.

I tentatively rise, but stubborn reluctance rules the moment. I plop back into the chair.

Remember My Truth, Daughter.  Fear is not your inheritance.  It has no place in you.

The loudspeaker resounds with a call for the A-listers.  My flight begins to board.

How hungry are you for My breakthrough?  

Trembling, I pack my iPad into my purse, quickly stuffing the remainder of my paraphernalia into empty pockets.  I’m desperately gulping for courage like oxygen.

Yes, Lord.  Yes.

I make my way across the wide walkway, knees knocking.

They’re sitting in the fast food café, and I stop, hovering over her.  She glances up questioningly.

I know this may sound a bit strange, but I feel like God has asked me to come and pray for your daughter. “  

I can see the walls behind her eyes.  Bitter.  Too much hard.

“Oh.” Silence.  “Ok.”

“What’s her name?”

“Brianna.”

That name is very special to me!  I have a niece named Brianna who is handicapped, confined to a wheelchair. And what is your name?”

“Hope.”

I kneel next to Brianna and pray for her healing.  And then I pray for Hope, that she might know the healing love of the true and living God.  Like Hagar, who felt cast off and forgotten in her desert of pain, I ask that Hope would see His hand and she would know.

You are a God who sees me.  Beer-lahai-roi.  I have not been overlooked.  

I rise to go, and she’s looking at me like I have five heads.

“God bless you, Hope.  He loves you.  God bless you, Brianna.” She stares, silent.

The last call for my flight blares into my consciousness.

I catch the tail end of the boarding process, and in the waiting, I glance down.  I’m wearing a necklace given to me by my beautiful sister-in-law, amazing mother to my wheelchair-bound niece.  It’s a single silver key on a long chain, and stamped in simple font is a solitary word.

Hope.  

Because Jesus is the only key to hope.

And through the gradual calming of mykey square still-racing heart, I recognize anew: there is never coincidence in the Kingdom. And I’m in awe over the craftsmanship of the Master Designer, the way He knew that the keys that I bear are the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, and that Hope would need the key of Jesus to unlock her chains of disillusionment and despair. And how I needed to take the lesson of faith over fear and walk it out fresh, so that when I hit send, it would go forth in power. Fresh manna. A rama word.

He knew it all.

I wiggle gratefully into my seat and finish the post.


 

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