Revelation 5:8, “And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.”
I used to call her a Jesus freak. Now I am one. Jesus found her living on the streets. She was divorced, alone and homeless and everyday Jesus with skin on told her she was valuable and God loved her. Everyday she struggled with mental illness, fought for her rights, fought for her freedom from psychiatric wards, fought the diagnosis. Everyday she told Jesus with skin on where to go with colourful language. She kept coming back though, for the food, the clothing, the shelter, the fellowship. The loneliness was too much to bear. God couldn’t possibly love her after all the things she had done. Where was God in all the hurt she had experienced, in the torment of her soul?
One day, her heart opened, just a little. Relentless, unconditional love will do this. She realized this was what was missing in her life and heart. She realized the love of God did not depend on her or what she did or didn’t do. She chose Him and fell headfirst into a love affair with Her Saviour. She accepted His forgiveness. Her already generous heart opened even more to pour out God’s love onto the hurting, the homeless, the addicted, the incarcerated. There was no place she was afraid to go with Him. There was no one she was afraid to tell. She had experienced the fullness of His love and grace and she wanted the same for everyone she met, especially her children.
Her prayers opened the heavens, encouraged, brought healing and raised the dead. They were mighty and many. They were captured and even now bear fruit. They poured over people like holy water and opened their eyes to how God saw them. Her time living for Him was short but it was effective in living out the gospel to many. Despite her devotion, the demons continued to haunt her. She was the ultimate example of how God works despite ourselves. In her illness, it brought humility and through the brokenness she was able to minister to others. She believed in His healing for everyone but herself.
She encountered Jesus in the ordinary and because of Him, her life and ministry to others became extraordinary. Her suffering was great but in that there was a profound awakening of her gifts to be compassionate beyond anything I have ever seen. She left a spiritual legacy and mantle and the answers to her prayers started to become visible. She was persistent in her petitions that others would know Him.
I, the Jesus freak, am a direct answer to the wake of her legacy. My Mama prayed for me, everyday, for seven years. We got to love Him together for 6 years until her mind was overtaken. I wish I knew then what I know now about inner healing and her illness and the help she could have had. I don’t live in that regret though, it wasn’t my job to save her. I loved her the best way I knew how at the time.
She paved the way for me with her prayers to experience the greatest love of my life. Jesus. To know there is more than just ordinary life. To know there is hope and redemption and a way to eternal life. To desire these things for my children, and now grandchildren, the ones I love and really all of God’s children.
I found a sweet gift yesterday. I took one of my bibles to our church for the prayer room. We have an amazing women’s event called Live Loved tomorrow night. So if you are reading this and you can come, please message me. Yes this is a shameless plug because you will hear some of these truths I talked about here. Anyway for some God reason, I opened the front cover and there was a note from my sweet Mama. Written in 1996, 5 years before I chose Jesus. She spoke of her heart’s desire that one day I would be a sister/daughter in Christ. I remember the day I called to tell her I was, she nearly flew to the moon.
There is no greater joy than to see your children walk with the One who created them. There is no greater gift we can give them than to teach them His ways. There is no greater legacy we can leave behind than our prayers and our love of our Saviour.
I used to think she was looney because it was outside of the realm of my truth. But God…Like I said, relentless, unconditional love gets in a heart.