A few months ago the Lord, in His goodness, crossed my path with Lisa Tindal. We found each other on Twitter and although we haven’t become bosom buddies, I am clearly drawn to her deep searching soul — one that seeks and finds the tender care of God in the mundane as well as in the devastated places where a fallen world wreaks havoc. Lisa is precious. In fact, each time I think of her, precious is the word the Lord gives me.
In preparing this post, I visited Lisa’s blog, Quiet Confidence — Art and Word. The following is a quick glimpse into this special sister’s heart:
A dear, kind friend told me of visiting someone grieving this Christmas.
It wasn’t necessary or required he check in.
But, he did and she thanked him, adding she knew it wasn’t something he had to do.
His reply has changed my heart a little, has softened my striving, has granted me grace in all I’ve not done and had decided was failure.
My friend said, “I didn’t stop by. ‘Someone Else’ stopped by through me.”
Oh, the humility of stepping aside while stepping towards what God designs.
Don’t you love her already? I know I do. And did I mention she is an artist? Yes, ma’am, she is a very gifted artist who has a ministry of comfort and encouragement through her angel paintings. Lisa chose to share her story as an essay — a proclamation of found truth, a testimony of finding confidence in the quiet place. She has titled it, Healing Time.
Welcome Lisa Anne!
Lisa Anne Tindal
Towards the end of class, there is a chance for comment, for personal reflection of the lesson or for a question. A member of our class, who alternates teaching with another has only recently returned to our church, our fellowship and our class called the “Friendship Class.” He thanked us for our prayers last year, sharing that tumors in his legs were big as he held up his fist and made a movement with his hand in a boxing sort of motion as if to be sure we knew what he’d been up against. The tumors that went away and his choice not to have chemotherapy, he called a miracle.
I remembered hearing this as a request for prayer and decided the cancer must be invasive, must be so bad he chose not to go through a treatment ordeal. I suppose others felt the same, that he had decided he would not be healed of his condition. But, he thanked us all in Sunday School, this man who is now our teacher, who admitted he had not been close to God for a very long time. He thanked us all for praying for him and with him. He thanked us for our part in his healing.
Our lesson in Sunday School was from the Book of Mark. A prominent ruler named Jairus, the father of a twelve-year-old daughter who was very ill asked Jesus to come and lay his hands on her. She was close to death. Jesus made his way through the crowds, responding to the father’s request; but, was interrupted by the brushing of someone’s hand against the hem of his garment.
He felt it.
He wondered who had come near, who needed His attention.
The disciples were concerned, the crowd had become overwhelming, were pressing in. They questioned his pause, his detour from the path towards the daughter. But, Jesus stopped and healed the woman debilitated by uncontrollable bleeding. She wanted just to touch the fabric that made his garment; must have thought the healing would “rub off”.
She demanded no attention, asked for no interruption, so afraid she trembled over what might be the reactions of the disciples and the crowd. Jesus addressed her. He assured her.
And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well: go in peace and be healed of your disease.” Mark 5:34 ESV
Meanwhile, the daughter of Jairus was dying; had already died the onlookers announced. A crowd of people commissioned to cry, to weep, to perhaps, garner the attention of the disciples and Jesus were encamped about the house of the girl. They said no use in troubling the Teacher; your daughter is dead. Jesus overheard and turned towards Jairus and said, firmly
“Do not fear, only believe.” Mark 5:36 ESV
He approached the home, met by a commotion of people weeping and wailing over the girl’s passing. They laughed at Jesus when he told them she was sleeping and so he went in to her with the mother and father and stood over her still frame. Jesus touched her hand, held it in His and told her to rise, and she did.
All of them were overcome with amazement.
The man who thanked us for praying closed out our class with more wisdom. He reminded us of how Jesus heals in His timing. He pointed out the man possessed who was healed by Jesus’ rebuke of the demons inside him. The leper who implored Jesus to heal Him and Jesus, moved by pity, made him well. Jesus healed a paralytic because a group of stubborn and strategic friends made a way to get him to the healer, lowering him through a hole in a roof. The man with the withered hand who brought to question whether Jesus was Holy, choosing to heal someone on the Sabbath.
Every healing, a lesson in faith for us all.
The first page of my prayer journal has on its list, “Heal my daughter.”
Every day I pray. Every day I jot this down, and I circle on the next day, a system marking a pending answer. A few days ago, in the middle of the afternoon, she called to share what a difficult night she’d had. Later, in the grocery store, Christmas crowds and all, I recalled our conversation. I began to cry. When she called to tell me of the sleepless night I responded I am praying every day and she replied: “I know, mama.”
I cried, not because of her condition; but, because of mine. I wondered if she wanted to say, “We all know.” I had been sharing “socially” my system of prayer for all to consider.
I’ve perhaps become so determined in my prayer life that rather than a still and quiet supplication, my prayers are like the plans of a conniving beggar or a thief. I put all my hopes in my prayers, a methodical, structured display as if meeting the conditions to be found favorable, to be favored.
I remembered the daughter of Jairus, the woman who clinched the hem, Martha who was frantic, Mary who waited and then, Martha who, once in the presence of Jesus made up her mind to believe. So, my prayers have shifted now as we approach the date for my daughter’s procedure. I believe she will be healed and as far as my bullet list of prayers, the one at the top of the list is now, “Help me not to fear, only to believe.”
And we’ll all marvel, be overcome with amazement, and many will see our faith when Jesus comes to my daughter, and she is healed in His time.
More About Lisa:
I’m a writer and an artist; two activities that nourish my soul. Both, I’ve only recently decided it’s okay to call “talents”. My hope is that my words and my paintings are both a comfort and a relevant disclosure that lead others to notice God, to seek His face, to consider accepting him as Savior or drawing nearer from wandering away.
I believe we all stumble in many ways and so, my writing is typically brave and honest, detailing my own doubts in my faith walk as well as those he puts on my path to lead. My Life verse is Isaiah 30:15 because I believe it’s God’s desire that we are confident in ourselves; but, also quiet about it so that he gets the glory.
Congratulations to Linda Brownyard!
Linda is the December winner of an autographed copy of The Perils of a Pastor’s Wife. How fun! Be sure to subscribe if you’d like your name to be entered into a monthly drawing. I love having the opportunity to encourage my subscribers in their walk with Jesus.