A wounded warrior… made whole.
That’s who I met tonight. A law enforcement officer who faces danger every day in the line of duty. A public servant who risks his life to protect others. Survivor of a life-threatening attack by an enemy that operates by stealth.
He told his story tonight to those who had gathered to raise money for the American Cancer Society (ACS). He said it was the greatest honor ever afforded him — the opportunity to help save even one life by telling his story. His story was full of information and encouragement. Information is power,300-207 vce after all… or so the saying goes. Information can help us notice what might have otherwise gone unnoticed. Information can encourage us take action when we might otherwise have been tempted to let things slide.
His story was full of gratitude that he is still alive. But his story was also full of something else — Someone else — as he hinted at The One who drew him closer in the Valley of the Shadow. Closer than he had ever been before.
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.” (Psalm 23:4)
Every person’s story is priceless, Lord… and his was no exception. Maybe that’s why You gave me one of Your “heart promptings” I have come to know so well. A blessing ordained just for him, tonight.
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a Voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.'” (Isaiah 30:21)
In addition to asking family and friends to donate money to ACS, I will be holding a unique fundraiser at our upcoming Relay for Life on April 18. A wonderful experience You have raised up called “Answered Prayers Cross.” A beautiful way of passing on the healing power of Your cross to those who need Your Touch. (www.answeredprayerscross.org)
People will gather around tables to paint hand-shaped clay crosses and hearts. They will paint (decorate) them however they feel led. Each one is totally unique in shape, color and design. Some have embossed shapes. They may have one or more colors. Some have words like “Inspire” or “God Loves” or “You are Worthy.” The possibilities are endless!
But the healing is not limited to the crosses painted.EX300 vce Healing happens as people share their stories while they paint.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” (1 Peter 3:15)
People cannot keep the crosses they have painted; they must go into the kiln for another day. But each person can pick a cross from among those made by others. Whichever one “speaks” to them… because You, Lord, want to minister to them in a very personal way, through the particular cross they feel drawn to pick. Each cross has a registration number so it can registered on APC’s website, along with the story of how that cross has blessed its recipient. (There are over 2,500 stories so far!)
But the healing power of Your Cross is meant to be shared… isn’t it, Lord? So people are not to keep the cross they choose. They receive their cross with the understanding that one day, they will know it is time to pass it on to someone else… and You will make clear who that “someone” is. The crosses have now been tracked in all 50 states and 18 countries around the world, as the healing power of Your Cross is passed on and on and on…
Tonight, a law enforcement officer came to a meeting, grateful for the opportunity to give others a testimony of Your Grace, Lord. Tonight, he left with an unexpected gift… another testimony of grace, from the very One he had come to honor.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.” (Luke 6:38)
When I told him the APC story, he was deeply moved. Almost before I could finish, he said “I know exactly which cross is mine.” Of course he did… because You had me bring the exact cross that had been made just for him, for such a time as this. Now, he can hardly wait for Relay, when he and his daughter will come to paint crosses that can be passed on to others. He has experienced the healing power of Your Cross, Lord…and, now, is eager to bless others with Your Touch!
“Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ He said. ‘Be clean!’ Immediately, he was cleansed…” (Matthew 8:3)
Once again, in AWE (times infinity)…