I was scheduled to speak in a church in Hamilton, Ontario this past Sunday. As usual, I spent days in preparation; praying, fasting and seeking Godís will for the service. "What is it Lord, that you want to say to these people, at this time?" I queried. The pastor had already given a strong indication of what she felt would meet the need of her congregation. I fully agreed and had my message prepared and polished and rehearsed. I was confident that I had a powerful message and that the Holy Spirit would meet every need of each person there.
I got up on Sunday and headed for the shower. Time was of the essence and I didnít have a moment to spare. Why would I need any extra time? What could possibly happen on the way to the shower? Lots, if the shower is 250 feet from where you live. I stay in a trailer on a 300 acre farm which is also used as a retreat for pastors that need to get away and spend time alone with God. Not more than half a dozen people, at most, stay there at any one time. The water pressure in my trailer is so low that I use the shower facilities in the main building instead. I figured I would quickly slip over and not run into anyone at that time of day.
As I entered the building, I heard voices in the main dining room. I lowered my gaze towards the floor, as if that would somehow make me invisible and tried to scurry past. My hair was not combed. Yesterdayís makeup was smeared on my face and my teeth were not brushed. Something the cat dragged in would have looked more presentable. "Donna, I watch you on television every Tuesday. How nice to meet you.!" Good grief! I flashed a Cheshire cat grin and then tried to hide behind the big bath towel I was carrying. Caught at my very worst, I muttered some nicety and tried to slip away only to have the owners of the farm grab my arm and usher me into the presence of their guests. One of the gentlemen started to relay that his wife had left him and taken their little boy. The loss of his son was more than he could bear. He was feeling very lonely. God, though, met him in a dramatic way and gave him a powerful song. A song that spoke of Godís loss: Ďand what God didnít do...... He didnít save His only son, He left him there for youí. Everyone insisted I sit down and have him sing it for me.
As he sang and played the guitar I started becoming anxious, not to mention increasingly embarrassed at my appearance. I was really pressed for time, and even though it was a very moving piece, I was getting behind schedule. I needed to get ready for church. I encouraged them all to come and hear me preach and then left.
I made it to church in plenty of time and as I arrived, a gentleman named Greg came up and introduced himself to me and handed me a poem. He just knew the Lord wanted me to have it. As I read the words, I became overcome with emotion. They were almost identical to the words of the song that was sung to me as I sat in my bathrobe just hours before. Earlier, I had been too preoccupied to hear what the Spirit of God was trying to say to me. I now heard the message loud and clear. God wanted to minister to people that were hurting and suffering the loss of a loved one. Those that were lonely. He wanted to do something extraordinary in that service and I got out of His way and let Him.
Half way through my message, I sensed that the Lord would have me read the poem. John, who wrote the song, did come to the service with his friends and with his guitar. He said he knew in his spirit that I would ask him to play . I did. There was hardly a dry eye in the place. God started to move among the people and began to minister to hurts and to bathe us in His love. Church lasted 4 1/2 hours. It was incredible. It wasnít prepared, polished or rehearsed. Instead, it was a tremendous move of God and church truly became a Ďhospital for the brokenheartedí.
To give you a small glimpse of the glory that we experienced and the message that blessed our hearts, I am including the poem in this article. It is the same poem that was posted on the wall at the Oklahoma city bombing site. It is entitled, "And God Said".
I said, "God I hurt." And God said, "I know." I said, "God I cry a lot." And God said, "That is why I gave you tears." I said, "God I am so depressed." And God said, "That is why I gave you sunshine." I said, "God life is so hard." And God said, "That is why I gave you loved ones." I said, "God my loved one died." And God said, "So did mine." I said, "God it is such a loss." And God said, "I saw mine nailed to a cross." I said, "God, but your loved one lives." And God said, "So does yours." I said, "God, where are they now?" God said, "Mine is on my right and yours is in the light." I said, "God, it hurts." And God said, "I know."