One evening, in a Walmart of the Middle-West state of South Dakota, I walked passed the hardware section. I saw a Native woman and her family standing in the aisle. I felt a jolt in my spirit and it said, “Tell her I love her.” Hell no. That was my response. I walked around that Walmart at least five times before I decided I would leave the store. There was no way I was going to look like an idiot to tell a stranger, “God says he loves you…and, uh, that’s all I got.”
Years ago, I started out on this journey to hear God’s voice, believing he would have something to say to strangers that would lead them to his magnificent love. There isn’t a day in my life that I haven’t experienced some sort of fear in that journey. on the contrary, many people affirm that I am bold for the gospel. I am. But, how often do I actually feel bold? Getting here, and staying here, has been costly to my dignity and my comfort. Thankfully, The more I realize his love for me, the easier it becomes to love others. Instead of worrying about how I feel, I concern myself with what he feels towards them.
Having left the store, I pulled up to the first stop light, only to hear that darn-ed voice again, “Isaiah, she is still in the store…” “UGH, fine, I’ll do it.” I said, thinking to myself, “I’m going in the other door, that way she might be gone.”
I pulled up to the door furthest from where I’d seen her last. I got out, in such strength and boldness that the Walmart doors flew open without me touching them. I felt anointed. The Lord was making a way! “Crap…” Coming out right in front of me was the woman.
Getting her attention, saying, “Excuse me,” I stammered, “Mam, God says he loves you.” She stopped, proceeded to say, “Thank you,” and followed it with a commentary on all the hurt caused her by the church. As much as she was sincerely gratuitous about being told God loves her, she was so hurt that she would barely allow me to pray for her or even consider visiting the church that I knew was filled with love.
I felt like crap. I was a terrible evangelist, and a worse “prophet” in my eyes.
Almost two years later, I was setting up the chairs and coffee at church when one of our pastors, Autumn, walked into the church with someone she had invited to attend. Yes. It was that lady and her family. Turns out, she was consistently running into the people from our church. She felt so loved that she finally felt safe enough to come to our church. When did it start? Right after an idiot told her God loved her. She didn’t even recognize me, but after speaking with me in Walmart, Autumn and my friend Winter had met her and loved on her for those two years. Her family dedicated their lives to God and her son was delivered from drugs.
God’s word is sticky. It’s a seed, and it enjoys the muddy places where it can grow. What we think is hard soil, he thinks its good, soft soil. What made me feel insecure, stupid, and like a failure, was God’s first move of a pawn in this woman’s life. God doesn’t need your “radical” obedience, he needs your mustard seed faith. Your smallest trust is a wedge that he drives into the cracks of Hell’s foundations in someone’s life. He slams your “God loves you” into that crack and watches the gates of Hades crumble to the ground in the face of grace.