When we went to Orlando in June, we visited Disney World, Sea World, and Faith World. I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of the first two, but maybe not the third one—and it was my favorite.
Faith World is the name of Clint Brown’s church. If you know my family at all, you know we loves us summa dat Clint Brown, both his preachin’ and his awesome praise and worship music.
So we figured while in town, we’d go worship with a ministry that has blessed us tremendously.
We were late arriving for the second service (it was ALL the way across town from our resort and we underestimated the time it would take to get there), but still managed to slip into a pew during praise and worship. The pew we slipped into was only occupied by one other person.
Now if you’ve listened to Pastor Clint at all, you know he does a lot of “Look at your neighbor and say…” or “Touch your neighbor and say, ‘Neighbor,…’” during his songs, so it came as no real surprise when he directed us to do that while praising.
The neighbor on my right was the sole occupant of the pew other than me and my family. She was an African American lady who had the biggest, happiest smile I’d ever seen. Pastor Clint had directed us to tell our neighbors something and when I turned to do it, I saw tears along with that winning smile. Then as the worship continued, I noticed her crying harder and wiping her face with tissues while offering up requests for the Lord’s touch along with phrases of gratitude and love to Him.
As we both worshiped, I would alternately drape my arm around her shoulders to squeeze her or pat and rub her back in circles to let her know she is loved. (She was receptive or I wouldn’t have continued!) I held her hand during a corporate prayer. And of course I had tears streaming down my face to match the ones that were streaming down hers.
I was doing this with a complete stranger, y’all! I can only attribute that to the Holy Spirit because I barely do that with people I know—at least for that long! And yet the unity of spirit I felt with this “stranger” immediately rendered her a dear sister in Christ. I didn’t need to know anything about her other than that to know that I loved her.
After a powerful sermon and a closing song, the service wrapped up and I finally got to meet this lovely lady who had captured my heart. Her name was Dorothy. She shared that she had just had heart surgery and that she was so grateful to God for giving her a second chance. I introduced her to my family and she said how sweet we all are (another bonus to worshiping with strangers! LOL!). I told her we were only there on vacation, down from Illinois. She asked us to keep her in our prayers and she said she’d keep us in hers. When we parted ways, I praised God in my head for seating me next to Dorothy--what a blessing!
Later, my heart melted as I heard my kids remember Dorothy in their meal-time prayers. I still think and pray about her often and occasionally they do too.
Dorothy, if you’re out there (why, oh why didn’t I get her last name? her email? give her my blog address?) we love you and we pray God’s continued blessing in your precious life.