A few weeks ago, I went to visit my friend Alexander in a nearby city. Alex is awesome, loves Jesus a ton, and, in the 6+ years that I’ve known him, has taught me a ton about God’s kingdom, listing to Holy Spirit, and following Jesus. Honestly, he’s one of the big reasons that I am where I am right now, both geographically and spiritually. Now, Alex and I have both been taking language lessons online, Skyping teachers one-on-one, in order to have more effective language practice (which works impressively well, regardless of the fact we are also living in the country of the language we’re learning). One of Alex’s teachers happened to be living in the same city we were in, so we decided to have tea with him one night, which happened to be the same night I was flying out of the city.
So, we have tea with this guy (who I had never met, but from whom Alex and several others Jesus lovers I know have taken several classes), and he turns out to be a super interesting guy! He had been an engineer, and was working a crazy stressful job for several years, when one day decided that he didn’t want to spend all his life working stressing trying to make machines work. He also ended up going through a divorce, which made that time all the worse for him. So, he quit his job, started teaching language online, and now spends his spare time playing guitar, and writing language learning books, which he loves to do. He also tells us about how he used to be a super devoted Muslim, having started keeping Ramadan at the age of 10, instead of 15 like most do, because he wanted to express his deep devotion from such a young age. He continued to explain that 4 years ago he came to the realization that all religions were essentially the same, and that there’s no real differences between Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, or whatever; that we’re all just trying to do the same thing. Alex and I just listened and continued chatting with him about everything, not getting into discussion about religion at all except to ask him more about his own opinions.
At one point while we were talking, I felt in my spirit that he might have some kind of pain in his hip/back, but I didn’t feel confident about it at all. I decided I would wait for the right moment to ask him if that was the case. While I was waiting and the conversation was continuing, he started telling a story about a time when he tried to play the bass guitar. He mentioned that he couldn’t play it standing live on stage because he has herniated disks in his lower back, and can’t hold anything more than 5kg, which apparently includes bass guitars.
I was surprised. “Ooh! He really does have something going on in his back! Well… I guess I need to pray for him now.” We kept chatting, and I kept waiting for the best moment to ask, which didn’t really seem to come. The time for my flight crept nearer and nearer, so I eventually I ended up saying, “Hey guys, I think I need to head towards the bus if I want to catch my flight,” To which Alex and this teacher reply, “Right! Of course. Hey, we’ll walk you to the bus stop!”
“Ok, let’s go.”
When we get there, we start saying our good-byes, and I say to the teacher, “Hey man, you still have stuff going on in your back, right?”
“Yeah, it’s constantly there. Why?”
“Well, I love to pray for people, and sometimes they get healed of stuff like this. Can I pray for you now quickly before I go?” And with some of the greatest excitement I’ve ever seen as a reply to that question, he says, “YES! OF COURSE! I would love that!!” and opening his arms he gives me a BIG hug.
I’m like, “Uh… Ok then! Let’s do this! :)” And I grab his hand and start praying for him, telling the pain to leave and asking Jesus to touch him. I finish praying, and ask how it is. He says, “Well… actually… huh… I… weird.. I don’t feel anything”.
I reply, “Like, no pain, or…? Is there something you couldn’t do before that you can try?”.
He keeps moving his back around, bending, stretching, and trying to feel for the pain. “That’s… really cool! Yeah, I don’t feel any pain at all…. Wow!”
I smile and reply, “Yeah, that is really cool, eh? Hey, you remember how you mentioned before about all religions being the essentially the same when it all comes down to it?”
“Well… This is Jesus… and He’s different.”
He was still really surprised, but thanked me several times.
My bus was about to leave, so I said goodbye, but told him that Alex was going to explain more about what just happened. I found out later that they continued talking for another two and a half hours and Alex shared the gospel with him and told him more testimonies about God’s goodness and about who Jesus is, and how He really is different. We’re continuing to keep in contact with him and pray for him, and will be continuing to share with him, confident Holy Spirit is drawing him to Himself.