My heart has been bubbling over these past few days, and no words could come close to giving justice to the emotion, or the thoughts, or the...wonder of it all. In a way that only He can, my God has made himself so very real to me and to those that I love. Through this I've been reminded of several things:
- His ways are perfect
- His care is complete
- His eye is on the details
- When he begins to pull together a miracle, it is all encompassing
I first met Bonnie about six years ago, when she and her family began attending our church. For the first year or so, I suppose it was an ordianary type of church acquaintance. We'd certainly greet one another and pass pleasant generalities back and forth. To meet Bonnie is to instantly love her. She is never - can I just repeat NEVER - without a smile and a word of encouragement. So stopping to chat with her every now and then was always welcome.
But one Sunday our friendship went to the next level, and in a way that I don't think either of us could have predicted. I was taking a nap in between services, when I instantly awoke, sitting straight up, with a scripture running through my mind. And, in a way that could not possibly be any stronger if it HAD been an audible voice, the Lord instructed me that the verse was for Bonnie, and that I should "give" it to her that night at church.
Now this made me nervous. I didn't know Bonnie well enough to march up to her and give her a word from the Lord! What would she think? Plus Bonnie was the picture of tranquility and happiness; it was quite obvious that she and the Lord shared a relationship that was close and confirming. Why didn't God just give her the verse himself?
I waffled back and forth all during the service that night. After the last amen, I still dawdled, receiving more than one impatient look from my husband. "Just walk up to her and start talking," he gently nudged me in her general direction. "Just do it."
With hesitant steps and - I'm sure - a stammer in my voice, I finally obeyed. I wish to say that I knew immediately the meaning behind it all and that it was all good and all those things we want to feel in those moments. Instead, it was in the coming weeks and months, and even years that the bigger picture began to unfold. But that night was the beginning of a friendship that has grown with steadiness and sureness, and is one that I value with everything in me. She is one of my "inner core" - a small group of friends whose prayers, support, and laughter provide walls of safety and sanctity around me.
This past December, right around Bonnie and Frank's 30th wedding anniversary, she suddenly lost her sense of taste. Hoping that it would return as quickly as it had disappeared, Bonnie tried to wait with patience and it was only weeks later - at her husband and friends' urging - that she began to visit doctors, looking for an explanation, and hopefully, a cure.
The weeks turned into months, and one doctor became two, and then three...The doctors scratched their heads, admitting that they just didn't know. Because she still had her sense of smell, she didn't fit into any particular case study or situation. Bonnie retained her usual positive outlook on it all; her family and friends retained their quest to find the answer.
This past Sunday night, my God began to pull together all the pieces from the past few months. During a mighty move of God, our pastor called for those needing healing to come to the front. Taking Bon by the hand, Frank led her to the altar. There she was surrounded by friends and met by God Himself. I won't even try to explain that half hour or hour or whatever amount of time elapsed, because my words would fail and would fall so short. It was a time of surrender, a time of bonding, a time of faith, and - when the night was over - it was apparent that The Promise Keeper had done it once again.
In a way that only He can, He healed our friend.
I believe that her sense of taste is only a portion of what God did in Bonnie's life and body that night. He is not a God of half-way measures. When He does a work, He does it completely. When He heals, He makes whole.
For me, Bon's friend, but also a writer who has been struggling to get her mind wrapped around the concept of healing, God did a multi-fold thing on Sunday night. As Bonnie's healing has taken place, the story burning inside of me has taken on new dimensions. I'm now able to plunge to depths in this story that, only a few days ago, were real in theory only. In that perfect way that - truly - only He has, He used my friend's healing to give this writer a glimpse of glory.
His eye is on the details...
and our eyes are on Him.