Could it really be? God does not need me…


It was that morning, the morning he and his common law partner arrived at my house to bid us farewell before their Mexican holiday, that I caught a glimpse. We had become their closest friends; a pastoral couple and an agnostic, completely unchurched couple. I still marvel at how this could be.

It is the power of love, I expect.

Ordinary love just doesn’t cut it, though. It must be a radical love, a love that is purely incarnational. It must be an extreme love…it’s the Jesus love, for it extends past our best efforts and can penetrate the heart of any man or woman. Here is one woman’s story:

I turned to Mary and asked “So, what about you? Are you interested it the DTS program, too”? He shook his head before the words even came out of her mouth. I could see his grey head turning from the corner of my eye.

“No”, was her reply. “I don’t think I am ready for that”, she said.

Mary had an early childhood Catholic Church experience but nothing beyond that. Now at 38 she was being discipled without even realizing it. Several weeks had passed and the DTS group was approaching the end of the first quarter. We saw tangible evidence of the Holy Spirit at work and continued to trust Him with what we could not see.

“Dan. Mary would like to meet with you sometime”, Rob said.

“Sure. That’s why I’m here”, Rob seemed a little puzzled. Later I realized that Mary was just as puzzled as Rob.

“Dan, Mary is having theses emotional times, like little episodes”.

“Oh”, I said, now just as puzzled as him.

“Every time she turns on Christian music like the songs from the cd you bought us or the songs that come through the radio, she just starts to cry. She needs you to help explain what’s happening to her”, Rob exclaimed.

I felt this thing deep within me begin to churn. It had been about a week since I had started praying that I would begin to see more tangible expressions of the activity of the Holy Spirit. Not signs but just stuff that would keep us going. I was feeling a little tired of all the strategizing, planning, thinking, discerning, and envisioning. I really wanted to see God do something that did not have my fingerprints on. Even if just for my sake, I needed to see Him and only Him. It began to happen!

I met Mary the next day for lunch. She is a really sweet lady, a little left brained, and not an overly emotional person. She and her partner have been in Canada for just over seven years and their remains a bit of a language barrier.

“So”, I enquired. “Tell me what’s happening.” She went on to tell me about these times of strong emotions when she listened to Christian music. It had gone on for a few weeks and now she was really starting to think that she was losing it.

“Can you tell me what’s happening”?, she said.

“Sure”, I replied confidently. “Jesus is pursuing you”.

Although she did not fully understand what I meant by that she seemed a little excited. Now, the reader needs to understand something at this point. Mary is completely unchurched. She knows nothing of the Great Story, the Good News. She has no paradigm for church, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Hebrew bible, or the New Testament. The only thing she expressed was that God was this all-powerful spiritual entity that when he engaged with humans there was disease, war, pestilence, and death.

Now, this God was pursuing her??? I then launched into an overview of the Kingdom story, emphasizing God’ s love found in Jesus, His rescue mission, and our desperate need to be rescued. It was here she first heard his name, Daddy, Papa.

“Well, what do I do with this”, she retorted.

“When He pursues us and reveals Himself to us I believe it will always need a response; if not now then later. You see, He wants to be in relationship with you and a good, healthy relationship requires a strong element of choice. He won’t make you respond”, I said.

I continued on for a few more minutes before she said, “I think we need to pray”.

By this time I was so excited that I could barely see straight. Really. Could it be that the Gospel itself is so powerful that it doesn’t need me? My inadequacies then flashed before my eyes like a mental slide show. I was met by all my feeble attempts at praying, loving, planning, listening, serving, etc. Could it be that the Good News is bigger? This situation seemed so, easy.

“I would love to pray with you. You need to know, though, that you don’t need me to get to God. I can help bring language to what needs to be expressed but you can go to God directly”.

We quickly finished our lunch as went to the large lobby of the restaurant. We prayed together and she committed her life to Jesus. Through tears and sobs she accepted His authority, accepted His forgiveness, and began a new life. This was a moment when I was in awe of the powerful, pure, and simple work of God.

So, although we are seeing God at work through us in the DTS, He is being seen at work outside of our direct efforts. He is that big. The Good News really is that Good. Now, Mary is ready for the DTS. She joined our group in March.

Daniel Snell
Nelson, B.C.

~ by blueporch on March 31, 2011.

One Response to “Could it really be? God does not need me…”

  1. That is way to cool. Very inspiring and gets me all the more excited to come and join you guys for a weekend this fall. I take great delight in your faithfulness and the evidence of the Spirit leading you on. Stumbling into His agenda is a whole lot more refreshng than trying to create it.

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