Road to Emmaus

It takes a lot of faith to walk out the daily routine. Whether working a job, running a business or a household, most of life can feel boring, uneventful and unappreciated… at least from the world’s point of view. The mundane things we do each day aren’t flashy or sexy and attracts very little attention. No viral videos for the ordinary stuff of life. But from heaven’s perspective, the act of  simply “doing whatever your hands find to do with all your heart as unto the Lord,” can produce miraculous results.

Through the daily routine we raise families, develop friendships, start businesses, grow careers, improve communities, overcome obstacles, endure difficulty, offer encouragement and strengthen the foundations of the thing God values most; the hearts and souls of people he has preordained us to interact with.

During one of my overly routine days (some folks call them gloomy days), I was lamenting to God about not having anyone to pray with or talk to. His reply came faster than a speeding bullet. “Why don’t you BE someone to pray with,” while simultaneously giving me a vision of exactly what that meant.

A couple hours later I was seated in a lawn chair on the sidewalk along a heavily traveled road a few miles from my home. It was the middle of August. Correction…it was the middle of hell.  For those not familiar with summer in the southern United States, it basically means temperatures of 98 degrees with humidity levels even higher. Plus the added bonus of ants, flies, mosquitoes and… zero breeze.

The exact spot where the Lord asked me to sit was directly in front of a sports bar (also known as the local Pub). Not only was I was facing the sun, but there was a perfect view of the beautiful shade trees directly across the street. Propped against each side of my lawn chair were two home-made signs that read, “If you need prayer, I’m here to help.” Each time a car drove past the signs blew over. It was a pitiful laughable sight.

No one stopped. Not a single soul the entire day. But I did get a few laughs, honking horns and weird looks. There I was, a college educated middle aged woman sitting on the sidewalk in the boiling sun looking like a complete loser. And I felt like a loser. And I told God the same thing in not too pleasant of a manner. Other people were working or networking or enjoying their summer vacation. No one I knew was doing something this insanely ridiculous.

Three o’clock. Four o’clock. Five o’clock. I decided to pack up my circus act and go home. Seven hours completely wasted. All I had to show for it were sweaty clothes, a sunburn face and bug bits.  Oh yeah, and wasted money on stupid signs. My next stop, a really good psychiatrist!

As I loaded my gear in the trunk of my car, I heard a loud voice coming from the door of the sports bar. “Wait! Don’t leave,” the voice shouted. Glancing to my right, I saw a young man in his thirties walking towards the parking lot. Not realizing he was talking to me, I continued loading my car. “Hey! Prayer Chick,” he continued. By this time he was standing only a few feet away. “You’re the Prayer Chick, right?” Shrugging my shoulders I hesitantly replied, “Uh…. I…. guess?”

Normally I would think it strange for someone to hold their adult beverage between their wrists. But that’s exactly what this young man was doing. He wasn’t holding his drink that way because he was intoxicated. He did it because he had no choice.

“Hi, Prayer Chick. I’m Stan.” With a beaming smile he continued, “But everyone calls me No-Hands Stan. “Don’t leave, he demanded. “My friends and I have been watching you all afternoon.” Throw your stupid signs in the car and come on in. They all want to meet you!”

As I followed the man with no hands in to the bar, God spoke to my heart, “What you did today was for his sake… I brought you here for Stan.” While God was whispering to me, Stan was yelling to his friends, “Hey guys, this is Prayer Chick.” In less than 2 minutes I went from defeated and exhausted, to stunned and surprised.

Immediately they began peppering me with countless questions about God and the Bible. Although they would probably never walk through the doors of a church, they still wanted answers to questions that had plagued their heart for years. And they were sincerely interested in my response.

After 30 minutes of non stop inquisition, I was finally able to return my focus to God’s divine appointment. “So Stan, what do you do for a living?”  Sipping his glass of bourbon and coke he answered, “I own an internet porn site that I run from my house.” All I could feel was God’s love for Stan. It wouldn’t have mattered what he said or how he said it. I knew God wanted Stan to know his love and kindness.

Without batting an eye or changing my expression I replied, “Well, how’s business?” “Truthfully, its horrible,” he explained. “Revenue is down more than 70 percent. I’m going bankrupt and my wife just told me she leaving.”

Because of my own experiences, I could relate to Stan’s pain of failure, loss and despair. But unlike Stan, I knew what it was like to receive the love and grace of God in my time of need. It seemed God wanted to use our mutual difficulty as a bridge to Stan’s heart.

So I began to share my life struggles with him. I told him about my hurts and fears, the sleepless nights, the panic attacks and the incredible strain it had put my marriage. But I also shared how God had given me the strength and faith I needed to walk out each day with hope for the future.

“I could really use some of that,” Stan replied. Then he shared that coming to the sports bar every afternoon was they way he tried to overcome depression. “But it’s a temporary relief at best,” he confided. “I would rather have what you’ve got.”

Before I knew it an hour had passed and it was time to go home. While tossing a tip to the bartender, Stan tossed a question to me, “What do you think Prayer Chick? Does God have anything to say to a person like me?” As we walked to the parking lot, I replied. “Stan, God sent me here especially for you. This entire day has been about how much God loves you. None of it was a coincidence. Do you believe it?”

With a lump in his throat he answered, “It sure seems that way Prayer Chick. It sure seems that way.” So I simply asked him if I could pray for him. Immediately his eyes welled up with tears. Then glancing at the ground and nodding his head he replied, “Would you? Please.”

The Gospels are jammed packed with riveting accounts of miracles and divine encounters that happened in the midst of the mundane. While Christ’s followers were working together, walking and talking together, eating together, living and struggling together, he was with them in their daily routine. His voice and presence in the midst of the mundane connected them with the plans and purposes of the Father for themselves and others.

That same Jesus has the same desires for us. While we are working together, living together, eating and playing, struggling and stumbling together, Christ wants to engage us in his plans and purposes for our generation. As the Master of our daily routine, his hand is constantly directing and redirecting our paths helping us to keep in step with his spirit.

None of us know when our lives will intersect the next miracle moment or divine encounter in the midst of the mundane. But we can ask God to give us ears to hear, hearts to know and minds to understand. We can also ask that our spirits increase in sensitivity to be able to more easily hear his voice through the noise and busyness of the daily routine.

To learn more about how to experience God in the ups and downs of life check out my new book, 5 Easy Steps to Life Changing Prayer   It’s available now on Amazon.  Or drop me a note with prayer request and questions to: askTawanaLowery@gmail.com

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