“What do you want me to do for you?”

(1) Clairvoyance isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
(2) It’s a mistake to ASSUME what sort of healing someone wants.


This young man showed up about two weeks ago.  From the moment I first saw him, I disliked him intensely.  I struggled to learn why.  His skin appeared to be black as coal.  Was that it?  Am I that racist?  For several days, I paid special attention to people’s complexions. There are other black-as-coal people in my world I don’t dislike.

He scowled all the time.  Every night at supper, some petty incident led him to want to whup somebody ass.  Every night.  He’s not a #psychopath: a psychopath would have done it, and got barred out of far and away the best shelter in town.  He weighed the cost.  Psychopaths don’t.

But he’s getting better.

It’s as if he comes from a place(*) where he had to radiate hatefulness continually, all night, all day, every night, every day, in order to survive.  Now that there’s 18 hours a day when that does not apply, he’s beginning to relax.

He’s getting brighter.  I can see his actual skin color now.  He’s dark brown, but not black.  The blackness I’d been seeing was his #aura.

(*)Quite possibly the City-run shelter called “Code Blue.”

She didn’t want my prayers.

She is the only member of her family involved with church.  As a young teen, she would catch two buses to attend.  She was a pillar of the youth group.

Several years ago, I took it upon myself to add her to my personal prayer list.  I recite this half dozen names every day after praying for my family.  The issue was her extreme insecurity as to housing.  Her parents and siblings could not be counted on for anything; for them, crisis is a chosen lifestyle.

Fall came, and there were a couple weeks when she seemed to slip my mind when I prayed that list.  Months later, I figured out that that’s not quite what had really happened.  Rather, in those two weeks she had not wanted my attention.  She had slipped behind a spiritual curtain, into a darkness I could not see, and while there acted on certain decisions destined to plunge her into material hardship for the next 20 years.  She DID NOT “choose the best.”

More recently, after being absent for about six weeks, she came to church Palm Sunday.  At the end of service, we have a “Time for Sharing,” when anyone may speak to the congregation whatever’s on one’s mind.  As she stood in line waiting her turn to speak, her aura appeared to me very, very dark maroon, so dark I could not make out her features.  She was clearly in distress.  About what?  I asked inwardly, and did not receive an answer.  In the event, she asked for our prayers concerning a family disaster.


Bartimaeus …

… approached Jesus, not the other way ’round.  In all but one instance in the Gospels, Jesus never took it upon himself to initiate a healing encounter.  Initiative was always on the part of the seeker.

Once he had Jesus’ attention, Jesus said, “What do you want me to do for you?”  You or I might say, “It’s obvious!  The man’s blind!”  It wasn’t obvious to Jesus.  Jesus did not assume the man wanted to be healed of any thing.  What did Bartimaeus want him to do for him?  I maintain that the ultra-clairvoyant, omniscient Son of God did not know.


Only then would his healing occur.

It’s not always necessarily so.

I model my practices on those of The New Life Clinic.  There, the intercessors typically do not ask a seeker to express her or his need.  Technically, the intercessor has no need to know.  And in some cases, given an intercessor’s human weaknesses, it might be “TMI” (too much information).

Related: Don’t come uninvited.


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