By Linda Prince
What an amazing day of healing for our city! When I woke up today, I envisioned writing something profound. It will have to wait – there is just way too much. It needs time to settle. So, I offer up the Lord’s sense of humor during the day.
By noon, the bags and balloons were in the Kinloch room, 3 had been picked up and I was off to drive around the city (in the pouring down rain) to pray for each Bible study. Now the streets were flooded and yet we pressed on. Surprisingly very few people asked if we were rain or shine? We just kept moving forward. I mean come on, who picks up a paper bag of handouts in the midst of a deluge? God’s ways are not our ways. As I drove I kept asking God about the weather. His clear message was I got the weather, you pray for the people. So I switched. I had intended to prayer walk the parks — it became a one lane drive by. The other lanes were flooded.
By the time I got to McLeod, I thought hmmm? Edmund mentioned the nice shady swale area as the place to set up. The swale was about 2 feet deep and rising. Best to pray. I parked and prayed. About that time, the verse, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for evidence of things not yet seen,” came to me. It was helpful cause what I was looking at and an outdoor popup Bible study just didn’t seem to go.
Next Park Circle. Again, a drive around – actually twice was good. Still pouring the rain. I get a text from Vicki, “where is the McLeod bag?” “I don’t know, it was there.” We quickly surmised someone had picked up the wrong bag. “Can I give her one of the other bags?” My car swerves off (never text and drive) but somehow the angel for the day catches it just before I hit the curbing on the I-26 on ramp. – Vicki and I decide to give the Park Circle bag to McLeod…. Which wasn’t quite right because turns out McLeod now has two bags and….
Okay, so by 2:20 I am close to the meeting place with Rev. Anthony Thompson, David Booman, the reporter from World Magazine,… And voila, look at all these parking spaces. It’s only a block or two best to take one of these and walk the rest of the way.
– The LORD called a meeting – way too much to include – He is readying us for revival!
5:10 Meeting went longer than “ I “ expected. Walking to my car, I have 8 text messages and almost as many voice mails and no time to check email but I am floating, what a meeting? Time to get in the Prayer Mobile and check messages then start the circuit. I return Betty’s phone call as I walk, and learn they have secured the shelter. What originally was quoted at $1000 was now offered for $100. Praise God! Mid – call, I look up, “Oh no, where’s my car?!” The prayer mobile has been towed! (with the balloons intended for Alhambra)
Joe needs to be at Alhambra but drops everything, quickly retrieves me from a downtown street corner and we are somewhat back on track minus the Prayer Mobile. I take him to Alhambra we set up. I head toward Breach Inlet in the Substitute Prayer Mobile and the Lord presses on my heart the memory of a Bible event where the Lord reduces the size of the army. It becomes clear, the threat of rain is to cull the ranks. I get to visit 4 of the 6 parks.
It was a day of contrasts for me. At each park, I was stuck by the JOY among God’s children who trust him enough to show up on what was mostly a rainy day for an outdoor Bible study. I sat a distance away at White Point and watched the passers by compared to this giant circle with Duane in the middle and people laughing. I received a photo from Edmund of the McLeod group (They were dry) and all smiling. At Breach Inlet, it looked like a circle of church camp kids. The word “play” came to mind. Yet, those who were walking by at each park seemed like they were from another planet. The study groups were like little patches of heaven in the middle of a broken world. At Hampton, we had four groups. It was a young crowd. Yet, I must point out that the older crowd at White Point braved the elements and sat under a tree. The Hampton crowd was in the gazebo. : ) At Hampton, I chatted with Stewart our youth group volunteer who took photos. I noticed David in a small group with the wife of one of Joe’s teammates, a pastor’s wife. I know her. Yep, the Lord culled the crowd – for HIS reasons.
Somewhere along the drive in the Substitute Prayer Mobile, I was reminded of the night I met my long time friend, mentor and business partner, Dan Lumpkin. I had to smile. Several people had told me I needed to meet him, for he was doing the kind of work I dreamed of. On a very rainy night in 1991 in Mobile Alabama, I went to a professional organization meeting. It is the type of gathering with a keynote speaker and usually 75 or so folks. This night 4 people showed up. The President, the speaker, me and Dan. Needless to say, we met and the rest is history. Sometimes God needs to cull the army.
Those chose for last night’s army were from lot’s of different churches and some outside the church. I would love to hear from some of you as the Lord leads. What I know thus far is 15 or so at Alhambra, 30 at White Point, 19 at Hampton, 13 at McLeod.
The list of churches thus far includes Citadel Baptist, St. Andrews, St. Michaels, Bethel Methodist, Sunrise Presbyterian, Seacoast, Christ Church, Holy Cross…
The night ended for me with a trip to the impound lot. Again, I was struck by the contrast. In one day, I had sat as close to heaven as one gets on this side of eternity and listened to Rev. Anthony Thompson who lost his wife in a Bible Study. He is full of joy – real joy! He told of the night, the weeks that proceeded and the Holy Spirit’s prompting to speak to Dylan Roof at the Bond Hearing and FORGIVE!. The reporter asked, “Do you pray for Dylan?” He responded very quickly with, “Oh yes! Every day.” He went on to say he believes Dylan will come to know Jesus before he dies and explained the Apostle Paul started out persecuting Christians and look what God was able to do with him.
I had watched God’s army from around Charleston gather to study his Word, glorify Him and remember the Nine. Now I sat in the hallway of the impound lot on the very edge of a filthy chair. I then handed over everything from my driver’s license, to the VIN number to a crisp hundred dollar bill to the lady through the window. 24-hour impound lots host a is a jagged slice of God’s creation. Who knows, maybe the Prayer Mobile had some impact on this dark place while it was there.
The day of contrasts has certainly had an impact on me. I am overwhelmed by the joy and creativity of the team especially when things turn out differently than first imagined! (Liz the saw horse and plywood table was beautifully draped and perfect!) To be in the middle of the complex web and watch God’s children at work or maybe it is play – was glorious. To God be the Glory. Great things he hath done.