Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mary Town

Cindy and I were in Chicago last week for the second of eight retreats we are doing with the Transforming Center over the next two years. It is held at a beautiful Catholic monastery in a Chicago suburb.

We decided to fly in a day early and see her brother, Don and his wife Sherry, who were in Chicago for a fundraising conference. We attended Willow Creek Church in Barrington on Sunday morning. The music was uplifting, Bill Hybel’s message was timely and relevant but what most impacted me was what GOD clearly did EXTRAORDINARILY in through an ORDINARY person in the pew---my wife!

We were sitting there at Willow Creek with thousands of people on Sunday morning. To be honest, when I am at a large church with thousands of people I tend to feel insignificant and distant from God. It is probably only me but I feel like just one among the teeming masses. (I hope I get over it before heaven ‘cause I’ve read there will be big crowds there!) Anyway, towards the end of the service I noticed my wife, Cindy, turn to the woman standing to her left, put her arm on her shoulder and say something to her. Before I knew it the woman was sobbing uncontrollably.

I thought to myself, “Great! What could Cindy have said to this poor woman that would upset her so much?” As the service ended this is what I found out: Cindy, not knowing this woman’s situation at all, received a strong impression from the Holy Spirit that she was to tell her, “God wants you to know that He loves you very much, He is with you and He will comfort you and is with your loved one.” This message unleashed a flood of comfort, sorrow and joy all mixed together for this woman.

“We just buried our 12-year-old handicapped daughter this past week. I wasn’t going to come this morning but I am so glad I did!” As timely as Pastor Hybel’s message was for this woman, it was the message from an ordinary woman from Seattle that she really needed to hear that morning. This was her own personalized message delivered right to her seat! The fact that Cindy came thousands of miles from Seattle and didn’t know her from Adam (or Eve!) made the message all the more impactful to her. The woman turned to her husband and asked for one of their laminated memorial service cards with her daughter's photo on it to give to Cindy.

Cindy gazing at the photo assured the women that she would be praying for her this week. “What is your daughter’s name?” my wife asked. “Mary” the woman replied. “That’s really interesting, we are on our way to MARY TOWN,” Cindy said with a smile.

Glorying in the Ordinary,


Note: Do you have any stories of God’s Glory showing up in the ordinary? I would love to hear them and share them with a larger audience if you would like! Just email me at (JNBohnett@aol.com)

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Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this. I wonder how often the Holy Spirit wants to use us to lift and encourage others and we just brush it off as silly. How wonderful that Cindy heard God's voice and obeyed.

Rich Lawrence

Anonymous said...

So often people say that God they have never heard God' voice. But if you listen close enough to a message, a song, a word from a friend or His Word, he will and does talk to us. Thanks for sharing Cindy's message from God.