Your (ehr…God’s) money and sister Maria…

You may remember from an earlier blog that God sometimes prompts me to give your money away.

As I stood across the street from a gypsy I saw a rather common Norwegian stop by her, speak to her kindly, then kneel beside her, and the next thing, I saw him praying for her. It was a striking scene in the midst of Oslo’s affluence and bustle. He struck me tas a man of limited means so when he finished, I walked across the thoroughfare, came beside her, and asked politely, “Do you speak English?” She looked into my face and said, “Yes, I speak some English.” I asked her if the man I had just seen prayed for her. She said, “Yes, he many times stops only to pray with me.” To this I replied, “I am a Christian. Did he have any money to give you?” “No,” she answered, “he just prays.”  “What is your name?” I inquired. “My name is Maria.” “Well, Maria, I am the answer to his prayers. I have some money for you.” At this moment I handed her a fifty krone note ($8.37). She looked into my face and tears filled her eyes. I told her, “Maria, this is not for your husband. This is for you.” “Oh, thank you, thank you.”

I don’t know why I saw this scene. That’s not true. The Lord prompted me to see it. We miss so much that God wants to do because we simply don’t observe. I think it was C.S. Lewis who made the point that many people never “turn aside” (Exodus 3:3). They never see the burning bush, never detect the holy moment, never hear the voice of God but rather content themselves with picking blackberries.  I have been blessed by a keen sense of discernment and I believe it has made a difference in my ministry.

Sister Maria

As we spoke further, I learned that she was also a Christian. There are many Roma people who have understood the gospel and have received it. I believe she is one of those people. As I asked her questions about Jesus and salvation, she had all of her ducks lined up in a row. So, I was able to finish our conversation by saying, “Maria, you are not a gypsy. I am not an American. You are my sister in Christ,” to which tears filled her eyes once more. Meet your sister and mine, Maria – squatted on Grensen Street sidewalk in the center of Oslo.

In the end, effective ministry has little to do with the masses and more to do with the high-touch upon one life, here and there along the way.

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