Have you ever had an encounter that pierced your heart so unexpectedly that it changed you?
I did. Several, in fact, but one recently that continues to grip my heart.
A few nights ago I was meeting a friend to visit when I saw her.
She stood using a walking stick. Her breathing was heavy. Her upper body was small to average stature. She has a huge growth on the side of her face. Her legs were enlarged and swollen. She had many sores on her legs and infection was evident because her skin was splitting and it was oozing down her leg. She was weak. Too weak to push open the door to exit the restaurant.
She asked for help.
What I thought would be a quick push open of the restaurant door turned in to a life changing event.
She apologized continuously. She kept saying in April she was living a wonderful life, then “this” happened.
I asked her if I could help her to her car, then reached to help carry her bag.
Again, she apologized and yet was so thankful.
I asked her if she would be able to open her car door.
Upon opening the car door I saw laundry detergent and laundry to be washed.
She explained she was just too tired to deal with it today. Oh I wish I had loaded up the bags and washed them for her.
Once she got seated I asked her if she would be able to lift her legs in to the car.
She asked me if I could help lift her legs.
The red – swollen – oozing legs.
At first, I cringed, and was going to try and lift where her dress was when something unexplainable happened.
As I reached for her legs, it was like God was pulling me down, as I gently wrapped my hands around her red, swollen, oozing ankles and lifted them in her car.
In that moment, I think I might have been holding Jesus’ feet. And it took my breath away.
As I touched her legs I asked her if I could pray for her.
As I prayed, God had me leave my hands on her ankles.
And then He had me kiss her head.
I swear it was like Jesus was right there. There was peace, comfort, and love all wrapped up in one moment – one touch.
It is simply indescribable.
This angel’s name is Caroline.
And I can’t stop thinking about Caroline.
My heart mourns for what I should have done.
Caroline was leaving for the doctor because the medicine the doctor had given her for her legs weren’t working.
That night, a friend read Hebrews 13 to me. I can’t remember if she was reading it before or after I told her about Caroline – but as she read, I thought of the incredible presence as I held her red, swollen, and infected ankles that day. And then I thought of Eddie Echarri. When you would call Eddie’s phone number, his voicemail greeting was Hebrews 13. He was all about reaching the down and out and prisoners. I learned so much from Eddie and I thank God for the impact he made on my life.
I’m not sure why I am sharing this today. I know some of the details are tough to read, and I apologize if that makes you uncomfortable or nauseated, but what I do know is I need you to pray for Caroline. I had never been to the restaurant I was at AND if the Charis House girls hadn’t been at a retreat that week I wouldn’t have even been there at that moment. I believe with all my heart our encounter was purposeful. Join me, please, in praying our paths cross again. Pray for someone to help her. Pray for physical healing. And friends, above all, pray for her to be strengthened in the Lord and if she doesn’t know Him that He would send someone to be Jesus to her to share Him with her.
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.