He comes to me in measured steps. I reach out to hold his hands. His whole body is shaking. I draw him in closer to my side. I smell alcohol, but I do not care. He cries out and utters words that I do not understand. The local pastor beside him looks at me as if asking me if I could pray for this man.
I am in a small village church somewhere in Southeast Asia. This is the evening for our Revival Service. I just finished sharing the word and have encouraged the participants to come to the altar for prayer. Several people are up front standing in line waiting for the team of pastors to come and pray for them. The pastors and I are taking turns going around praying for the ones who responded to the altar call.
I am praying for this man. I hold his outstretched hands in my right hand and place my left arm around his shoulders. The shaking gets stronger. I can tell that he is struggling. He is moving uncontrollably like someone suffering from a cerebral palsy condition. His words are garbled. I look straight into his eyes. I said words of comfort saying: “You are special before God. The Creator is delighted with your life here on earth. Reach out to our Savior and receive His blessings.”
It dawns on me that I could have been this person with limited strength and speech impediment. I am no different from him. His physical limitations make him no less than a person. He is my brother. I move his two hands together in a prayer stance. And I place my right palm on his chest. I continue speaking words of assurance to Him. I know he does not understand me. His gaze however, is telling me he hears my prayers. We keep looking into each others eyes as I keep imploring God’s mercy and kindness for both of us.
I raise my left hand towards heaven and cry for God’s visit in our midst. Suddenly, in the midst of the smell of alcohol and noise of the people’s loud prayers around us, I feel his shaking body slowly relaxing. He closes his eyes and tilts his head like he wants to lay down on a soft pillow and to fall to sleep. I motion to the local pastor nearby to bring this gentleman to a chair for a time of rest.
I go around to pray for the other people who are still standing in line waiting for the prayers of the pastors. I pray until the conclusion of the service.