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Pleasure Dome Thunder BW

Garden Party

Saturday, 24 April 2021, 14:30 — We arrived at friends’ house for their daughter’s 19th birthday party. Earlier, this autumn morning was overcast with dark clouds, prompting my prayer for clear skies. Upon arrival, a few parked cars indicated some guests had already arrived. After placing our potato dish in their oven, I sauntered through their lounge area, out into the lush backyard, to receive greetings from the early arrivals. One of two Golden Retrievers waded into the swimming pool. Off to one side, the men congregated around the rented spit-braai (a large portable rotisserie oven).

True to form, there was Dirk—foremost DIY guy in our circle—holding the rotisserie motor’s driveshaft bolt, it’s thread had stripped, the half-done lamb no longer turning alongside the gas flames. My presence went unnoticed by DeeTee, our concerned host. His primary mission of bringing the lamb to roasted perfection required his full focus.

On the fringe stood my other friend, Jens, a self-admitted not-so-handyman. His partial attention to the crisis was easily diverted by my approach, followed by his characteristic gentle greeting. Jens’ jovial verbal jab aimed at Dirk, was followed by a self-deprecating joke, evoking laughter from the group. I smiled when realizing the hidden meaning in Jen’s joke: “Dirk and DeeTee have this crisis under control, and I’m content as a bystander.” I felt exactly the same way.

The busy men walked off to locate spare parts. Put at ease by firm trust in our capable friends, Jens and I idled around, enjoying a chat in the sunshine. By then, dark clouds were replaced by an array of fluffy white cotton balls dotting a most welcome blue sky.

I asked Jens how he was doing. He was doing well, he started, before thinking deeper about it… Busy enough with projects, although struggling with a back injury, and concerned about a payment which a client had neglected to make.

The lower back injury he suffered while lifting a heavy steel table covered in mosaic. There and then I offered to pray for his back, and also for the outstanding payment. Jens was thankful, mentioning that his intention had been to ask me for prayer. At around 3 PM, we sat on some lawn-chairs away from the others, beneath a large tree. I shifted my chair close to his, took his hand in mine, and brought his needs before God.

First I prayed for his back. After a few moments of waiting, God spoke, giving Word that He does have healing for Jens, instructing me to place my hand on the injured area. Jens agreed, and I placed my right hand on his lower back. I started thanking God for His healing, speaking the Word He had just given, and acknowledging Him as true, gracious, generous, loving, and kind. Instantly, God’s virtue flowed through my body, down my hand, and into Jens’ back.

The power came in waves. At first, just a gentle wave or two, and then considerably stronger. I kept on verbally acknowledging and worshipping God. A minute or so later, God told me to ask Jens to test himself. He stood up, flexed, bent over this way and that, twisting around to feel if there’s any pain. He said, the only thing he felt at that moment was his unfit muscles, that his back felt fine.

I insisted that, if more prayer was needed—since we were enjoying God’s presence with prayer and waiting—that he should mention it now. He sat down and asked for further prayer, not for his back, but for him in general. I asked God to release the outstanding payment due to Jens, and I asked God for various blessings over Jens and his family. I reminded him to keep standing in faith, upon God’s Word of healing he had just received; God is no liar, but true to His promises. And so we ended our prayer session in the garden, unconcerned by the others seated close by. Afterall, we were in the best of company, at peace, and surrounded by our Creator’s splendor.

Enjoying the afterglow of God’s presence and divine touch, I consequently failed to ask Jens some pertinent questions. For one, I had no idea how bad his back injury was before we had prayed. Those questions came days later.

Sometime during Saturday’s garden party, Jens approached me, mobile phone in hand.

I want to show you something.

He spoke with excitement, while pointing at the small screen. I leaned in and noticed his email inbox. My eyes settled on the email next to his finger.

Received that same day, at 16:45, I read the opening line:

I’m sorry. I messed up by not paying you sooner.

The man’s apology accompanied his notice of payment, the very reason for Jens’ delight:

Look how fast God answered!

I smiled and replied that indeed, God is good.

Three days later, 08:34 on Tuesday morning, via phone call, I asked Jens several questions to gain better insight into his healing and payment.

My back is still slightly tender, but not sore. Today I feel healed. After Saturday’s prayer, I still felt my back. Before we prayed, my back was a 6 to 7 out of 10, with ten being really bad. That dropped to about 3 when we prayed, and remained there until Sunday. Yesterday, it dropped to a 1.

It was heartwarming to listen to Jens’ testimony of how things were, and how he experienced God at work. He elaborated further.

It was important for me to align with God. It’s an inheritance. This healing is a piece of inheritance which I received from Him. God speaks to me about faith, that it’s not mysterious, but quite basic: you simply believe Him.

I also asked Jens about the payment. He explained the project wasn’t yet complete, but had grown cold as the client shifted focus to other matters. He had waited months for the payment, without pressing for it. Even though patient, without growing angry, Jens admits being concerned at times. He knew the client as a fellow believer.

The evening of Saturday’s garden party, blessings continued unabated. Our large circle of good friends soaked up warmth from a bonfire while enjoying a delicious, bountiful feast beneath a clear, starry sky. Cheerful laughter and piano music emitted from the house as our kids (now young adults) played games. Outside, we stoked the fire, shared jokes, ate some more, reminisced, enjoyed ice-cream, and lingered longer until late. I reluctantly returned home, satisfied on so many levels.