” Wherever something beautiful and big is happening in this world, someone is praying. It is not that prayer itself is powerful… it is when we join in with what’s on God’s heart that we give Him release to move in wonder!”
~ Charles Price
“Oh… we don’t really carry those,” the Hobby Lobby clerk shakes her head, after taking me to a small, boring selection of office supplies. She waves off in a direction across the parking lot — “Have you tried Office Max, over there?”
I shrug my shoulders. “No, I just thought you might have something… you know… with more… character.”
Glancing at me with that Huh? What a fool, no such thing look, she turns away with a slight takes all kinds smile. I could read it all over her face. Nut! She wants a sales receipt book – with what?
Mmm… yeah. I’d almost said, with panache…
Because, driving over, I’d suddenly thought – Why am I thinking Corporate Communications and looking for ordinary lined paper with fill in the blank boxes for my pen & ink portrait sales? I mean, regular invoices and business sheets are good for sales to say, a real estate broker. But when doing pieces commissioned directly by individuals for their own personal gifting, why not be a bit more… stylish? Think out of the box…
So often these days, those words are skittering around the periphery of my thoughts. How when life sets out a Robert Frost two roads diverged in a wood sort of choice, it can be so reflexive to take the easy rut, more known path. I’m tired of just going along the expected route. More and more I am stopping myself to slip into conversation with My Best Friend. Give me YOUR ideas, Lord…
Which is another way of saying… show me more of Your Heart. Your creative, opening windows, lighting the path, ashes into beauty Heart.
This morning I hear someone on radio telling of God’s extraordinary that begins with people thinking outside the box, catching His longing and plan in prayer. How a group in England with a deep care for students in a local high school began to meet early every morning for three months, praying for a way to have someone come and share true faith with the students. They knew the Vice Principal and that he was a man who would probably roadblock them all along the way. At first, they just ask God to make him conciliatory. Then… the Holy Spirit leads them to His out of the box prayer. Don’t just think of him as a barrier. See him as I do. The one I would leave all to find.
And so their prayers transformed to God’s Heart agenda. Soften his heart to yearn more for You, Lord. Put such a longing in him that he will want to invite someone to speak of You…
And out of those prayers, releasing God to do what He purposes to do in all of us, came amazing Divine appointments. This minister was invited to speak – not for the usual allotted 10 minute guest appearance, but for 40 minutes. Not just to one class, but to an entire student assembly. Afterward, the Vice Principal begged him to go class to class and finish what he began.
“But, isn’t it against your law for me to lead them in prayer?” the minister questioned.
“I will take responsibility,” the V.P. assured. And, listening in on those classroom discussions, this school authority thought to be a roadblock later prayed one on one with the minister for a deepening walk with the Lord. A sweep of the Holy Spirit moved then, stirring hearts of another teacher and students all over the school. Because of out of the box prayer that covered the ground long before any word was spoken.
The minister then relates other such stories that have touched his own life. Of a great Welsh revival in 1904 – a time when the entire community was wondrously, “suddenly” falling deeply in love with the Lord. Everywhere you looked, people were turning back to God with true life changing fervor. His own great grandfather, an alcoholic, was mocking them all one night in a pub when suddenly – no one knows just how — the Lord transformed his heart and forever changed generations of their family, on to today. “It was years of prayer that covered Wales,” the minister says now , “prayer joined to God’s longing for them, releasing God to do His mighty work…”
I wipe my eyes, listening to these beautiful stories… thinking back to some pretty incredible things I’ve seen come out of such prayer in my own life. Divine appointments like that minister being in the England school at just that moment. Moves of the Holy Spirit touching a heart, like his great grandfather’s, just when you think it could never happen.
Praying out of the box. My Ways are Higher than Yours. Looking to Him…in the big and in the small…
Back at Hobby Lobby, I’m thinking of all the rows upon rows of creative paper aisles. Maybe they don’t have an actual printed receipt book… but surely they might have something… fun… innovative…clever… that I could adapt as one? Show me, God, what this inkling of an idea is…
Searching, I find textured scrapbook pages and card making materials and word pieces that even relate to all the ideas behind my pen & ink portraits. Like the idea of Home being where your story starts… Still, nothing quite, workable.
Then, I find these pretty little tags. Many designs. I choose the softly floral, two of each color pattern in a packet. Hmm... I think. Why couldn’t I...What if…?
I suddenly imagine how easily this might work as a receipt. One copy for the customer, one for me. Perfect
At the checkout, I chuckle to myself, wondering what that clerk might think if she saw what I ended up with… Not the usual, that’s for sure.
Out of the box. In the case of the English students and their Vice Principal, wondrous. In my new receipts… just pure fun. Yet, in them both, I’m loving, how God writes CREATE (after His own Heart) on the binding of our stories into His Book. And calls us to invite Him in… so He can take us to places we might never dream alone.
To eagle wing heights and divine appointments.
And… 🙂 … other times, in the ordinary, to something quirky that just makes us smile.
© Pam Depoyan