The Gift of Presence

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Suki praying in English with translation

My friend, Suki, was going to speak to a group at the church in Turin where I had visited just a few weeks ago (see A very Italian Allegory).  Although she was going to be in Turin for the whole weekend, I decided only to come Friday, returning to Milan in the evening.

Then Rosa contacted me about going to hear Suki speak.  Suki had introduced me to Rosa a few years ago.  She said that Rosa could benefit from a bit of encouragement from me, especially since I live close enough to actually visit her, which I’ve done a few times since.  Rosa had to work on Friday, but told me that she had the whole weekend free.  I have an invitation for Sunday morning, but I changed my idea from a daytrip on Friday to a daytrip on Saturday to accommodate Rosa.  We met at the train station and went to Turin together.  The trip from Milan to Turin on the high-speed train is under an hour, but once in the city, it took us almost two hours to cross town to get to the church.  Part of this was the Saturday bus schedule and part of it was the weather: it was raining.

Seeing that we were going to be significantly late, I wanted to pray, but Rosa chattered and chattered.  So I sent up a quick prayer for Suki.  In fact Rosa talked non-stop (in Italian) from the moment we met until we arrived at the church.  My ears were in serious need of rest.

Now, I don’t mean any of this against Rosa.  She’s a precious sister in Christ who feels desperately lonely for Christian fellowship.  She’s not allowed to talk about Jesus at work, and she lives with her mom who will hear nothing of her Christian talk.  Her mom had a boyfriend who was into tarot cards and other occult stuff.  Rosa has a neighbor, Gunther, who’s a believer.  But Gunther is so fixated on the demonic that he will talk about practically nothing else, harping on her mom’s need for deliverance ad nauseam.  So I understand Rosa’s need for a sympathetic ear.  This is why I didn’t silence her.  If I had thought that Suki was incapable of hearing from the Lord without my prayers, then I would have insisted on taking time to pray.  But as it was, the quick prayer was really all I did before we arrived at the church.

When we finally got there, Suki had been talking for an hour.  She grinned and introduced us before continuing with her testimony.  She had requested that I be there and pray for her because her testimony is quite long and there are any number of ways that she could tell it.  Hers is an especially important testimony for Turin, since Turin is not just the Italian, but the European capital for witchcraft and satanism (see Fashionably Early).

Suki gave her testimony the way the Holy Spirit led, and the response speaks for itself: there was only one person who didn’t come forward for prayer.  Some were delivered, some healed, and those who were in need of salvation received it.  All received a prophetic word from Suki that was encouraging and right on the mark.

Afterwards there was a luncheon arranged by the church.  Many of the people there remembered me from my visit last month.  They were pleased to see me again, and this time they were intentional about maintaining contact with me.  One person even offered a ride to the nearest subway station so that we could get back to the train station while remaining dry.

I have written before about the gift of presence (see The Matchless Gift of Presence).  It blows my mind to think that sometimes the most encouraging thing I can do is simply to show up.  This was definitely the case today.  Suki was encouraged.  Rosa was encouraged.  The people of the church in Turin were encouraged.  And really, I did little else than simply show up.  But then, it’s not me, it’s God in me.  God is good!

 

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