Last week I was blessed to be able to help administrate the A Revelation of Jesus Christ event, hosted by Hearts of Fire Ministries. This was a two-day event here in Portland with David Hogan. While the event was amazing, and hundreds came and received a touch from Heaven, we ran into a problem. The church venue we normally use was unavailable, so we had to use a significantly smaller church. This meant that literally hundreds of people who wanted to attend were unable to get tickets—we sold out every seat we had and then a few dozen more we didn’t have days prior to the event. Keep in mind that at every event we do, we get walk-ins, and normally that would be perfectly welcome—we have space for everyone. But not this time. We were literally turning people away who came in-person to the event because we had no place to put them.
At one point I was put in an extremely awkward position by another staff member, albeit through no fault of her own—the entire registration process was awkward due to the popularity of the speaker and the lack of seats. This coworker asked me to “deal with someone” that needed to be turned away from the event because she was crazy busy dealing with other things. By all rights she was, and I was available, so having me deal with the problem was a good choice, but there was an issue: the “problem” was people. A man had brought his disabled, brain injured wife to the event. She is a fan of Hogan’s and has followed his ministry for years, but that wasn’t the major issue. What got me was the fact that she literally crawled her way into the building and across the floor to the registration table. I kid you not—I watched the entire thing. I would expect to see something like this elsewhere in the world, but not in the U.S.A.
So here I am, on staff with the ministry hosting a “Revelation of Jesus” event, and a disabled woman is crawling across the floor who wants to get prayed for by the speaker because she wants to be healed. And I’m the guy who has been designated to say “Sorry, no room at the inn. Move along please.” I didn’t know what to do, so I did the only thing one can do in that situation—I said a quick prayer in my mind to the God of the Heavens and the Earth: “God, I DON’T want to turn her away. What do I do? Help me.”
I began to talk to this husband who lovingly brought his disabled, wife to this event, and was just honest with him. I said “Sir, I’ll be honest, I don’t know what to tell you. We literally don’t have any more room to put people, so I just don’t know how to help you. However, I don’t want you to leave without your wife getting prayed for. Can we pray for her?” He was very gracious and happily agreed.
A few other believers, including Joshua Shaw and friends of Walk After Christ Ministries had at that time just bent down to pray for her. I had her crawl to an alcove on the side so people could walk around us, and we all continued to pray for her. After a short while, I left her in Joshua-and-Friend’s capable hands so I could take care of other administrative duties for the event, but I simply couldn’t find it in my heart to send her away. And neither could I send away the other people who came with canes and walkers and wheelchairs all seeing a touch from Jesus Christ, the Master Healer. Keep in mind that we were still out of chairs. I won’t say exactly what we did do, but it was a fire marshal’s nightmare.
Here’s the thing: I know that I lack in a lot of ways in life, but if there is one thing I am not willing to lack in, it is the love of Jesus Christ. The biggest struggles I have ever had in my life, with no exaggeration, have had to do with how to love people when they were exceedingly unlovable. Over the next day and a half, each time someone come to the event without a ticket, and they had some clear and visible disability, I simply couldn’t find it in my heart to send them away. From the first night with that man and his wife, and every time after, I could only think to myself:
“If Jesus were here, he wouldn’t turn them away. I can’t either.”
And you know what? God was faithful to my cry for help each and every time. Someone’s friend didn’t come the one night, so that woman gave the extra seat to the crawling-woman, who by the time she went to go to the sanctuary, was walking upright (Yaay Jesus!!). Another man who had a walker with a seat, he put it against a wall on the side of the auditorium and just used that as his chair. Various wheelchairs we wheeled up front and placed at the sides of the stage. One way or another, we made a way for people to stay, and God rewarded that faithfulness. One young woman regained mobility in a leg that she had lost movement in from a car accident, and began to walk. A teen girl began to feel new sensation in her leg and hip in spite of having become paralyzed from the waist down a year prior. A number of people were delivered from demons, many received a strong touch from heaven, and the Kingdom of God showed itself strong on our behalf.
I often don’t have the answers to life’s problems. I often don’t know what to do when things start getting out of control. But I realized something last week. There is a God who rules over the heavens and the earth who has all wisdom, all power, and all authority over every sickness and disease, pain, poverty, and problem. This God came to earth as Jesus to destroy the power of sin once and for all time, to remove the bondage to death and decay which as enslaved both mankind and all creation since the Fall. And this Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and will be forever and ever. If he wouldn’t turn someone away, we don’t need to fear that we will either, because as Jesus once said to Heidi Baker, “I died so there would always be enough.”