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Hearing the Spirit

I enjoy my daily morning exercise.   I live on a residential compound that is provided by the hospital where I work as a nurse.  I feel safe enough to run and walk in the early morning hours alone, even before daybreak.  My heart is lifted as I listen to the birds singing with delight, as if they are giving praises to the Lord, their Creator.  I am amazed as I look up to the sky and see the stars, the glow of the moon just before dawn.  The time gives me closer contact with God who created all these things.

I was deep in thought in my worshipful surroundings when, I believe,  the Spirit of God drew me from my meditation to two teenage boys on their bicycles heading to the mosque to pray. That morning was not the first time I’d seen them.  I had seen them many mornings going to the mosque for the Fajr Prayer, the first of the five daily Muslim prayers.

I also knew they spoke English.As the boys passed me, I had the distinct impression to talk with them.  But I reasoned it was not safe or appropriate for me to initiate a conversation with strangers and it was completely out of cultural norms for me, a woman, to speak to these young men.  So I decided not there was no reason to start a conversation.

As I caught up with them, though, the impression came again.  Strong.  It was as distinct a a voice my thinking saying, “Talk to them.”  So as I was walk alongside them, I ventured a greeting in as friendly voice as possible.  “Good morning, how are you guys doing?”  

They both looked at me with a little disdain. However, with that voice in my head, I was not deterred.  I introduced myself and asked their names.  They told me their names, even if a little reserved, “Rayan.”  “Abdullah.”

I smiled and began talking, not really even planning what I was saying, but looking back and forth at each of them, speaking directly into their eyes.  “I really admire both of you for your commitment and consistency in seeking Allah so early in the morning.  I have noticed you for a long time and I want to commend you for your steadfastness.  I’ve observed you get up early while others sleep.  This tells me you are earnestly seeking God.  I pray that Allah will speak to you in your quest for Him.”

It was not your regular conversation.  In fact, it was unusual in every way.  As I spoke, I prayed that God would reveal Himself to them.  That’s when I noticed tears welling up in Abdullah’s eyes.  Was he seeking?  Was he hurting?  Did he know God could be found?  Was Rayan reaching out to God too?  That’s when another clear impression came to me.  The same Spirit who had given me the impression to speak to them was also at work in their hearts.

I bade them good-by and continued on my morning walk, thankful for the still small voice that had spoken to my heart, that had spoken to Rayan and Abdullah, and that had brought us together. How many times, I wondered, had I missed His impressions and robbed someone of the blessing He had in store for them?  

Even more, how often had I wanted to present Christ to someone, not realizing that if I offered a word of courage or of kindness that He would be present—presenting Himself to them!

God calls not only for your benevolence, but your cheerful countenance, your hopeful words…
Bring back the sunlight to them.
There are souls who have lost their courage; speak to them, pray for them.
There are those who need the bread of life …
There is a soul sickness no balm can reach, no medicine heals.
Pray for these and bring them to Jesus.
And in all your works,
Christ will be present to make impressions upon the human heart.  

               –Ellen White in A Call to Medical Evangelism, page 22