The Blush of the Gospel

By: Greg Aitkens

James 5:15

And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.

Recently, I was road cycling with some other men on Highway 1 along the Pacific coast north of Cambria, California. As we were riding along Burt, 73, was in front of me as we began climbing a hill.

Suddenly, and without apparent reason, Burt moved to his left, directly in front of another rider, Frank, and they collided. Amazingly, Frank was able to stay on his bike. Burt, however, fell and hit the pavement. He landed on his backside. His head was thrown back, and his helmet hit the pavement so hard that it cracked. The rest of us stopped riding to circle around Burt and see if he was okay. He was dazed, quite wobbly, and dizzy. We all got off the side of the road quickly to tend to Burt. We did not sense that he was seriously injured, but were still not entirely sure.

Almost immediately, I sensed that I was supposed to get over to Burt and ask if I could pray over him for healing. After being around CIC for 25+ years, it’s almost second nature for me to pray over those in need. We are indeed called to drop whatever we are doing and pray whenever the opportunity presents itself. But in this case, I began to think that praying over Burt might seem a little weird. After all, I didn’t know any of these men very well, and didn’t even know whether any were Christians. I was then pressed with the thought, “What will they think of me if I pray over Burt”?  I continued to ride with a few of the others, feeling quite guilty. I knew I’d missed an opportunity to share God’s power and love on the spot.   

Later, I was overwhelmed with my lack of courage “in the heat of battle”. Here I was with all these years of profound Christian experiences, primarily in and around CIC, and I couldn’t even muster the energy to do what the Holy Spirit asked me to do in the spur of the moment. A man was in need and I failed to do precisely what I was called to do!

Fortunately, I was able to call Burt about two weeks after the accident. He said he was fine. I apologized for not asking him at the time if I could pray over him. He did not respond to that statement, which tells me there may be more opportunities down the road with Burt and others. I hope to respond better for Christ in the future.


TAKE THE CHALLENGE: Are you being presented with opportunities to pray over others in need or share the love of God? Are we dropping whatever we are doing to tend to them in Christ?