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Praying for grace

Grace came to me unexpectedly today. We’d been accosted by beggars everywhere we went in Hyderabad. You want to help the needy ones, but giving to beggars can be complicated. Anyone who saw Slumdog Millionaire understands how it can be a racket. And so, you pray for discernment and you pray…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
Grace came to me unexpectedly today.
We’d been accosted by beggars everywhere we went in Hyderabad. You want to help the needy ones, but giving to beggars can be complicated. Anyone who saw Slumdog Millionaire understands how it can be a racket. And so, you pray for discernment and you pray for grace.
 
But your spirit can feel bruised by it all. Today was a long day and we were ready for a safe place on the eve of our departure from India. And then, walking to our last meeting, I heard behind me, “Sir, sir!”
 
I recoiled inside, guard up, seeing a small woman beckoning me and wondering how to fend her off.
 
“Sir, I have cancer. Mommy, daddy dead. I need to catch train. Help me.”
 
“Right,” I thought. There was no grace in me. 
 
But I listened as she shared more details of her plight. And I asked her to come to where we could talk inside our building. I promised to help somehow. She agreed to walk with us.
 
Once inside, I got Raju to translate so she could speak in Hindi. She was skin and bones. She showed us a big lump on her neck – an enlarged thyroid. She showed us her deformed arm. She showed us her medical records.
 
“I think she is telling you the truth,” said Raju.
 
“What is your name?” I asked.
 
“It is Grace,” she answered.
 
We gathered some of the nearby racers and Noe prayed a powerful prayer. He declared, “Grace, God says you are beautiful! You are beautiful.” She was crying. You could feel God’s presence. And a wave of emotion hit me.
 
We sent her away with money for the train and for medicines and with hugs. And if she found grace through us in that short interaction, after a day of searching for it, we found that grace has a pronoun. Yesterday’s blog was also about grace – but about grace as an abstraction. Tonight she took on human form and kissed our spirits. She walked away in the night, but her spirit lingered with us.

Comments (13)

  • What a brilliant encounter for both her and for you on so many levels. CS Lewis wrote about being surprised by joy. I think you just got surprised by Grace. And how typical is that of God? Out of the blue, a living, breathing, walking expression of Him in human form. Thanks for sharing the story.

  • It warms my heart to know that there are many great people like you who share your life with others. I am so proud and thankful of what you do. May you have more blessings! I pray for all of you.

  • awesome and beautiful!! Isn’t it just like God to put flesh and bones and a true-life story to concepts we really need to understand?! So glad you listened and had the opportunity to help… thanks for sharing!

  • Far beyond wonderful.

    So many need so much it must be easily overwhelming.

    Your blog is inspiring Seth, I ordered one of the books you recommended, am looking forward to reading it, and will read more recommendations after this one.

    Kerri was able to Skype us before her breakfast today. She sounded great, happy, and certainly where she needs to be. She told us she received two hugs from you which we deeply thank you for. 🙂 That she received those hugs mean a lot to her mom and me!
    Bless you all,

    John Hodgin

  • Its amazing to me how I can have SO much compassion but then when I get bombarded by ‘beggars’ and people just really trying to pull the wool over my eyes and trick me that I soon stop believing anyone’s story and run out of gas …grace. Your testimony about Grace is so beautiful, touching, heartwarming. It goes to show we should always be open to grace, open to hear with our spirits and show kindness…even to those who have their hands out and lying to us…quickly tiring… but necessary.

  • A touching story of GOD’s grace in action.I remember when I first realized how his grace felt. When approached by people asking for help,I pray to GOD asking him to help me discern a need versus a ploy to receive a blessing under false pretense.If I help someone I talk to GOD telling that I am giving for the right reason, to help, if this person is untruthful, then touch his heart concerning his actions.

  • Seth: what an incredible Christ we serve…and thanks for demonstrating (again) what living by faith (not sight) can be like…

  • Wow,

    Isn’t it amazing how when something weighs upon our mind, God often delivers a real breathing message. In your case, Grace. It doesn’t get much more powerful than that!

    Peace!

  • Oh if it weren’t for our Savior’s sweet, sweet “grace.” Grace, may Jesus pour forth His grace in & upon your life. May you find healing & may you know Him through your name. In Jesus’ Beautiful Name, Amen.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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