This section describes my first experience venturing back out into public
after my surgery. In this outing God gave me an experience which was best
described as a spiritual training lab where He let me practice witnessing
in a controlled environment. After the events of this day, I knew my life
as I had been living it would never be the same again.
As I stated earlier, I
was discharged from Parkland hospital on Monday, May 7, 2007. During that
first week at home, He taught me through His living written word
how to pray and
gave me an orientation to His
plan for salvation.
First Evening Out
of the House
On that coming Saturday, May 12, Lynita and I decided that we would take
our three sons out for some fun and to let them get out of the house. So
late that afternoon we took them to their favorite local Chuck E Cheese
restaurant (in Lewisville, Texas at I-35 and Hebron Parkway) so that they
could have some fun. This was a significant outing because it would be
the very first time that I left home to go out in public since my surgery
one week earlier and the first since my encounter with God.
I remembered how when I
was in Parkland hospital I could not stop talking about how Jesus had
carried me through the whole medical crisis. I knew that it was no
coincidence that He had me reading about His plan for salvation during
those recent nights and when I went back out into public I needed to tell
people. But I was somewhat nervous because I did not feel like I knew it
well enough to be able to witness effectively. Earlier, I had spoken on
the phone with my Pastor, Billy Grate, to ask him for advice in how I
should approach people for witnessing. He told me to keep it simple and
tell them a little about what God had done for me and then be prepared to
cite the plan using some of the well known Bible verses (like John 3:16).
As we entered the
restaurant, my level of nervousness was fairly high. Keep in mind that I
still had the metal staples in the incision on my skull but was wearing a
loose cap to keep rain from getting into the surgery site. As I entered,
I mentioned to the attendant at the entrance that I had just had brain
surgery a week before and that God has saved my life and strengthened me.
She acknowledged my comment and responded back with something about how
great God is.
God Getís My
The restaurant was experiencing a typically busy Saturday evening as we
entered and there were plenty of people all over to talk to and share the
good news. However, after meandering around a bit and ordering pizza for
the kids and a salad for me, I let my apprehension and nervousness about
speaking to people get the best of me. I sat down at our table and
decided to just eat my salad.
However, God made it
clear to me that He had not prepared and brought me here this evening
simply for pizza and salad. As I began to try to eat my salad, I
experienced the following sensations:
I felt what appeared to be a finger pressing
and applying pressure to the side of my forehead.
As I looked down at my salad, the plate seemed
to move away from me like the tunnel effect in one of those old Alfred
When I pulled the fork towards my mouth, I
could now feel pressure pushing my hand away from my face.
After a brief pause, I brought the fork back
to my face and placed some of the salad into my mouth and began to
chew. Now the food that was in my mouth suddenly became really
unnaturally cold (much, much colder than even a chilled salad).
After I considered these things that had
just occurred, I realized that what had just happened was Godís touch
nudging me and saying that this was not a time to eat. I placed my fork
back next to my salad and got up to go talk to some people.
Still not sure of what
to say and not remembering all of the simple Bible verses that Pastor
Grate had earlier suggested, I went out to the foyer of the restaurant and
called him on my cell phone to get more encouragement. As if to say ďYou
donít need anymore help, you already have more than you need,Ē God made my
calls repeatedly drop without connecting. After about the third drop, I
realized that I was in a strong reception area and had never before had trouble
with calls in this area. This was another gentle nudge from God and maybe
I should just start talking to people.
The rest of that day at Chuck E Cheese was an experience that I will never
forget. The people there appeared to be in a trance and whenever I would
approach them and start talking with them, their eyes would seem to glaze
over like clear glass and they would stop and talk to me.
During the course of
that evening there were not very many people in that crowded restaurant
that I didnít talk to. I felt like I was driven and being pushed to talk
to everyone. It was almost like when I spoke to someone we were somehow
attracted to each other. I would tell them about my surgery and my
encounter with Jesus. I would then reassure them that He was indeed real,
loved them also, had died for them and wanted to help them.
In covering all of the
people that were present, God provided me with a wide variety of
responses, including some who thanked me and said that they already knew
where they were going; some who said they wanted to know more; some who
could not understand and just didnít want to hear more; at least one man
there responded to me that he wanted to accept Jesus into his life that
night; I encountered one person that night who only spoke Spanish and I
delivered the gospel to him in Spanish.
There was one gentleman
there that night who had a spirit about him like Satan. Even his look was
different and unlike everyone else, he seemed to be aware as was I that
this scene was being controlled supernaturally. He was very skeptical and
antagonistic about everything that I said especially about references to
Jesus and the Bible verse. He thought I was wasting my time. I remember
this man clearly because he was the only one like this and I felt a very
strong evil spirit on him. Looking back, I realize that he was definitely
there as an important part of my training.
After what seemed to me
like it had been several hours of talking to everyone present, we prepared
to leave to go home. Please note that during this time, no one approached
me or asked me to stop what I was doing. Lynita realized that I had not
eaten my salad and packed it up in a carry-out plate that we took home.
On our drive back home
to our house in The Colony, we stopped at a gas station to get some gas
and a carwash for our SUV. As we pulled up to the car wash, an attendant
approached the truck and as I looked at him, I saw the same look in his
eyes (glazed over like glass) that I had just been experiencing at the
restaurant. So, without hesitating, I got out of the truck and went up to
him and witnessed to him. Again, much like the people at the restaurant,
he seemed to be a captive audience. When I got back in the truck and as
Lynita drove us home, I reflected back on the events with her and I
remember wondering out loud if that was how the rest of my life was going
to be (witnessing to anyone that I came in contact with).
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© 2007 Gerald L.