Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Beth Moore's Airport Story -- You've got to read this

As part of a recent talk I gave on what it means to be a 'Gate Stormer' in the Kingdom of God I used a great story that you've just got to read, so I'm posting it here. (By the way, if you'd like to know more about becoming a Gate Stormer watch for more entries coming here soon, or you can check out where I focus almost exclusively on preparing Rising Leaders to Storm the Gates.)

Beth Moore may be the hottest commodity on the Bible Study Leader roundup. If she were a publicly traded commodity she'd be a HOT PICK.

I've only seen Beth Moore in person one time. She's energetic, witty, has a passion for communincating God's Word and loves to say, 'Bless your heart...' with a Texas drawal. Long story short is that she's a great teacher who's building a massive following of learners and Beth Moore wannabes. I'd encourage you to grab one of her studies and see what you think.

I hardly ever read email forwards, but this one got past my internal common sense filters and I'm glad it did. I received this on email the other day and I definitely felt like it was worth posting for you to consider.

Beth Moore's Story
April 20, 2005
Knoxville Airport

Waiting to board the plane: I had the Bible on my lap and was very
intent upon what I was doing. I'd had a marvelous morning with the

I say that because I want to tell you it is a scary thing to have the
Spirit of God really working in you. You could end up doing some
things you never would have done otherwise. Life in the Spirit can
be dangerous for a thousand reasons not the least of which is your ego...

I tried to keep from staring, but he was such a strange sight.
Humped over in a wheelchair, he was skin and bones, dressed in clothes
that obviously fit when he was at least twenty pounds heavier.

His knees protruded from his trousers, and his shoulders looked like the
coat hanger was still in his shirt.

His hands looked like tangled masses of veins and bones. The strangest
part of him was his hair and nails. Stringy grey hair hung well over his
shoulders and down part of his back.

His fingernails were long.

Clean, but strangely out of place on an old man.

I looked down at my Bible as fast as I could, discomfort burning my

There I sat trying to concentrate on the Word to keep from being
concerned about a thin slice of humanity served on a wheelchair only
a few seats from me. All the while my heart was growing more and
more overwhelmed with a feeling for him. Let's admit it. Curiosity
is a heap more comfortable than true concern, and suddenly I was
awash with aching emotion for this bizarre-looking old man.

I had walked with God long enough to see the handwriting on the wall.

I've learned that when I begin to feel what God feels, something so
Contrary to my natural feelings, something dramatic is bound to happen.
And it may be embarrassing. I immediately began to resist because I
could feel God working on my spirit and I started arguing with God in
my mind.

"Oh no, God please no." I looked up at the ceiling as if I could stare
straight through it into heaven and said, "Don't make me witness to
This man. Not right here and now. Please. I'll do anything. Put me on
the same plane, but don't make me get up here and witness to this
man in front of this gawking audience. Please, Lord!"...

There I sat in the blue vinyl chair begging His Highness, "Please
don't make me witness to this man. Not now. I'll do it on the plane."

Then I heard it..."I don't want you to witness to him. I want you to
brush his hair." The words were so clear, my heart leapt into my
throat, and my thoughts spun like a top. Do I witness to the man or
brush his hair?

No brainer. I looked straight back up at the ceiling and said, "God, as
I live and breathe, I want you to know I am ready to witness to this

I'm on this Lord. I'm you're girl! You've never seen a woman witness
to a man faster in your life. What difference does it make if his hair
is a mess if he is not redeemed? I am on him. I am going to witness to
this man."

Again as clearly as I've ever heard an audible word, God seemed to
write this statement across the wall of my mind. "That is not what
I said, Beth.

I don't want you to witness to him. I want you to go brush his hair."

I looked up at God and quipped, "I don't have a hairbrush. It's in my
suitcase on the plane, How am I suppose to brush his hair without a

God was so insistent that I almost involuntarily began to walk toward
him as these thoughts came to me from God's word: "I will thoroughly
Furnish you unto all good works." (2 Tim 3:17) I stumbled over to the
wheelchair thinking I could use one myself. Even as I retell this story
my pulse quickens and I feel those same butterflies.

I knelt down in front of the man, and asked as demurely as possible,
"Sir, may I have the pleasure of brushing your hair?" He looked back
at me and said, "What did you say?" "May I have the pleasure of
brushing your hair?"

He responded in volume ten, "Little lady, if you expect me to
hear you, you're going to have to talk louder than that. At this

I took a deep breath and blurted out, "SIR, MAY I HAVE THE

At that point, every eye in the place darted right at me. I was the
only thing in the room looking more peculiar than old Mr. Longlocks.
Face crimson and forehead breaking out in a sweat, I watched him l
ook up at me with absolute shock on his face, and say, "If you really
want to."

Are you kidding? Of course I didn't want to. But God didn't seem
interested in my personal preference right about then. He pressed
on my heart until I could utter the words, "Yes, sir, I would be pleased.
But I have one little problem. I don't have a hairbrush."

"I have one in my bag," he responded. I went around to the back of
That wheelchair and I got on my hands and knees and unzipped the
stranger's old carry-on hardly believing what I was doing. I stood up
and started brushing the old man's hair. It was perfectly clean, but it
was tangled and matted.

I don't do many things well, but I must admit I've had notable
experience untangling knotted hair mothering two little girls. Like I'd
done with either Amanda or Melissa in such a condition, I began brushing
at the very bottom of the strands, remembering to take my time not to pull.

A miraculous thing happened to me as I started brushing that old man's
hair. Everybody else in the room disappeared. There was no one alive
for those moments except that old man and me. I brushed and I brushed
and I brushed until every tangle was out of that hair.

I know this sounds so strange, but I've never felt that kind of love
For another soul in my entire life. I believe with all my heart, I - for
that few minutes - felt a portion of the very love of God. He had
Overtaken my heart for a little while like someone renting a room and
making Himself at home for a short while. The emotions were so strong
and so pure that I knew they had to be God's.

His hair was finally as soft and smooth as an infant's. I slipped the
brush back in the bag, went around the chair to face him. I got back
down on my knees, put my hands on his knees, and said, "Sir, do
you know my Jesus?"

He said, "Yes, I do." Well, that figures. He explained, "I've known
Him since I married my bride." She wouldn't marry me until I got to
Know the Savior." He said, "You see, the problem is, I haven't seen
my bride in months. I've had open-heart surgery, and she's been too
ill to come see me. I was sitting here thinking to myself. What a mess
I must be for my bride."

Only God knows how often He allows us to be part of a divine moment
when we are completely unaware of the significance. This, on the
other hand, was one of those rare encounters when I knew God had
intervened in details only He could have known. It was a God moment,
and I'll never forget it.

Our time came to board, and we were not on the same plane. I was
deeply ashamed of how I'd acted earlier and would have been so proud
to have accompanied him on that aircraft.

I still had a few minutes, and as I gathered my things to board, the
airline hostess returned from the corridor, tears streaming down her

She said, "That old man's sitting on the plane, sobbing. Why did you
do that? What made you do that?"

I said, "Do you know Jesus? He can be the bossiest thing!" We got to share.

I learned something about God that day. He knows if you're exhausted
because you're hungry, you're serving in the wrong place or it is time
to move on but you feel too responsible to budge. He knows if you're
hurting or feeling rejected. He knows if you're sick or drowning under
a wave of temptation. He knows if you just need your hair brushed.

He sees you as an individual. Tell Him your need!

I got on my own flight, sobs choking my throat, wondering how many
opportunities just like that one had I missed along the way... all
because I didn't want people to think I was strange.

God didn't send me to that old man. He sent that old man to me.

If you're like me what I want being a 'Gate Stormer' to be about is
some sort of glorious jihad that will fuel my ego's need for action and
applause. But, the Kingdom that Jesus established way back there
at a place known to the locals of Caesara Phillippi as 'The Gates of Hell'
is an 'upside down' Kingdom. A Kingdom where the first go last and
the greatest serve the least. I'm not always sure I want to be a Gate
Stormer in His Kingdom because it's not an 'ego friendly'
undertaking. However, my hope and greatest desire is to be found
faithful in knowing and enjoying Him as I serve in His Great Kingdom.

Wanna Storm the Gates of Hell? Go grab a hair brush.

See ya,
Jeff Fuson

p.s. If you are a 'rising leader' who's excited about advancing the Kingdom of God, then you need to RUN to Rising Leader and splash around a lot! Join the community, sign up for FUEL, grab some cool tools, maybe even post your story so that other leaders will be inspired by what God is doing in your life!

p.p.s. If you lead an organization that could use an ENERGY INJECTION then consider bringing me in to do a Custom Crafted Training Experience for you. I'm launching some very cool Adventure Training and Action Learning Experiences that you and your team could benefit from. Drop an email to me and we can talk more.

p.p.p.s. Host a Daddy Power (tm) Event at your church to encourage the Dads in your congregation to excel at their most important task -- being 'DADDY'. Drop me a email to learn more.

p.p.p.p.s. Okay last one! Feel FREE to distribute this content as long as you pass it along in it's entirety with all links in place pointing to original urls. Give credit where credit is due and use this to build other people up. Thanks for playing and thanks for passing this along. Jeff Fuson


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