You may have heard this story through a forwarded email, but I got it today and it really struck a chord with me. It's just too good to not pass along.
HAIRBRUSH EXPERIENCE OF BETH MOORE AT THE AIRPORT
For those of you who do not know Beth Moore, she is an outstandingBibleteacher, writer of Bible studies, and is a married mother of twodaughters.
This is one of her experiences:
April 20, 2005, at the Airport inKnoxville, waiting to board theplane, I had the Bible on my lap and was very intent upon what I was doing. I'd had a marvelous morning with the Lord. I say this because I wanttotell you it is a scary thing to have the Spirit of God really workingin
you. You could end up doing some things you never would have doneotherwise.
Life in the Spirit can be dangerous for a thousand reasons not theleastof which is your ego.
I tried to keep from staring, but he was such a strange sight. Humpedover in a wheelchair, he was skin and bones, dressed in clothes thatobviously fit when he was at least twenty pounds heavier. His kneesprotruded from his trousers, and his shoulders looked like the coathanger was still in his shirt. His hands looked like tangled masses ofveinsand bones.
The strangest part of him was his hair and nails. Stringy, gray hairhung well over his shoulders and down part of his back. Hisfingernails werelong, clean but strangely out of place on an old man.
I looked down at my Bible as fast as I could, discomfort burning myface. As I tried to imagine what his story might have been, I foundmyselfwondering if I'd just had a Howard Hughes sighting. Then, Irememberedthat he was dead. So this man in the airport...an impersonator maybe?Was a camera on us somewhere? There I sat; trying to concentrate ontheWord to keep from being concerned about a thin slice of humanity servedon a wheelchair only a few seats from me. All the while, my heart wasgrowing more and more overwhelmed with a feeling for him.
Let's admit it. Curiosity is a heap more comfortable than trueconcern,and suddenly I was awash with aching emotion for this bizarre-lookingold 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
contraryto my natural feelings, something dramatic is bound to happen. And itmaybe embarrassing.
I immediately began to resist because I could feel God working on myspirit 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 throughitinto 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, butdon'tmake me get up here and witness to this man in front of this gawkingaudience. Please, Lord!'
There I sat in the blue vinyl chair begging His Highness, 'Pleasedon'tmake me witness to this man. Not now. I'll do it on the plane.' ThenI heard it... 'I don't want you to witness to him. I want you tobrushhis hair.'The words were so clear, my heart leapt into my throat, and mythoughtsspun like a top. Do I witness to the man or brush his hair?No-brainier. 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 thisman. I'm on this Lord. I'm your girl! You've never seen a woman witness to
a man faster in your life. What difference does it make if his hair isamess if he is not redeemed? I am going to witness to this man.'
Again as clearly as I've ever heard an audible word, God seemed towritethis 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 hishair.' I looked up at God and quipped, 'I don't have a hairbrush. It'sin my
suitcase on the plane. How am I supposed to brush his hair without ahairbrush?' God was so insistent that I almost involuntarily began towalk toward him as these thoughts came to me from God's word: 'I willthoroughly furnish you unto all good works.' (2 Timothy 3:17)
I stumbled over to the wheelchair thinking I could use one myself. Evenas I retell this story, my pulse quickens and I feel those samebutterflies. I knelt down in front of the man and asked as demurely aspossible,'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?'To which he responded in volume ten, 'Little lady, if you expect me tohear you, you're going to have to talk louder than that.'
At this point, I took a deep breath and blurted out, 'SIR, MAY I HAVETHE PLEASURE OF BRUSHING YOUR HAIR?'
At which point every eye in the place darted right at me. I was theonly thing in the room looking more peculiar than old Mr. Long locks.Facecrimson and forehead breaking out in a sweat, I watched him look up atme with absolute shock on his face, and say, 'If you really want to.'
Areyou kidding? Of course I didn't want to. But God didn't seeminterested inmy personal preference right about then. He pressed on my heart untilIcould utter the words, 'Yes, sir, I would be pleased. But I have onelittle problem. I don't have a hairbrush.' 'I have one in my bag,
I went around to the back of that wheelchair, and I got on my handsandknees and unzipped the stranger's old carry-on, hardly believing whatIwas doing. I stood up and started brushing the old man's hair. Itwasperfectly clean, but it was tangled and matted. I don't do manythings
well, but must admit I've had notable experience untangling knottedhairmothering two little girls. Like I'd done with either Amanda orMelissain such a condition, I began brushing at the very bottom of thestrands,remembering to take my time not to pull.
A miraculous thing happened to me as I started brushing that old man'shair. Everybody else in the room disappeared. There was no one alivefor those moments except that old man and me. I brushed and I brushedand Ibrushed until every tangle was out of that hair. I know this sounds
sostrange, but I've never felt that kind of love for another soul in myentire life. I believe with all my heart, I - for that few minutes -felt a portion of the very love of God. That He had overtaken myheartfor a little while like someone renting a room and making Himself athome for a short while.
The emotions were so strong and so pure that I knew they had to beGod's. His hair was finally as soft and smooth as an infant's.I slipped the brush back in the bag and went around the chair to facehim. 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, I thought.He explained, 'I've known Him since I married my bride. She wouldn'tmarry 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-heartsurgery, andshe's been too ill to come see me. I was sitting here thinking tomyself, what a mess I must be for my bride.'
Only God knows how often He allows us to be part of a divine momentwhenwe're completely unaware of the significance. This, on the otherhand,was one of those rare encounters when I knew God had intervened indetails only He could have known. It was a God moment, and I'll neverforgetit. Our time came to board, and we were not on the same plane. I wasdeeply
ashamed of how I'd acted earlier and would have been so proud to haveaccompanied him on that aircraft.
I still had a few minutes, and as I gathered my things to board, theairline hostess returned from the corridor, tears streaming down her cheeks. She said, 'That old man's sitting on the plane, sobbing. Whydid you do that? What made you do that?'
I said, 'Do you know Jesus? He can be the bossiest thing!'
And we got to share.I learned something about God that day. He knows if you're exhausted,
you're hungry, you're serving in the wrong place or it is time to moveon, but you feel too responsible to budge. He knows if you're hurtingorfeeling rejected. He knows if you're sick or drowning under a wave oftemptation. Or 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 manyopportunities just like that one had I missed along the way...allbecause I didn't want people to think I was strange. God didn't sendmeto that old man. He sent that old man to me.
John 1:14'The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. WeHave seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from theFather,full of grace and truth.'
Life shouldn't be a journey to the grave with the intention ofarrivingsafely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather, to skid inbroadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly shouting,'Wow! What a ride! Thank You, Lord!'
Don't tell God how big your troubles are - tell your troubles HOW BIGyour GOD is!