“Olivia!” I scolded my Godmother. “Next time, call me like anyone else. Please!”
Strangling her was not an option. Unless I wanted her to flip the SUV and kill both of us.
“There was no place to park -” She protested. “I just prayed to God to tell you I arrived. And He did!”
“By setting off every car alarm in the parking lot?" As we turned the corner, I sank in my seat, utterly embarrassed. I glanced back to see the entire law office arguing outside, fumbling with car keys to silence the annoying sirens. Triggered by an act of God.
“It’s called a cell phone, Olivia.” I pointed to the device on her dash, trying my best to contain myself, while she laughed in my face.
“See that? It’s a keypad. Call or text me. I come downstairs. That’s how it works.”
Olivia had nothing but praises to sing. “Thank you, Jesus!” Between her and God, I wasn’t sure who had it out for me worse. But clearly they found this game quite amusing. What stunt would they pull next?
This time, Olivia’s prayers had interrupted an urgent staff meeting. So much for sneaking out for lunch unnoticed. Last time she didn’t want to wait, she prayed for God to send me to help her. And I ended up stranded without a ride, at some strange restaurant on the other side of town. Which happened to be right where she was driving at the time.
God answered my Godmother’s prayers immediately, because she was just as obedient. That was her spiritual gift: she did whatever God told her to do, right away. And God answered her instantly. Even if it meant imposing on others. Turning my life upside-down if necessary, to fit whatever plan Olivia agreed on with God. Without consulting me first.
Everyone else might have an internet connection with God through Jesus. More like a dial-up connection, if you were slow to respond when God called on you. For nonbelievers without a direct prayer line to God through Christ, you might borrow your neighbors’ Wi-Fi service. And have them call on God for you. (Going to church for fellowship was like going to Starbucks and using public Wi-Fi, sharing service as a group.) Lots of people do that, until they figure out they prefer their own service which is faster!
For Olivia, her gift of obedience gave her a faster cable connection. More like a T2 connection. Or T2000.
For me, I was the opposite. I would dawdle and bargain with God. I'd find the path of least resistance, or wait until it was absolutely clear and necessary. Thus, God answered my prayers the same way. And took forever!
Still, I couldn’t stay angry with my Godmother. Not for long. Olivia had used the power of prayer to save the lives of two of my dearest friends. And one ex-friend who hated me for what happened. Which I can’t even explain, unless you get the concept of prayers “going backwards in time.” And setting up events to occur to make things happen in sequence, even before the prayer took place later in time.
Olivia gave all the credit to Jesus and glory to God. But her healing prayers were the only reason I survived my own ordeals, along with several friends who wouldn’t be here today otherwise.
“How is Darryl doing?” She read my mind.
“He’s doing better than I am.” I answered. Olivia knew how to keep a positive focus, on gratitude instead of grumbling.
“His tests came out normal. Blood sugar, heart rate. Perfect.”
“Praise the Lord!” My Godmother repeated in several languages.
Bless her heart. She even could speak and share healing prayers with Atheists. Like my friend Darryl, who normally avoids Christians like the plague, after his Uncle showed up at his father’s funeral. And preached before the entire church how his own brother was going to hell.
That was unforgivable. And Darryl never forgave that, or the abuse he suffered all his life, when God wasn’t there to answer his prayers.
“I don’t get an answer,” he had told me. “Whatever other people are getting, I never got that. You can’t judge me for rejecting something that isn’t real.”
He told his Uncle (and Aunt) where they could shove his “God on a Stick” philosophy. Some magic voodoo of praying to symbols completely made up to pacify the masses. All explained by the placebo effect. All brainwashed baloney.
But I knew those prayers worked. Olivia had proved it to me. My Godmother helped so many people over thirty to forty years of ministry, the stories she told me could fill up a whole television series. To her it was comedy. She had complete faith in God’s plans, and obeyed without hesitation. Didn’t even bat an eye. No matter how bizarre or ridiculous each mission was.
To me, this was serious business that meant the difference between life and death. Testimonies of people released from the hospital, after healing from cancer and brain tumors. And one case of organ failure in the final stages, within twenty minutes of killing the patient. Where the doctors, to this day, could not explain how that person was walking around in perfect health.
With my friend Wallace, his diabetic conditions “miraculously” disappeared overnight. After that, he quit drinking, lying about it, and hanging around the wrong places with the wrong crowd. And finally settled down in a healthy relationship with somebody good for him, for once.
Not only did the prayers to forgive the past break through the mental and physical cycle of addiction. But they changed and healed his relationships as well. He and I no longer fought like we used to. We still argued, but as friends, not saboteurs constantly at each other’s throats.
Now Darryl had broken free of self-destructive victim mode. He was no longer slave to demonic rages that hijacked his brain. Forcing him to hide at home, smoking any number of substances. Downing huge doses of any drugs he could take to suppress his anxiety and panic attacks, over years of abuse that dated back to childhood. And his days as a lead singer with a Death Metal rock band in the eighties.
“Is he completely healed?” Olivia asked for an update.
“He’s past the worst of it.” I answered honestly. “But doesn’t think God or the healing prayers had anything to do with that. He’s convinced he totally changed on his own. And got rid of those demons by his own free will!”
My Godmother got a good chuckle out of that! We both knew that only the authority of Christ Jesus could make those evil demonic voices obey, and leave my friend alone.
For the first time in his adult life, Darryl was able to think for himself. And clear his mind, without fear of unmitigated rage and rebellion from his abusive past with his family.
I was so grateful, I didn’t mind that Darryl still rejected God and Jesus. He had accepted the healing prayer for forgiveness. And that was enough to save his life.
“Where are we going this time?” I asked Olivia, almost afraid to hear the answer.
She laughed again. “A very special person who has completely healed. You really have to see this!”
Oh, great. I thought to myself. Another story I couldn’t share with my friends, or they wouldn’t believe me. They’d think I was totally nuts.
I wouldn’t believe any of these stories either, if I didn’t know Olivia.
“Hallelujah. Thank you, Jesus!”