Kelsey and I ate lunch with Samwise Gamgee.
Well, not the Samwise Gamgee, but certainly a Samwise Gamgee, and I would go so far as to say our Samwise Gamgee. (Okay, enough of saying Samwise Gamgee, but there's something about the placement of the letters on a QWERTY keyboard that makes typing Samwise Gamgee that is very pleasing to the fingertips...).
Without telling the whole story, we both have been in need of some specific instruction/encouragement for a while, and today God decided to lay it on us.
Kelsey had gone to breakfast with a friend and was going to meet me later at Bartle Hall, where the OneThing conference was going on.
I drove downtown in a real funk, mulling over a million variables, none of which I seem to have a clue about. I got there early and walked into the venue when a young guy approached me and asked if I was Randy Bohlender (which, of course, I am...). He turned out to be someone that I had been told to look for - we have a mutual friend in Colorado. He was standing with three other folks who were serving as a roving prophetic team. When I got ready to leave, they asked "Can we pray for you?"
What followed is hard to explain. It was not weird...it was actually very low key, but DEAD ON as they prayed toward some very, very specific things that they could not have known without the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I have been a 'believer' of this sort of ministry for some time (as if God's waiting for my endorsement...), but this still just rocked my world. I wish I could go into details on it, but this is not a warm fuzzy Opraphied blog, and besides it feels like it is just too much to release to people I might not know (who are you, anyway!?!). Suffice it to say that the Lord really spoke through them.
I finally met Kelsey and our friend, Jeff Oakes, aka Samwise. Jeff pastors in Johnson City, TN. Over nameless, featureless food court fare, Kelsey and I poured out our hearts....and Jeff listened. I need to clarify that - Jeff really listened. Not the sort of listening that one pretends to do while waiting for a lull in the conversation or thinking about what one is going to say next, but really listened. He asked some insightful questions to fill in the gaps that invariably come when someone is speaking out of their own struggle, and then he offered some observations and an encouraging admonition.
Kelsey and I walked back to Bartle Hall with a new spring in our step. What a difference a friend makes. Thanks, Sam.