Somewhere between the years of 2010 and 2014, I had come to realize that it would be selfish of me to always expect the sermon to be just what I need. Maybe someone else was in greater need. Maybe God was saying that I wasn’t as bad off as I thought and just needed to get in His Word (Holy Bible). The Word is good, yes, but once I got a taste of Rhema Word, it was hard to quit. Who wouldn’t want a Word from God Almighty just for them and their specific situation? Not every prophet or prophetess is fake, trust me I know (a story for another blog post).
After a while, it became a trend that service was good but missing what I was looking for. Despite feeling spiritually hungry afterwards, I remained faithful and attended Sunday Service regularly. Have you ever been in a crowd of people and felt not only alone but also invisible? Like no one would notice you if they didn’t trip over you, and if they did, they still wouldn’t see you? Have you ever felt like you could scream at the top of your lungs in a crowd of people and no one would hear you, notice you or stop their flow of business? That might be the best description of what I felt in this huge congregation. Not willing to make the 15-20 minute drive back home after church to my predictable routine, I would linger some Sunday afternoons in the area in search for some place to waste time and prolong the inevitable. I was looking.
Somehow I ended up going across the street after church one Sunday to a low-traffic shopping mall. It seemed dead. Sometimes, the only thing open in the entire mall would be the carousel around the early afternoon. At other times, only the outside doors would be unlocked, and I would sit by the carousel and wait. Maybe store keepers were behind the scenes busily preparing their shops for opening, I wondered. The mall was lonely…but then again so was I, so we kept each other company.
There was an interesting layout about this shopping mall; Instead of making the food court the center of attention, the carousel was. An atrium housed it. There were live plants and rays of sunlight peering in from the skylights above. It was BEAUTIFUL! In a place that seemed so dead, there was life, mystery, excitement and awe at the carousel. I must admit, there was something majestic about it. It was not ordinary. It had beautiful scenic depictions, breath-taking finishes and trims and two levels. It was a Venetian double-decker carousel, the first I had ever seen. There was definitely something supernatural about it too. Dear Reader, as you know, this blog site is branded Looking for God #HEISEVERYWHERE, so allow me to share with you how I found God at the carousel. This stunning work of art was operated by an older lady in her late 50’s to early 60’s. I honestly wasn’t sure what to make of her at first, but she reached out to me through conversation. I had been sitting on a bench with my back facing the carousel, watching my little guy run and play. He was a bouncy ball fanatic. You know the little rubber balls that come out of the gumball-like machines. He was into those. The lady asked me to come ride the carousel to which I politely declined. Then she asked me to allow my son to ride. I didn’t have the money, so again, I politely declined. She asked if I were sure. What was it about riding this carousel that was so important to her? I moved closer to her and told her I didn’t have the funds to let my son ride. She offered to pay for him. Again, I politely declined. She seemed persistent yet harmless and sweet, so I agreed. At that time, my son may have needed me to ride with him on the animal rides, and he could sit solo on the bench seating. When I didn’t ride with my son, I would sit on a stool near the operator’s booth and talk with the operator. Somehow she and the carousel both drew me in. It didn’t take long to realize that she was a Christian woman of faith. Soon my son and I were making regular visits to see her at the carousel after church. We would keep her company, and she would feed us spiritually and share her many testimonies. Oh, the testimonies she had! See, she was not always a saint. She had lived a wild life that included drugs, and been in a terrible accident before. There was family tension, and she had also endured the challenges of interracial marriage. She did not come to Christ until after she was a married adult. There was so much wisdom and experience in her. The mall seemed dead, but the carousel was very much alive! She was so kind to me and my son. She continued to pay for my son to ride the carousel when I didn’t have the money and would feed us both when we spent hours up there with her. She was so special to me. What I did not get at church, God would sometimes speak through her. Laughs were shared there. Tears of joy were shared there. Tears of pain were shed there. Prayers were agreed upon there. Belonging was felt there. Connection was established there. I cannot begin to explain the powerful interaction between a young woman and an older wise woman who has lived and can now impart wisdom! It meant so much to me. I was a country girl, in a big city, with my son, away from family, and now I had a sister in Christ, a friend, a mentor, an honorary grandma to my son and a Holy-Spirit-filled messenger of God. All the feelings I had experienced in the crowd were being washed away. I looked forward to Sunday- both morning and afternoon. The help I needed as well as the help I didn’t know I needed came. God has no limits. Take Him out of the box. #HEISEVERYWHERE. I was looking for God, and HE bridged a gap…at the carousel.