“Wake that lady up,” I barked towards the sleeping woman in the front row, but quickly relented.
“Leave her,” I said, as other ladies looked as if they were going to shake her. “She’s either tired or ill.” She was in fact, both. I’ll come back to her shortly.
Wendy and I were visiting Full Gospel Businessmen fellowships in Kent. At six meetings (dinner meetings, breakfast meetings, and a radio interview), I spoke of my teenage decision to become a dental surgeon. In my bedroom, leeches were housed in jam jars full of pond water, wild mice caught with my bare hands lived in a ‘mouse-house’ I had constructed, and a pet frog who once lived in a pond a few miles from my home, now resided in a large jar beside my bed. My obvious fascination with biology was somehow channelled into ‘teeth’ – I wanted to be the gentle, kind dentist who examined, scaled, root-filled, restored, filled, extracted and replaced them painlessly.
So I found myself in Whitechapel, where I missed a Ronnie Kray murder by 20 minutes (read A DENTIST’S STORY!) and learned, over the course of five years, how to be a dentist. Maybe, a gentle, kind dentist.
I also came across people who told me that Jesus had changed their lives, and thought them to be in need of psychiatric treatment. But they were intelligent – and rather decent people. Before long, I too had my life changed by Jesus. Later, my irritable bowel syndrome was permanently healed, and other truly amazing things happened.
I told my story to those gathered at Gravesend, Maidstone, Gillingham, Dartford and Sevenoaks, and through that radio station, to… the world!
But at Maidstone, a lady in the front row dozed off. “Who wants to accept Jesus, and enjoy a really fulfilled life?” I enquired, followed by, “Wake that lady up,” and “Leave her.”
Later, she woke up, and bought eight of my books, four for herself and four for her friend. She asked Wendy and me to pray for her healing, from arthritis and many other conditions, including the emotional trauma of dreadful childhood and adolescent experiences. And she came back the following evening, to the next town where I spoke.
What a privilege to tell people that Jesus is alive and can bring them the fulfilment and joy that this world will never bring them. What a Saviour – he can heal arthritis, and remove forever the debilitating scars of childhood abuse.
I trust that lady has now experienced this, and can sleep well in her bed in stead of meetings of our Christian businessmen.