Tribute to Dale Clarke Cathey
January 31, 2014
It was in 2007 that my friend Tom Dooley invited me to co-labor with he, Dale, and Don Stewart at a mini-conference called The Gift of Prophecy, to be held within the Amish community of Libby Montana; attended also by an Amish community in Bonners Ferry Idaho (immediate family from both communities reside roughly 1 hour from each other, across state lines).
As I first met Dale, he approached me with wide-open arms and an ear-to-ear grin. He then gave me a bear-hug of an embrace and buried his head on my shoulder. As is typical with most males, we tend to honor a subconscious 3-second rule (“man-code”) with hugs extended to other males, by stepping back at the 3-second mark, and by also tapping our hugger 3 times on the back, signifying the following subliminal message: “I’m…not…gay.”
At the 3-second mark however, and as I sought to disengage the hug, Dale continued his bear-hug, and just sighed. Perhaps 20 seconds later, he stepped back and said, “I love you.” As he stated such, I realized he was being used in a profound way to express the Father’s Heart to me. And for the 3 days which followed, Dale would continue to express the Father’s Heart to me in this way.
As the ministry sessions began unfolding during this conference, I noticed another unique element within Dale–he rarely felt compelled to speak before the church. In fact, I only recall him doing so once, and that very briefly. Much rather, he was focused upon speaking-into people one-on-one, in between the scheduled sessions. Dale was completely free of the all-too-common compulsion to be seen and heard in the eyes of the masses. To the radical contrary, he was content to remain in the shadows, and to equally remain wholly submitted only to that which he felt the Holy Spirit had prodded him to do. Dale’s obedience to every subtle nuance of the Holy Spirit’s nudging was remarkable. It quickly become clear to me that Dale had cultivated very keen sensitivity to what the Spirit was up to from one moment to the next.
I watched God’s grace equally being woven into our dear Amish friends through Tom and Don.
It would be perhaps a year or more later that I would have the opportunity to co-labor again with Dale, as Tom had invited me to minister at yet another mini-conference; this one in the Chicago area. I would also have the privilege of meeting and co-laboring with Brian Francis Hume during this conference. Just prior to our first session in Chicago, I recall seeing Dale in the distance, as we neared each other in a hallway. And, just like he did in Montana; his arms were open wide, and with an ear-to-ear grin on his face he embraced me with a bear-hug, while he also buried his head in my shoulder. He sighed deeply, and said, “I love you.” Three seconds later I sought to honor the “man-code” by disengaging, and doing the “I’m…not…gay” tap (3 times); and he yet held-onto me with his bear-hug, whereas I then let myself go and buried my head into his shoulder. Perhaps 20 seconds later, he looked me in the face and said, “I just love you so much.”
Once again Dale was conveying the Father’s Heart to me. He was keenly aware, once again, that this is precisely what God wished to convey to me at that moment–and he didn’t care how awkward it may have seemed to me, or anyone else for that matter. That was Dale.
As the Chicago-area conference further unfolded I watched the Holy Spirit grace the entire team with a precious word-in-season. In the same posture that I had observed Dale minister in Montana roughly 1 year prior; he again felt very comfortable ministering in the shadows, one-on-one, and to the ministry team individually. I recall leaving the conference and feeling doubly-blessed to experience the whole team co-laboring in unison as it did. And, I had once again experienced a unique touch from the Father’s Heart–through Dale.
The prophetic and apostolic anointing upon Dale was very strong, and he had the grace and anointing to speak to large audiences at any given point in time. He could have easily spoken-into the entirely assembly, but he rather chose most often to remain in the shadows, to be used to channel deeply personal words to those about him, one-on-one. I began to understand and appreciate the self-less-ness in Dale. The furthest thing from his mind was that of making a name for himself in the eyes of men.
It would be perhaps 2 years following the conference in Chicago, that I would again see Dale just north of the Birmingham area, as he, Tom Dooley and another brother from Canada would venture up to my proximity in Bessemer, as I worked a FEMA contract in response to the devastating tornado damage throughout the state. It was a tremendous treat to share dinner with Dale, Tom and our Canadian friend. They collectively spoke a great deal of life into me (I was working 7 days a week at the time, and pushing roughly 100 hours per week, managing tornado clean-up in Lawrence and Limestone counties, with a crew of 250 men). In typical fashion, Dale rendered multiple bear-hugs, and reminded me of how much he loved me. And with each gesture, it was the Father’s Heart permeating mine once again, through His love flowing through Dale.
It would then be 2 years following this meeting in Bessemer, that I would have the opportunity to co-labor with Dale and Miles Albright, in Clarksdale Mississippi — “The Crossroads.”
Several others had gone before us, including Tom Dooley and Dale and Miles themselves, laying the groundwork in intercession and prophetic proclamation; collectively discerning a forthcoming groundswell of powerful visitation to visit Mississippi, to then ignite the nation in due season.
During this mission to Mississippi, I was to stay the night at Dale’s warehouse in Birmingham on either side of 3 days spent in Clarksdale, MS, wherein we would rendezvous with Miles. As my plane touched-down in Birmingham I experienced the most violent touch-down of my life. An intense lightening storm hit the area just as the plane landed. In fact, I thought for a moment that we had blown a tire upon impact, as a loud explosion could be heard. I learned moments later that it had been a lightning strike very near the plane.
As I exited the airport and saw Dale in the distance, in his pickup, I recognized his ear-to-ear grin. As he exited his truck he threw his arms around me. This time, I didn’t respond to the instinctive 3-second-man-code; I rather just rested my head on his shoulder and prepared myself for a long bear-hug. However, just 3 seconds later he retracted, did the 3-tap-man-code on my back (“I’m…not…gay”), grabbed my suitcase and stuffed it into his truck. I stood there in shock, feeling thieved of my Dale-bear-hug. He then yelled from the truck, “Hey man! Git in here! There’s lightnin’ pop’n ever’ which a way!” We then drove to his warehouse, marveling over the massive black clouds hanging eerily low, and the wind rocking the truck and the lightening popping everywhere.
Once inside the warehouse, Dale stood there completely soaked, after insisting upon dragging my heavy luggage inside. He then looked at me, opened his arms wide, and said, “gimmie a hug.” Dale then proceeded to hug me for a good 20 seconds, and stepped back long enough to say, “I love you so much, man.” He was once again exuding the Father’s Heart to me. And it melted my heart–just like it was supposed to.
Several friends met-up with us that night at the warehouse, including Tom, Miles, Joseph Beckham and Rosemarie Russo. We prayed for one another that night, and had a fruitful time. As evening wore-on and Dale and I were alone, he suggested I turn-in as I looked exhausted. I replied, “No, I think I need to tarry a while, that you can tell me what’s on your heart.” He laughed, as he did in fact have much on his heart, that he wanted to vent. We went deep, and enjoyed some meaningful dialogue deep into the night.
The following morning Dale and I stumbled out of our beds, looking like troll dolls with hair standing straight up, and wandered like zombies into this kitchen to have some coal-black coffee and doughnuts. As we sat opposing one another in total silence, seeking new life in and through our coffee I-V’s, I noticed the Taylor acoustic guitar that Miles had left for me the night before, for use during our expedition. I pulled the Taylor out of its case, tuned it up and began to sing my favorite worship song of all time: “I Love Your Presence.”
As I lost myself in worship while playing this song, I completely forgot about Dale. At one point I glanced up and saw a most precious sight. Dale had put his coffee mug down, had closed his eyes, lifted his hands and his head skyward, and was weeping with joy as he had thoroughly lost himself in worship. At that moment the name “Enoch” came to me. I recall hearing at that moment, “Enoch walked with God, and was not.” God had plucked Enoch from the earth, out of simple desire to fellowship with him in heaven–He wanted to be with him that much. God was at this moment giving me a glimpse of the core of Dale’s heart–a heart wholly yielded to Him. I thereafter continued to play the song for some time, and we both felt the Holy Spirit sprinkle the warehouse with His sweet presence.
Throughout our intense mission to Mississippi thereafter, and following our return to the warehouse 3 days later, Dale would insist that I play “I Love Your Presence.” He could not get enough of that one song. He truly loved the Lord’s presence, and was content with His presence alone.
During our long drives to and from Mississippi, as well as our 2 over-nighters at the warehouse, Dale and I enjoyed some very rich heart-to-heart dialogue, prayer and worship together. Not long following the mission to Mississippi, Dale would go on to organize a substantial financial gift, through many of his friends far and wide, for my dear friends Amir and Hanna in Israel–yet another vital mission. What Dale did not know as he forwarded this gift to me, for Amir and Hanna, as well as a beautifully handcrafted banner made by Joanne Meeks; is that I had orchestrated 2 previous financial gifts for Amir and Hanna in the months preceding–financial gifts which were precisely the same amount as that which he had given me.
In our final conversations in recent months, Dale spoke of his desire to accompany me on my next trip to Israel. Equally so, we spoke of me accompanying Dale on his next trip to Wales. These trips together will not come to fruition in this lifetime. However we will have the joy of singing and dancing on the streets that are golden, around the Throne Room of Grace, soon and very soon.
I remain in shock, and in a state of deep sadness and loss over Dale’s departure. I had been looking forward to co-laboring with him again, this time in Israel and Wales.
As I close this reflection of my time with Dale over a 7-year period, I am grateful for Tom Dooley for introducing me to him–for clearing a path that we might co-labor together. I am equally grateful for Miles Albright, Don Stewart, and Brian Francis Hume, for contributing to these truly life-changing encounters with the Holy Spirit–which would have been incomplete without Dale in our midst.
Following our Clarksdale Mississippi mission, I mentioned to Dale that I had purposed to write an article about our expedition, that others might join the ranks of intercession in anticipation of what is now springing-forth from not only the Crossroads of Clarksdale, but Mississippi as a whole. I told him I had planned only to copy my closer friends, versus that of distributing it broadly. Dale iterated that his preference was that to keep the mission “close to our chests.” I understood at the time that Dale was very adamant about avoiding any semblance of self-promotion. All of the ministry in which he engaged was sacred, and he was so committed to avoiding the pitfalls of self-promotion and fanfare that he often discouraged others from saying or doing anything that would draw undue attention to themselves. This posture of Dale’s spoke strongly of his deeply-seated devotion to Jesus–and to Him alone.
I honored Dale’s wish thereafter, by keeping my narrative of the Crossroads mission very casual, in the form of a personal journal-entry. I thereafter only copied a handful of friends. Since Dale’s graduation into Glory however, I feel compelled to circulate the account of the mission–to honor him, and his noble act of intercession at the Crossroads of Clarksdale Mississippi. I equally honor my dear brother Miles Albright who spear-headed the mission. And lastly, I honor Tom Dooley who acted as a catalyst in spawning the 3-man “Delta Force” team.
What follows below therefore, is that written in personal-journal flavor; as I casually reflected upon the profound implications of what occurred in Clarksdale Mississippi, versus that of writing to a larger audience.
Proverbs 8:34 reads, “Blessed is the man who waits at My gates, and at the posts of My doors.” Dale spent much of his adult life at the threshold of God’s glory, in and through a life of sacrifice and obedience. He was a noble watchman. The wall is not the same without him.
July 26, 2013
On this, my birthday, I take delight in recounting a recent mission which was indeed a gift.
The Crossroads—the intersection of Highway’s 61 & 49 in Clarksdale Mississippi—the arguable “birthplace of Delta Blues”—by way of one Robert Johnson, among others; is said to be the place at which Robert Johnson “sold his soul to the devil” in exchange for the ability to play the blues. This very intersection served as the spiritual epicenter of our mission objective.
My musings herein are but a small representation of a much larger experience. Several prophetic and apostolic men and women have been tilling the spiritual soil of Mississippi for some time prior to this mission, to include Dale and his friends from Wales, as well Miles and Tom.
It was as I received a call from Miles to extend his joint-invitation from he and Dale to co-labor with them in Clarksdale Mississippi, that I began to revisit a deeply-seated and secretive vision—one which is now beginning to rebirth and blossom, after decades of hibernation.
For most of my adult life, and as a Believer in Jesus, I have harbored a secretive vision to see the Blues, and more specifically Delta Blues, redeemed and “morphed” into worshipping the Lamb—Christ Jesus. Through a 33-year span of serving the Lord in many capacities in ministry, to include leading worship, I had yet to hear from the lips of another Believer, the same desire to see the Blues redeemed and used to glorify God and draw people to Him—until I received a recent phone call from Miles.
I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, in the Los Angeles basin (born in 1960). As a child I listened a great deal (daily) to the Motown greats, thanks to my mother. I was then exposed to the professional music-scene while yet very young, and intermingled with professional rock musicians heavily so between the age of 13 and 18. It was during this period that I engaged a practice well known by my peers, wherein we would yearly compare shoeboxes filled with concert ticket stubs, to see who was in the lead. At one stage I recall having hundreds of ticket stubs—concerts which represented all of the major 70’s rock bands. It was also during this period that I was strongly influenced by guitar guru’s such as Robin Trower, Frank Marino, Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter, Jeff “The Skunk” Baxter, David Gilmore, and later Stevie Ray Vaughan (*note: this was long before Stevie Ray Vaughan [“SRV”] became commercially known—I began listening to his bootleg recordings in 1977). I was privileged to see most of these great guitarists in concert, to include Stevie Ray just 2 months prior to his death.
As I would later yield my heart to Jesus in the Summer of 1981, I began worshipping Him in public meetings on acoustic guitar, singing most of the commonly known worship tunes. I continue to do so presently. Over many years I bought and ultimately sold 6 electric guitars, 5 of which were Fender Stratocaster’s. Each time I would acquire a new “Strat”, I would for a short time enjoy messing around with pieces of secular tunes. As I would do so I would experience a “dirty” feeling—a feeling as if I were stirring-up demonic dust which I should not. The truth of the matter is that I was in fact stirring-up demonic dust—because of the lyrics associated with such. It was my failure to accurately discern this distinction that propelled me to “throw the baby out with the bathwater” by repeatedly selling my Strat’s—in essence running from them.
Many excerpts of scripture, combined, suggest that Satan was “on point” (leading) the heavenly host in worshipping the Lamb of God (e.g., Ez. 28:13-14, Is. 14:11-14, Job 38:7, etc, just to name a few). In his fallen and rebellious state thereafter, he perverted his gifting and anointing, to include his influence within the birth of the Delta Blues, Blues in general, Blues-Rock and Rock in general. However, in its elemental form; music is a gift from God. In tandem with this reality, God (among many of His omnipotent dynamics) is not only the God of Restoration, but in and through Christ Jesus is also the God of Redemption. With the aforementioned in view, and considering the analogous parallel of the rudder which steers or guides the ship; so it is that song lyrics, as well as the spirit (heart-motivation) behind the singing of songs; either glorifies God—or grieves Him.
The scriptural references to the power of the spoken word to evoke evil or good, life or death are myriad. I will allude to just a few in passing:
Ephesians 4:29: “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth…”
Proverbs 18:21: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…”
And, King David’s convicting meditation of Psalm 19:14: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”
Blues lyrics have historically woven a destructive web about the lives of those singing them—a web of self-actuated and self-perpetuated ingredients such as poverty, depression, drug addiction, sexual promiscuity, alcoholism, confusion, sadness, suicide and premature death in general.
With the sobering reality of the scriptural truths and warnings in view, I personally believe it was the violation of these very scriptural dynamics that has led to the untimely death of thousands of Blues, Blues-Rock, Southern Rock, Classic Rock/Hard Rock, etc, singers and musicians for nearly a century at this stage. Our feet follow our words. Every word we speak and/or sing, has the power to lay our steps before us—steps which can lead to self-destruction; sowing destruction in the lives of others; or rather that which leads to our freedom and wellness.
My musings on the power of the spoken word aside; it was long after I had sold my last Strat (I sold it sometime around 2008) that the aforementioned revelation began to settle upon my heart. It was then that my vision (still held in secret at the time) of Blues music being used as a potent tool to draw a sea of people (namely music lovers) to the Lord, began to meet with greater definition. It was then that I realized the potency (read: potential Kingdom-impact) behind the concept of composing a Blues song, wherein the song initially conveys for example one’s once-wretched state, to perhaps include the squalor of one’s personal sin (i.e., one’s “blues”); to then transition to one’s testimony of God setting them free—a song of triumph and freedom—not unlike the heart and soul of King David’s psalms—the earliest “blues.”
I began to visualize playing what I might call “blues-redeemed” in night clubs, and I visualized the powerful impact of hordes of people being brought to tears as lyrics would transition to simply thanking God for His deliverance from hellish chapters in a person’s life. Lyrics rooted in one’s powerful testimony of deliverance and freedom can pierce through any measure of darkness—and tug at hearts.
The reality is this: hundreds of millions of people in this country (Believer’s included) are starving for authentic encounters with God—the tangible reality of God in their midst. Tens of millions of the same are repulsed by what has become of church as we know it in this country—the likeness of the Laodicean Church, to be more precise. They are repulsed by toxic religiosity, politics; and the vain antics of rock-star-pastors posturing and positioning themselves before people on the platform; and who are addicted to the accolades showered upon them by their adoring fans from week to week. Tens of millions of people are sickened and repulsed by this abomination, as am I personally. As the result, a sea of people regularly visit bars, clubs, pubs, nightclubs and concert halls, enjoying the marvel of music—a marvel which often removes them from their pain, albeit temporarily. Arguably so, it is equally true that in these bars, pubs, clubs and concert halls, the same sea of people represent a large number who are terribly broken, and who drown themselves in alcohol, drugs and illicit relationships in an attempt to escape their pain. One would wish they could flee to the nearest “church,” however the present level of toxicity within the Institutionalized/Laodicean/Americanized Church is often far more lethal than what they are exposed to in night clubs and pubs. In fact, I venture to say that one is far more likely to bump-into Jesus in one of these clubs, than they are likely to bump into Him within the four walls of the institutionalized church as we know it, presently.
With the above travesty in view, I allude to the words of Jesus—a verse terribly overlooked in our day:
“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick” (Luke 5:31).
The context of Jesus’ words herein were that in response to the Scribes and Pharisees who questioned Him when they discovered Mathew the tax collector, as well as Mathew’s heathen friends, hosting Jesus for a feast (contemporary definition: “party”). The Religious Spirit is quick to quip however: “You should have no fellowship with darkness!” Correspondingly, Ephesians 5:11 reads, “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness [fellowship], but instead…expose them…” We must draw a distinction here however: for entering a dark atmosphere for the purposes of ministry, is not “fellowship.” Although, fellowship can occur therein, the objective once again is ministry—piercing the darkness with the Light of Life.
Within the current (read recurrent) Laodicean Church Age, we meet with rampant spiritual narcissism, defined in simple terms by masses of people congregating regularly to encourage one another to engage in perpetual self-absorption (a common contemporary phenomenon known as “having church”)—while the lost and dying, typically not more than a few blocks away; drink, smoke and inject themselves to death within dark corridors of bars and alleyways. Within this dark den, music stands as the primary medium through which one can pierce such mental and emotional confusion and numbness. Herein lay the spear tip or axe head of the “blues redeemed”—a new song.
A few days after my initial call from Miles regarding the Crossroads mission, I was going through some boxes in an effort to further organize our house in preparation for sale, when I happened upon a very old microcassette recorder (over 20 years old) which I had last used over 5 years previous (I now use a much smaller one, which uses a microchip). I decided to play “microcassette recorder roulette,” to see what kind of “notes-to-self” were still on the 60-minute microcassette which I had packed away over 5 years previous. I hit the Rewind button for maybe 15 seconds and randomly stopped the tape, and then hit Play. This is what I heard:
“This is a reminder to buy some new guitar strings, and to also return Don’s call about doing some ministry in Mississippi.”
Understand, the entire 60-minute microcassette was filled with notes-to-self about writings and speaking engagements I was working on at the time, as well as random notes. Friend Don had phoned me over 5 years previous, on 3 or 4 occasions, with a sense of urgency that I speak at 2 venues, one in Mississippi, and one right across the border in Arkansas. At the time I was buried in contracting work and could not free myself to do so.
Nothing less than divine orchestration would allow me to hear this message-to-self, recorded over 5 years previous, which alluded to “buying new guitar strings and ministering in Mississippi.” For here I was presently being invited to play worship on guitar while engaging intersession at the Crossroads in Mississippi—5 years later.
I should note that Don has also had a dream in recent history about the Crossroads; that of an awakening springing-up from that very spot—this long before our recent mission.
It was days prior to my departure to a rendezvous point of Birmingham Alabama that Isaiah 61:4, 9 (recall that the Crossroads are at the intersection of Highway’s 61 and 49) came to me; it reads:
“…they will raise up the former devastations; and they will repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations…their offspring will be known among the nations, and their descendants in the midst of the peoples. All who see them will recognize them because they are offspring whom the LORD has blessed.”
The historical context of Isaiah 61:4, 9, speaks to the restoration of Israel—one of many promises as well as periods of restoration in Israel. The expositional and pointedly-prophetic application for Clarksdale Mississippi however, speaks to the redemption of several generations tormented by devilish pacts originating at the Crossroads. In fact millions of musicians and singers have made pacts with the Devil, at the Crossroads, over many decades. We witnessed many them come-and-go while we were there. Aware then that the Devil’s ultimate goal is that to sew destruction and death into the lives of those who do his bidding in the music industry; generation upon generation subsequently experience divorce, poverty, premature death, suicide, drug addiction, etc,
Isaiah 61 was already on the hearts of the “Delta Force” team long before I was included in such. That it came to me as well was simple confirmation that we were all hearing the same thing.
Equally so, my wife Gigi, as well as a dear friend and prophetic-intercessor, Cathy, shared Isaiah 28:18 with me, just prior to our trip. Isaiah 28 had also been given to the team prior to Cathy’s sharing of such (again, layer-upon-layer of prophetic confirmation). Isaiah 28:18 reads:
“Your covenant with death will be cancelled, and your pact with Sheol will not stand…”
This is in essence what occurred as we assembled to worship and intercede at the Crossroads repeatedly, over a 3-day period. At one point I wrote on a guitar pick, with a Sharpie maker (in red ink—to symbolize the Blood of the Atonement), the following:
I then buried the pick in the ground—in the grassy island within the intersection of Highway’s 61 & 49 where we worshipped on guitars. Miles also drove an anointed wooden stake into the ground with a mini-sledge.
The concluding verse that the Holy Spirit whispered to me while we were there; perhaps the “icing on the cake,” was that of Psalm 33:3, which reads:
“Sing to Me a new song; play skillfully, and with a shout of joy.”
For me, this was a prophetic-promise, that springing forth from this very intersection would be a “new song” that redeems Delta Blues music, and morphs it into glorifying the Lamb—by drawing Delta Blues lovers into meeting the Lover of their souls.
During our time at the Crossroads, Miles mentioned that when he was near me he would often receive a prophetic prompting to the word “Redemption.” I ultimately shared with him of my guarded and secret inner turmoil over my history of buying and subsequently selling 5 Fender Stratocaster guitars over a period of 3 decades. As Miles shared this word “redemption” with me, it became clear that the Holy Spirit was doing a new work in me (a “new song”) by redeeming my love for electric guitar, and by birthing “new songs” which would take-back the Blues from the clutches of evil, and would use them to glorify the Lamb. What was meant for evil would be used to glorify God—in the end.
It was a treat to see Miles play Amazing Grace via slide, on his vintage Fender Telecaster (a ’65?). This one act alone, at the Crossroads, no doubt sent a spiritual ripple-effect through the atmosphere—a ripple-effect which had likely never before graced that intersection.
It was as we assembled on the island late in the evening for our first worship session, that the atmosphere was discernibly evil, through a discernable heaviness and tension. That evening Miles and Dale pressed-on and remained until after midnight—a critical step, as midnight represented the time in which Robert Johnson is said to have sold his soul. I however bowed-out each evening at roughly 11:00PM, to retire to my hotel room. I was suffering from much fatigue (one of the more pointed side effects of a severe case of tinnitus) and simply couldn’t go-the-distance through midnight. The morning after our first late night worship session was met with an unexpected cool breeze from the north. This breeze remained with us for the 3 days that we were there. The atmosphere had radically changed on the island, and God’s presence was tangible. Something had surly broken, and we felt great freedom as we worshiped thereafter.
One of the more humorous encounters during our mission was that which occurred on our way to the Blues Museum in Helena, AR, wherein we passed a radio station sign reading, “Delta Force 3.” It so happened that the 3 of us comprised the “Delta Force” which I had loosely dubbed our group prior to the trip.
Too funny :O)
During the final worship session together at the Crossroads (Day 3), and while joined by 2 intercessors who had joined us for this session, having driven from northern Alabama; 3 things occurred which bore the unmistakable fingerprints of God.
Just prior to entering into worship for the last time as a group, Dale mentioned that he had yet to see a bird on this island while we were there. He then prayed that God would restore birds to this island. Days before Dale prayed this, I had begun craving doughnuts, oddly enough (I never eat them); in fact I had begun to whine about not being able to find a “real doughnut” anywhere. With these seemingly unrelated elements in view, the following occurred in the final moments of our last worship session on the island at the Crossroads (Day-3):
During our final worship song, “We Will Dance On The Streets That Are Golden,” a large earthworm sprang-up out of the ground, right between my feet. It was responding to the vibration of our worship. This may seem inconsequential, until we meditate on Revelation 5:13 for a moment: “…every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the seas, and all things in them, I heard saying, ‘To Him Who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.’”
A few moments later, a bird landed on the grass (in answer to Dale’s prayer) just a few feet from us. Then, yet a few moments later, a couple appeared with a box. The man, also holding a beer, said, “I saw you here last night, and just want to thank you for what you’re doing” (Hmmmm, how did he “know” what we were doing?). We opened the box and therein was a freshly baked dozen doughnuts! After the couple left, we noticed a stamp on the top of the box, which sported the name and address of the doughnut shop. Dale realized the shop was just a few hundred feet from where we sat. He went over to the storefront and realized the shop was empty—and closed—yet the doughnuts were freshly baked—fresh out of the oven. Miles then quipped, “Ya spoze he was an angel, with a beer in his hand?” I quipped, “If he was set on offending the Religious Spirit, I can’t think of a better way than to have a beer in his hand.”
I’m convinced the couple were angles—sent just to place God’s fingerprint of affirmation on our mission—and to say, “Job well done.”
There were many more significant sites and declarations/proclamations visited and carried out during our trip. My focus upon the Crossroads themselves has rather been the focus of this brief musing.
(photo taken by Dale)