This is part 1 of a true story of Brother Ernie
A child of God chosen to display Daddy’s glory, one breath at a time.
As long as my breath is in me and the Spirit of God is in my ..
my lips will not speak falsehood and my tongue will not utter deceit. For I hold fast to my righteousness and will not let go!”( Job 27 :3, 4, 6a)
I didn’t know Ernie was carrying a set of miracles deep behind his ribs until one day in October. Before that day, I just knew a man whose name was “Ernie”. A man who sat at the round table in the back of the church. That’s how it is in Daddy’s house sometimes. We say “oh I know so and so. . . ” And we toss a person’s name in the air like a balloon. But, if we told the naked truth, we would say that we REALLY don’t know them at all. As a “doorkeeper” in Daddy’s house , I get a little sad when I barely know some folks names . But, I get really excited when I remember that there is one in the house, who really, truly, knows them.
Jesus knows them. He looks on each one of those folks every Sunday. He looks past all the dirt and the ribs , straight past the lungs and heart, to a very deep place. He looks to a place where no doctor or scientist or researcher could go. . . the soul.(1)
Kinda funny to think like that . To think that there are places where no eye sees or tongue tells . Places where no picture has been taken. Kinda funny to think how Jesus knows Ernie so well. He knew every cell, seen and unseen, in Ernie long before He introduced the lump sum to me. He had been sitting near Ernie alot of days before He introduced Ernie to me and. . . me to Ernie.
Jesus handpicked the day He was to introduce Ernie and me. (2) That day was a day in October. That day, I had just left my assignment as “doorkeeper” and I was working at the hospital. And, It was in the hospital that Ernie was brought in for “shortness of breath”.
“Shortness of breath” is a phrase that hospital folks use for breathing that does not sound or look like the original design by Daddy. It sounds more rapid and loud and unnatural than we think it should sound . This is mostly during times when the air is going through the mouth and not the nose. These folks lie in stretchers like little birds in nests with their neck reaching up and their mouths wide open. They look like birds hungry for nothing but the air around them.
I could hear the sound of Ernie’s air as I turned the corner to room 42 in the emergency Room. The sound stopped me. I stood by the door and asked Jesus to introduce me to Ernie. I was afraid that Ernie would not know me and he might be too hungry for air to be bothered by me.
But Ernie was not bothered. And Ernie did not look like the other folks in the hospital . He did not look at all like anybody that I had touched that day. He did not even look like he needed a physician though he sounded like it. Ernie had a vibrant face . And ,most of all , he had a face that talked without using words. It said paragraphs in milliseconds. It was bright , kinda pink, with a leprechaun like smile. Sitting upright in the stretcher , I saw Ernie as a delightful design of Daddy. I saw what Jesus saw for the first time . (3)
Ernie’s eyes spoke boldly “I believe our Daddy wants me out of this place’ . His eyes seemed to sparkle with the proclamation.
An instant agreement came upon me, I said “Ernie , Jesus wants you out of here. This is not the door I should be greeting you through unless its back out. . . eh brother?”
Ernie winked. I considered his wink to be an “AMEN”. Amen means “so be it” or “let it be”. And It does not really have to be spoken. An Amen is agreement with Jesus bout all that Daddy gives.(3)
Folks at church talk alot about agreement. i don’t know much about all of what they mean when they talk. Sometimes these folks start talking in another language that only Daddy knows. .But, I now know one thing for certain, since Jesus introduced me to Ernie. I know that when children agree about what Daddy says all kinds of things happen. When children agree with Daddy, miracles are in the air. Moving in very unlikely patterns.
” ill be back to check on y’all after I am off duty” I said to Ernie and his wife Brenda. I left a room that was so full of Jesus I felt unworthy to return .
I felt unworthy because, truth be told , about four hours before I met Ernie, I had been whining and complaining to Daddy about His other children. I was tattle- tailing on them , telling how they were relying on another brother to give them what only Daddy gives. I even called that very brother on the phone and said” these folks are asking you to do what only Daddy can do for them and I think it is all wrong”
This good brother said to me ” what are you gonna do , sister, tuck your tail and run again”. That made me more mad and I hung up the phone.
I then cried and cried and told Daddy that I didn’t think my church was giving Daddy the glory He was due. And “if they ain’t doing that then they ain’t no church!!! They are just a ‘club house in a tree’ and nobody can get in and nobody on the inside can see out !!” I said.
After all the hot air from my phone call and prayer settled as dew on my dashboard, I stomped on into work. “Im just going on to work ” were my last words to Daddy. I kinda felt like Peter who decided to go fishing because it all wasn’t making much sense anymore.(5)
When I returned to Ernie’s room, I stood at the door and remembered my start of the day and still felt unworthy to enter. I stood motionless behind the open door asking Daddy if it was okay to go in. I was distracted by the sound of Ernie’s breathing. It wheezed and coughed and gasped..Suddenly, I saw Daddy’s intended design, I saw how the mouth is set for praise and the nose is set for air. Suddenly Daddy showed me, As unnatural as is Ernie’s breathing so unnatural was my speaking earlier in the day!! Ernie should breathe air through His nose, And I should praise through my mouth. God we need a Physician!!.
“There she is Ernie” Ernie’s wife peered around the door. “We are right here. Did you forget where you were going” she chuckled
I entered into the room. Ernie was getting a “breathing treatment”. This is where a medicine is mixed with the air so when one inhales it opens the lungs so they can get the oxygen needed. So Ernie’s wife, Brenda, talked. Brenda talked vibrantly, like Ernie but not as much with her eyes as with her whole being. From face to fingertips , she spoke more in motion than with words . It was as if every word she chose was moving. Like breezes of grace , a gentle enthusiastic grace.
So, when I timidly said “can we pray together?” she seemed to swoop softly across the stretcher to take my hand in expectant agreement.
I looked at Ernie. I looked at Brenda. I looked at our hands. Suddenly the air halted. I could hear each of us breathing. My own breath irregular ” Daddy I need a breathing treatment Jesus just say the word and your servant will be healed” my soul prayed quietly (6) . And I waited.
Suddenly, I saw Jesus looking upon Ernie with compassion ready to touch and heal. I saw Him delighting over Brenda. I saw Him ready to heal my lips. I prayed. Then Brenda prayed. The breeze, a the very warm summer breeze blew . Ernie could breathe a little easier. The room was very warm. The faces very moist.
Then , in natural timing, like a chorus of a song, Ernie’s “Amen” was spoken. It came out of his mouth as air went in his nose. It repeated itself , Layers of “amen” one upon another until Brenda and I shouted with Ernie “Amen!! Amen”. All of us moving now like children saying “yippie Daddy we have recieved”.
When our hands released, Ernie began breathing slowly and softly through his nose. Suddenly Ernie said his first sentence to me “This is the church!”. He spoke.
“Yep. Honey the Holy spirit was definitely here.” Brenda cheered. She did not know Ernie’s words were riding on the wind of the Spirit. Riding on the wind of the Spirit to restore my broken soul.
“This IS the Church”
A sweet silence again halted everything in the room. you could hear breath. Breathing Rhythmic and natural . Mouths declaring praise. I suddenly knew that I could not run from this church , This church. . . .it would chase me down.
“Yep,”. I winked.
And the spirit and the Bride said “Amen”(7)
- John 2:24-25 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man; for he knew what was in man.
- Acts 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed and the bounds of their habitation.
- 2 Corinthians 5:14,16 for the love of Christ controls us , because we have concluded this that one has died for all , therefore all have died. . so , From now on , therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh.
- 2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us
- John 21:3 Simon Peter said to them , “I am going fishing,” They said to him, “we will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
- Luke 7:1-10. Jesus healing the Centurions’s servant ” And Jesus went with them. when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Lord do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Therefore FI did not presume to come to you But say the word and let my servant be healed. “
- Revelation 22:17 The spirit and the bride say, “come.” Let anyone who hears this say “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life”.