In mid-September I took my kids to the church prophetic prayer ministry, for the first time since late May. That last Saturday morning trip was during ‘armor bearer’ weekend. Since that weekend, I had become more and more deliberate about not focusing on whether or not October 15, 2016 is going to be some pivotal and mind-blowing day in the life. I hadn’t been doing a good job of not focusing on whether October 15, 2016 is going to be a pivotal and mind-blowing day in the life. Much the opposite. At times I could think of nothing else. It had been easy enough to put it all (mostly) out of sight and mind for the first six months of the 2016. Even at my advanced age of forty-eight, it’s fairly easy to imagine away something that is four months in the future. By the time July and August rolled around, though, the whole October thing was becoming an unavoidable place to stake my hopes. By mid-September and our trip to the prophetic prayer team, I was well and truly beaten down by anticipation of the unknown and a fear of false hope.
I have lived some years with one eye on (or at least an occasional glance toward) a mysterious and potentially fantastic future, relative to the relentless and often dismal grind that each new morning has presented for those same years. The dream about October 15, last New Year’s Eve, named that hard and fast point as a time of transition. Since I awoke from that dream almost nine months ago, there have been a steady stream of events that support the notion that October 15 will be more than just another Saturday in my life; or at the very least that things are going to change ‘soon’. Might as well be on October 15.
After we checked in at the ministry desk, we went into the auditorium to wait our respective turns. After ten minutes or so a team member escorted Offspring the Elder back to the classroom for prayer. She was carrying my phone to record the session. Offspring the Younger sat with me in the auditorium. We listened to the worship band and didn’t talk much. She put her head on my shoulder, in a quiet and atypical relaxation of the many defenses she’s developed over the years. I grieved for her wounded heart, for lost time, and for lost fatherhood. I silently asked God, as I had off and on for the previous day, to please speak to us through the prayer team that morning. We were three people in serious need of encouragement.
Before long Offspring the Elder came dashing ahead of the escort out of the classroom area, clearly ecstatic. She ran up the stairs to our seats and announced, “I have big news!” She wanted to wait until we listened to the voice recording at home, instead of telling us then and there what was so great in the world.
I was next in line for ministry. Of the four people on the prayer team, only one of the members was anyone I’d seen before. We all confirmed that it was my child that had just been with them. They prayed for a minute and then spent about twenty minutes in prophecy and discussion. The results of the session were right in line with theoretical and actual themes of my life. It was a moving and somewhat overwhelming encounter.
Afterwards, I returned to the auditorium and passed the phone off to my younger daughter. She followed the escorting team member to the same prayer group that had prayed for her sister and me. Ten minutes later she came out looking at little stunned. “No wonder you were so excited,” she confirmed with her sister. We gathered ourselves and headed out to the parking lot. As we passed through the door into the bright late-morning sunlight, I glanced at my watch. 11:11.
During the drive from our church parking lot out to the main road, my grinning daughter revealed her big news. One of the men on the team had told her he believed she was going to be healed of diabetes. I’ve never (ever) heard someone prophesy a major healing like that. I’m aware of many bona fide medical miracles; but those haven’t come about as punctuation of any prophetic expectation of same (as far as I know). In fact it is common practice for such ministries as the one at Upper Room to dissuade any encouragement about marriages, babies, and health, unless the team member is dead-on positive that it’s the right thing to do. I know that Upper Room officially sets that expectation for their prophecy teams.
And for the record, just because I’ve never heard of such bold prophetic encouragement about healing doesn’t mean that it’s not common. I think God reveals things to each of us in such a way that highlights them specifically when He wants us to see them. He brings them to our awareness when it’s His right time for us to be amazed.
I had seen my daughter’s prayer team in action and didn’t have any immediate concerns that any of them was irresponsible. And the encouragement of impending and miraculous endocrine joy was not only not a new and atypical expectation for our family; it was truly right in line with what we’d been believing and partially experiencing for three and a half years already. I absolutely believe that one day, The Pancreas is going to respond to healing commands and never fail again. As such, I certainly had some cautious optimism about receiving the good news of the morning; but there was not room for outright skepticism.
We got home and listened to our session recordings. All three of us had received prophetic encouragements that were ‘on’ with regard to our life circumstances. Clearly, the big story was the diabetes encouragement. Later that evening I realized that, somewhere in all the day’s excitement, the oppressive fretting about October 15 had vanished.
The next day in the regular Sunday morning church service, I sat behind one of the men who had been in the group that ministered to my family the previous morning. It was he who had given my daughter the message of hope for healing. I’d never seen the guy before the previous day’s ministry encounter. I re-introduced myself to him at the meet-and-greet interlude between music and sermon. We talked briefly about a few things, including the vision he’d had of my daughter. He clarified that what he’d ‘seen’ was her standing in front of the church, announcing that she’d been healed of Type 1 diabetes – sometime in the next year, maybe even next six months. I explained our history of sporadic success in praying her pancreas back into action and my own conviction that my daughter’s diabetic condition was not a permanent thing.
The man told me he had been coming to the church for about five months and had been involved in similar prophetic ministries at other churches in the past. I realized that as Upper Room continues to grow in reputation and stature as a ‘happening’ as much as it is a church, there will necessarily be an increase in the number of prophetic people coming to where the action is. One result of that increase will be a larger pool of prophetic types from which to draw the most gifted of the crowd for staffing the prayer rooms.
I left my office for a walk at lunch time on the following afternoon. I was thinking about the man’s vision of my daughter telling the church that she’d been healed of diabetes. It occurred to me that I’d likely end up speaking with her, also. The way things are progressing, it’s less likely that my daughter will randomly wake up one day healed of diabetes than her pancreas will finally and completely respond to my prayers for healing. What would I say to the church? Probably not much, I answered myself, walking past the dumpsters out by the edge of the parking lot. “We worship a living God who works miracles still.” I was staring absently at the pavement by the dumpsters as I walked. There were several bits of crushed DVD cases on the ground. One case was hard-shell black plastic and hadn’t been shattered by passing cars. The cover art was a classical painting on a bright red background. I stopped in mid-stride and did a double-take. The painting showed Jesus with a crowd of people. The title of the DVD was A Life of Miracles.
Things started moving in slow motion for a bit. I stared intently at the DVD case on the ground for a few seconds, standing like an awkward statue. A car pulled into the lot, and I realized I was pretty much in the middle of the entry drive. No matter – I had to stare at a flattened DVD case with a picture of Jesus on it. I felt stuck between heaven and earth, like a video game character that has been rendered incorrectly – half in the visible world, half in some other dimension. Due to the nature of my employer’s business, I do see the occasional CD/DVD refuse out by the dumpsters. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen anything perfectly dovetail with my thoughts that way. Especially like those particular thoughts at that moment. It was interesting, to say the least.
After my walk the DVD case was still on the ground. I picked up and inspected the thing. It had apparently never even been opened. I pulled off the shrink wrap and opened the case. The DVD was relatively unscathed, despite the case having been smashed by car tires. The DVD was actually Volume 2 of a series called A Life of Miracles. The series was a Christian Broadcasting Network collection of modern miracle stories and was hosted by Pat Robertson. I took the DVD up to my office and watched as many of the ten episodes as the scuffed DVD would allow. I recommend the series. God is good.
Later that afternoon I took it upon myself to see with fresh eyes how much of a presence ’11:11′ has on the Internet. I opened duckduckgo and typed in ‘why do I keep seeing’; and before I could type a ‘1’, the auto-fill suggestions popped down below the search field. The very first suggestion was ‘why do I keep seeing 11:11’.
All you 11:11 people out there – you are not alone.
A few minutes later still, I did a search in my email Sent Items folder for ’11:11′. My plan was to peruse all emails I’d sent to Mary, so that I could accurately write in this blog about the 11’s in our parallel lives. Sure enough, there were a few dozen emails, out of about fifteen hundred total, filtered by ’11:11′. All of the emails were to Mary, according to my quick glance, beginning in late July of this year. I had selectively cleaned out my Sent Items right before sending the first July emails, so any previous reference to 11’s in that folder were gone. Except for one that didn’t fit the mold – the oldest email in the search results. I looked at the date and didn’t understand what I was seeing. Why was there an email from 2012 filtered by 11:11? I didn’t even know Mary then, other than casually at church. The email subject line was about diabetes management. I opened the email and read the contents. The email was a response to my ex, two weeks after our daughter’s initial diagnosis of diabetes. My ex had forwarded me some instructions from the nurse at the endocrinology clinic, and I was replying in kind. I don’t delete any emails sent to my ex, so that email had been sitting in Sent Items since Spring of 2012. I had sent the email to my ex at 11:11.
Definitely interesting enough to record here.
Sometime in the night of September 22-23, I dreamed that I was with someone, maybe a female. I don’t know who she was. We were either on foot or riding in a car. We saw Mark Cuban, he of Shark Tank and Dallas Mavericks fame. Either Mark was stationary, and we were passing by him; or we were stationary, and he was passing by us. We weren’t necessarily outdoors, even though I think one or both parties were in a vehicle. The environment had an indoor, artificial feel to it. The whole thing was well-lit, and Mark’s face was clearly visible. He was looking directly as us, from ten feet away. I can’t remember his exact expression; I think it was neutral. That’s all there was to that scene. I’m pretty sure that I’ve never dreamed about Mark Cuban before.
I checked the election news soon after waking the next morning. The first thing I saw was that Mark Cuban was attending Monday’s Hofstra debate, by invitation of Hillary Clinton. Which was all reasonably interesting but not actionable.
On September 28 I was in bed before 10pm. I hoped to get at least six hours sleep before waking up in the wee hours for the 6am prayer set. Instead, I awoke just after midnight out of a long and vivid dream and into the first text vision I’ve had in many weeks. I couldn’t remember the last one I had, actually. It had been long enough that I’d decided in the previous week that the visions had apparently served their vague purpose during the Trump revelations and wouldn’t be showing up anymore. I keep forgetting that I don’t decide when they show up and when they don’t.
The vision itself was low-light, but the text was clearly visible somehow. Black text against a grey background; something like a white drop shadow on the text helped it pop out from that background. The letters didn’t form any discernible message, as far as I could see.
I am completing this August/September series of posts on October 13. I’ll know in a couple of days if October 15 is a thing or not. FWIW, when I finished the above post, I stood up and glanced at my watch.