September 23 was not a non-event, pt.1 – Some backstory

Here’s how I ended the relevant blog post, in late September:

“For the record the face hotspot that began on 9/23 (or the evening of 9/22) is still blazing right along. This is the longest I’ve had a continuous hotspot in several years, I think. I doubt that the dream vision about September 23, 2017, was sent just to announce the arrival of a hotspot. Maybe there’s something significant at the end of this particular face heat.

Wait and see, as usual, again.”

The face hotspot continued for a total of ten days. This was unprecedented behavior in my experience with the hotspots. At the end of the hotspot was, in fact, something monumentally significant. In order to explain it all adequately, I’ve got to give some back story.


Somewhere early in the summer months, not long after I quit my job, I began kicking around an idea that went something like this:

We know from scripture that Jesus said He only did the things that He saw His Father doing. I take that to mean Jesus only did the things His Father showed Him to do. “Heal this blind man like so.” “Walk across the lake; freak out your disciples; and then teleport your boat to the shore.” Something like that.

We know from scripture that Jesus arose very early in the mornings to go and pray.

If it’s true that Jesus did only the things His father told Him to do or showed Him to do,
then maybe it was during Jesus’ early-morning prayer times that God the Father provided His Son with instructions for that day or for life in general.

And if Jesus got His instructions that way, then it made sense that we followers of Jesus might be able to receive instructions from God in the same manner each morning

I began to regularly ask God if we believers could get life instructions similarly to that theorized method. It was approximately two months later that I realized God had answered with a resounding “Yes!”


The summer months were an irregular mess of family medical crises and (mostly) peaceful adjustments to a life with no regular full-time employment. In the midst of it all, a curious pattern developed: approximately every week and a half, I’d dream or receive a word and/or vision on a given morning, in such a way as seemed like God was giving me actionable instructions for the day. If I ever get around to posting blog content about July-September, I will provide more details about several of the days’ activities. Right now I’ll just relate what I think was the most remarkable occurrence.

One morning in late August I awoke before my alarm went off, some time before I would need to prepare for that day’s early prayer set at church. I lay in bed and dozed in and out of consciousness. At some point I realized that God had probably awakened me early for a reason and I’d not yet acknowledged Him. So I said, “What would You have for me today, God?” Immediately I saw a vision of what appeared to be soap suds. I got a notion I was supposed to wash something. I started thinking, “Wash? My car? My clothes?” I heard, “Someone’s feet – tonight.” I rolled right along with the instruction, not stopping to be blown away by what I was hearing. I promptly decided I would wash my children’s feet that night. Easy enough. While I was relaxing into that path of least resistance, I heard a clarification: “Someone who is not an immediate family member.” That obviously made things instantly much more weird. I resolved to pray about the instructions and to get my kids to do the same thing. We could compare notes and see what, if any, revelation we got from God.

A couple of hours later at church, before we began our prayer set, two women entered the auditorium. I’d never seen either woman before. The two sat together on the front row, directly in my field of vision. After a few minutes of seeing the women while we played our worship music, it was obvious that one of the women was severely distraught. She was crying continuously. She would sometimes lean over to rest her head on the other woman’s shoulder. Otherwise she was sitting upright and weeping miserably. The other woman was clearly making herself available for the support of her crying companion.

After I watched this emotional display for a bit, I thought, “I should go offer to pray for her for one week. She can tell me what wrong if she wants to. Either way, she needs prayer.” I took a break from playing and went to the restroom. While I was washing my hands and preparing to go back out to the auditorium, I decided against the prayer idea. Too weird. I sat back down and began playing again. Within a couple of minutes, our worship leader said, “I think God is telling me someone in the room is dealing with cancer.” The weeping woman raised her hand. Nuts. I rebuked my timidity. It was a pride thing. If I had gone and offered to pray for the woman when I was first prompted, I could have felt good about being obedient to a call. Now that the cancer cat was out of the bag, if I offered to pray, then I’d just be tagging along with the crowd that had gathered around the woman to comfort her. That is how small I am, inside this bald head.

We continued our playing while the small group of pray-ers prayed for and consoled the grieving woman. I got over my self and also began praying in earnest for her. Before the two-hour set was over, I decided that I would ask her if I could wash her feet that night. Why not? I’d had no better ideas in the preceding five hours. And the instructions said only to wash the feet of someone who was not an immediate family member. I was evidently free to make it up as I went.

After we finished the set and I’d gathered up my things, I approached the woman. She was by then standing and talking with several people. I introduced myself and told her that I believed God had told me to wash someone’s feet that night. Could I wash her feet? She she said OK. Who knew it could be that easy? Seriously. I got her phone number and told her I’d get in touch with her later in the day. (I will hereafter refer to her by the fake name Claire.) Claire let me know that she was without reliable transportation, as she’d been in a car wreck the day before. I told her I would drive to her home, which was about a half hour north of where I live. I also told her I would have my kids with me that evening, which I hoped would minimize any weirdness she felt about a strange guy coming to her place with such non-standard and intimate intent.

Later that afternoon I called Claire and made arrangements to meet her at her condo. When the appointed time rolled around, not long before sundown, my kids and I headed north into a very new experience. We chatted about how wild life becomes when you open yourself up to God for the most basic things. “What would You like me to do today?” Ask, and you shall receive. Crazy. Jesus wasn’t just blowing smoke.

We found Claire and a female friend waiting for us outside Claire’s residence. We did a round of introductions for my kids and Claire’s friend. Inside the condo we exchanged a few pleasantries and got down to business. I explained to everyone the mechanics of why I believed God had prompted me to wash someone’s feet. Claire asked me if I understood the Biblical significance of foot-washing. I related the various instances of the original apostles arguing among themselves regarding who would be greatest in Christ’s kingdom. Christ countered that mindset by declaring that those who would be great must serve, not the other way around. He demonstrated this posture by washing His disciples’ feet before the Last Supper. I told Claire and the others that, as I strive to follow this Savior who is my king, I must do the things He calls me to do. And He called me to wash someone’s feet.

Claire and I went into the kitchen, where she drew a bucket of water. After she got the water to a temperature that was comfortable for the task, I carried the bucket into the den. Clair sat on the couch, and I knelt in front of her with the bucket and a rag. I’m pretty sure I prayed before I began washing. I washed Claire’s feet in the bucket. There wasn’t much to the process, practically speaking. The brief simplicity of the act stood in contrast to the profound spiritual implications. It was a powerful moment, there in that condo. There was zero chance that any of us had woken up that day thinking that was how we’d be ending it. I offered to wash Claire’s friend’s feet. She obliged, and I washed.

Afterwards, we talked for a bit about Upper Room and some of the things that have been going on there for a few years. One thing that Claire revealed was that she’d never been to UR before that morning. The woman who had accompanied her to the service that morning was a member who had suggested Claire should go to the service in order to ask prayers for healing. She drove Claire to the service since Claire’s car was wrecked. That was certainly one intense day for someone who was first attending a new church.

My kids and I left Claire’s condo soon after the washing was done. The whole business was finished within half an hour. We drove back south, pretty floored by what had just happened. The kids seemed genuinely affected (in a good way) by having watched their father wash a stranger’s feet. We had more discussions about the wild ways God will open life up for you, the more you trust Him with said life. And if Claire and her friend were blessed by having a stranger wash their feet, I was just as blessed by the opportunity to humble myself in that unexpected and unprecedented process.

With about a mile to go still to go before it mattered, I noticed the reading on my car’s odometer. I calculated that we’d be passing my former place of employment at around 123 miles on the odometer. I decided that if we were, indeed, at that location when the odo read exactly 123.7 miles, then I would know it was a “hello” from God. 1237 and XX37 in general have been have been major players for the past two years, and certainly for the better part of 2017. At the appropriate exit, I pulled off of the highway and looped east onto the major thoroughfare that runs in front of my former employer. As we passed the building, the odometer read 123.7.

Fun stuff.


I don’t know for sure that Jesus got his day’s marching orders from God the Father during His early-morning prayer time. But I do now know that it’s possible for us to ask Him to show us His vision for our day and expect Him to sometimes provide a distinct opportunity. He is a good father and He loves to see us grow and serve.


More backstory pending…

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