God’s grace has a name. What is it, you ask? Dorothy.
No, not the famous movie character of the same name from the Wizard of Oz. The Dorothy I write about today has been a mentor of mine in life and ministry, and of many others, for a number of years. To me, she exemplifies what God’s grace looks like in action, and what it means to walk with Jesus on the road of everyday life. Let me explain by sharing one small example.
By way of background, Pastors Alan and Dorothy Langstaff have been in ministry together for over 40 years.* Now both in their 80’s, they are still pastoring a local church. Their years of faithful ministry have been lived out in the midst of personal challenges that would have caused most to give up and quit. While their accomplishments are many, the way I see God’s grace through Dorothy is lived out in her everyday life.
Recently, we had a chance to catch up and pray over the phone. Dorothy was ministering to me from a hospital bed in her living room! She’s had a physical condition over the past several years which was aggravated last fall with a new diagnosis, PMR, which at that time was accompanied by severe debilitating pain. Medication and the grace of God have made it possible for her to become actively involved in the Church again. She takes advantage of phone calls to lie down and rest. In spite of this, we found ourselves, laughing and praising God as she shared a testimony. One of her favorite verses is Psalm 149:5-6 Let the saints be joyful in glory Let them sing aloud on their beds Let the high praises of God be in their mouth And a two-edged sword in their hands. She is determined to live that verse out, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, she does it.
As frequent doctor visits have become the norm for Dorothy lately, she has asked God, in prayer, to use her to encourage others wherever she goes. In one of her recent doctor’s appointments at the clinic to have blood work done, one of her lab technicians asked, “how is it that you have such peace and joy compared to my other patients who are often stressed and anxious?” Dorothy answered, “It’s Jesus that makes the difference.” Since then she’s had a number of opportunities to share and pray with the lab technician. Now when she goes to the clinic she is greeted with hugs of affection and a greeting, “Dorothy I’m so glad you’re here again today!”
On another occasion, on the way to the doctor’s appointment with her husband, she felt the Lord say; “you are going to have an opportunity to pray for the doctor today.” Knowing she couldn’t be presumptuous, she waited to see what would happen. It wasn’t long before the doctor said out of the blue, “I just have to tell you what’s going on in my life. I have not been able to sleep and I’ve been very anxious.” He went on to explain some very critical things going on in his family. At that point, Dorothy knew exactly what she had to do. “Can I pray for you?” she asked and held out her hand to him. He put his hand in hers, while her husband looked on. As she prayed, she began to cry tears of compassion for him and his family. The doctor truly appreciated her prayers and has since given a good report on the situation that Dorothy prayed about.
She shared this testimony of ministry to the lab technician and physician from the hospital bed in her home with such joy, that my faith was renewed and strengthened. My own troubles faded into the background, as I renewed my prayer for God to use me to bring His love wherever I go. You see God loves Dorothy’s medical providers so much that He sent her to be an emissary of His love on her road of everyday life. God’s grace has a name. To me, one of those names is Dorothy.
How about you? Can you bring God’s grace to someone along the road of everyday life today?
Rev. Dr. Alan & Dorothy Langstaff, co-founders of ACTS International Bible College, Kairos Ministries, and Omega Team. As my Bible teachers and mentors, they have spoken volumes into my life.
*FYI Dorothy has written a wonderful book about she and her husband’s ministry, Called Together, which can be found at www.kairosmin.org or by clicking on this link