Listen to that Dry Shoulder!

Lake* had spent considerable time "preparing the soil" at this auditorium in Pretoria. He had focused on declaration and thanksgiving rather than praise in the early part of the meeting. His spirit was quick with the expectation of God's arrival in power.

How different this night had seemed from other village engagements outside the City. There simple faith without distraction had reached out to "touch Jesus" and had been more than amply blessed. Restored hearing. Restored eyesight. Restored sense of smell. A stiff leg made supple and strong.

Tonight things were going to happen. He knew it. Scriptures of healing had been shared in all sincerity. Mark. Luke. James' epistle. First Peter. These were promises of Almighty God without expiry date. Lake's references to the compassion of Jesus seemed to be saturated with love and expectation.

But then he had noticed a half dozen men entering the back of the room. Smirking expressions. Furtive movements. Trouble perhaps? Probably coming from the levity of the race track down the road. But he would not stop. Not now. A silent prayer was offered in the Spirit.

Lake could see at the rear left three individuals of middle age moving forward slowly. Much attention was being given to the woman in the middle, apparently accompanied by sister and husband. Her arms were stiffened out to the front and around as if hugging a large barrel. Lake stepped off the podium to meet them and to usher them to the platform. He was informed that the woman's shoulders had been locked for a terrible period of time. Joints, bursa unworkable.

He informed the congregation that Jesus was about to operate. He explained the extent of the poor woman's disability. "Has any one of you never heard a dry shoulder?" Lake looked directly at the men promising trouble. "You sir, come forward if you will. Put your ear by this woman's shoulder as her sister gently rotates it to the extent possible."

Many around could hear the frightening grinding noise. The racing enthusiast registered genuine dismay and even sympathy.

"Sister stand behind your loved one with your hands on her shoulders while we pray. At the end of praying release her that she might lift both arms without pain in joy and thanksgiving."

And so it was accomplished. The hard casing of the meeting cracked open. Hearts were softened. Glory came down.

(*John G. Lake)

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