You know those moments in life that intrude abruptly, and you’re suddenly faced with a decision to commit to the spontaneous adventure ahead or to remain in your zone of comfort and convenience? Well, that’s the exact spot I stood a few weeks ago less than 72 hours before some of my now greatest memories unfolded.
“Kali,” he said, practically a stranger, yet with a father’s assurance in his tone, “don’t you worry about a thing.” He put some money in my hand, just moments before I embarked on my next little quest. That was the last hurdle. I had done my homework for the week, arranged the transportation, packed my bags and now had the rest of the money I needed! I doubted it was all going to come together in time, but it did.
Just 24 hours before, I was scrambling, going back and forth between my decision. It was last minute. I didn’t have enough money. I didn’t have enough time. I didn’t have the energy. And I didn’t even know the people going or what exactly we would be doing. All the obstacles, inconveniences and uncertainties ahead made taking the easy way look so appealing. But I knew that’s where the brink of apathy lies or the gateway of breakthrough is introduced, to be stunted by fear, laziness, and limitations or to be compelled by selfless love. I committed to it, and it was happening.
Turned out, the next five days would be spent praying for people and sharing the love that transforms each of us daily. We headed to the beach for Envision Fest here in Costa Rica. These festival goers were spiritual seekers unknowingly just looking for Jesus. We set up our “healing circle” on the beach. People were drawn in by the worship we sang and with the warmth of our welcome. Many people were led into powerful and healing encounters with the Holy Spirit. They knew that something was different in the love and spiritual atmosphere of the “healing circle.”
On the last day, a girl from the festival, named Brittany, came over to us. You could say it was a Divine appointment. We asked her about her spiritual journey, and she began to tell us how it had begun with an urge to go to Bali.
“I cried every single night for almost three weeks up until my trip [to Bali] because I was so scared to leave, but I knew I had to follow my heart.” The joy and gratitude in her eyes communicated clearer than any words the reward of her bravery. She had dared to battle face to face with fear, making it out not only alive but with a new understanding of existence. She had experienced God on some level.
My friend Gilberto gave her a handmade necklace in honor of her bravery. The glass pendant and teal threads were a meager reflection of the beauty of her soul, made in the image of God. Somebody had actually told her before that teal was indeed the color of her personality.
In this moment of our conversation, I remembered the painting I had made that morning of a flower with a teal center. I shared with Brittany that Jesus had woken me up earlier than usual that day to create something. I invited the Holy Spirit to guide my every stroke down to each shade and tint. I knew the painting wouldn’t be in my possession for long, but I didn’t know whose hands it would be passed on to, until now. “It’s for you!” She perceived the painting and in awe began to explain to me what each part meant and represented to her.
The Holy Spirit recked me then and there with the revelation that it was the love of the Father pursuing her that compelled me out of my day to day routine, that had made a way for me to come, that had woken me before the sun, and had guided me to paint a picture of the one whom He longs for and loves.
“Brittany, if the Holy Spirit showed me what to paint, knowing what it would mean to you, that can only mean one thing. He. Knows. You. He knows you really, really well. He wants you to know Him. He wants to have a friendship with you. His heart longs for you.” As the words stirred the deepest parts of her tears started to fall. I was already practically weeping at this point. After talking a little while longer, we went our separate ways, each rooted a little deeper in love and understanding of the Father’s relentless pursuit for humanity. He is the God who sees us from every stroke down to each shade and tint.