As Isajah left Dam Square, the concrete centre of Amsterdam, his guitar case swung in his hand. Walking with our teammate Austin, their moods weren’t overshadowed by the clouded sky overhead. He had heard I was taking my guitar as we left the house, and in the spur of the moment he grabbed his own Epona. He was ready to bring the love of Jesus to the capital of the Netherlands, clueless of what was about to happen.
As he and Austin wove their way through the alleyways leading to one of the city’s many canals, a set list of potential songs began to take form.
They set down a block prior from the nearest bridge, across the street from one of Amsterdam’s many ‘coffee shops’– stores that aren’t exactly identified by their coffee sales, but instead marijuana.
Starting with Viva La Vida and adding a few original songs into the mix, Isajah noticed a man watching him from the coffee shop across the way. With a South American complexion, casual dress, and standing with an air of authority over the store, Isajah took him for the coffee shop’s owner.
Before journeying to Amsterdam a week earlier, Isajah’s own earphones had vanished and he couldn’t afford to buy a new pair. So he did the only thing he could; he prayed.
Sure enough, as he faithfully asked for new earphones, knowing his heavenly Father listens, he received.
The man approached, dropped a few coins on top of the closed guitar case– and a pair of earphones. With a smile, he returned to the doorway.
When Austin finished his prayer walk around the canals, the two decided to return to Dam Square. As they set out, Isajah felt he should go and thank the man for the headphones. Entering the darkened store, smoke stinging his senses, he noticed it empty, only the man behind the counter.
“Hello, thank you for the headphones,” “No problem.” “It’s really amazing for me because I’ve been praying for headphones seeing as I lost my own before I came to Amsterdam. So God answered my prayer with you giving me a pair of headphones.” “Really? Wow. I found them on the transport on the way home!” “Wow, God is so good!”
He nodded his agreement. Isajah could see the cogs turning behind his eyes. Had this really been the workings of God?
As the conversation followed, Isajah learned the origins, workings and life of this man named Ramirez*. However, when a customer came into the store during their chat, Ramirez’s manner quickly darkened. He became stiffer, sharper and shorter as if irritated. As one particular patron left the store, he turned to Isajah,
“Man, people think that weed will solve all of their problems, make them better, fulfil their desires… but weed is just weed.”
Before leaving, Isajah noticed Ramirez had been rubbing his shoulder as if in pain. Inquiring, he learned that he had fallen and injured it in a bike accident. In response, Isajah asked if he could pray for God to heal it. Ramirez’ reply was an instant ‘yes’.
Isajah had become more than just some Jesus loving busker on the back streets of Amsterdam, he had become a friend. Isajah followed praying the simple words:
“Dear Lord, we believe and thank you that you’re a healing Father. Thank you for Ramirez and I pray you heal his shoulder right now and I thank you for your grace.”
He asked Ramirez to try his shoulder out so he gave it a roll.
Wonder struck his face as, to his pleasant surprise, the pain was completely gone.
He thanked Isajah, still dumbfounded by what had just occurred.
Our God is our provider, our healer, and our loving Father. He loves His children and seeks after us. He wants to be in relationship. It’s who He is.