A Fourth of July Story of Sharing Inner Freedom

By Aliya Kuykendall Published on July 5, 2019

This Fourth, in a mostly empty Cracker Barrel, I sat with my family for dinner. I looked around. An elderly man sat alone. Something about his defeated posture communicated deep emotion to me. I knew he was overcome with loneliness.

I was overcome too, seeing him. Should I approach him to tell him God loves him? Yes. I did.

He said he really needed it. His wife, whom he had known since he was 14, had died three months ago on April 4. They often came to this Cracker Barrel, and this was his first time he had been back since her death. He felt abandoned by his family during this time. It had been a hard three months.

I asked him if I could pray for him. He had been happy to share his situation with me, and was happy to let me pray over him for peace and healing and an end to his loneliness. I went back to my table.

His wife, whom he had known since he was 14, had died 3 months ago.

Then I realized he needed to be surrounded by loving community in church. I went over to him to encourage him to go to church, just as he was getting up. He told me he was on his way over to my table to thank me for speaking to him. He was wearing a medical boot, so I also asked him about his foot and prayed for complete healing before he left.

It’s Jesus

He was so open and gentle and kind in telling me about himself. It’s not often that strangers are so gentle and open to receiving prayer and love. He told me he’d never met anyone like me, and if everyone was this loving, the world be a better place.

“There are others like me,” I said. “It’s Jesus who is so loving.”

His Spirit can live inside anyone. Anyone can receive Him.

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Reflecting, I realize this is actually God’s plan to make the world a better place. To make it all that He designed it to be. To recreate us into people who live and love like Jesus because we are full of the presence and spirit of God.

This is the quiet revolution I want to be a part of, that I’m honored God let me in on. Let us revolt against fear and stifling social norms so we can reach out with God’s love, power and freedom. This is a taste of the freedom and the meaningful life I long for.

Quiet Revolution

Thank you, God, for a sweet Fourth. I’m so thankful that I got to be a part of God loving this man at a moment when he felt so alone.

I’m also thankful to my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ who have modeled to me a lifestyle of reaching out with God’s presence, healing power and love everywhere they go. Jesus is so beautiful. It’s been so wonderful to experience His love lived out and expressed to me by people who know me and faithfully love me. I am not the same because of knowing these brothers and sisters. I am not the same because of seeing God in them. They’ve told me many times that spending time in God’s presence is the source of life.

Let’s be full of God’s presence. It’s the only way to receive and give out inner freedom. It’s the quiet revolution God made us for. The revolution against fear, loneliness, defeat β€” everything that does not stem from Him is something He offers us power to overcome.


Aliya Kuykendall is a Staff Writer for The Stream. You can follow Aliya on Twitter @AliyaKuykendall and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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