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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Comiskey

Man Up (with a little help from my friends)

Pope St. John Paul II

I’m praying for grace this early morn to be bigger than I am. Having suffered for a few weeks with a painful eye injury, Annette needs me like never before. The indignity of her blurred vision exposes this hapless husband. A multi-tasker I am not. Managing meals and a household, 3 dogs (a new puppy!), meds and confusing medical appts., while leading DSM into a new year, surfaces groans too deep for words.

John Wimber

Leveled, I experience an upward rising from the Father who has fathered me well through the likes of Pope St. John Paul ll and John Wimber. The former reminds me of my original dignity when tempted by shame over original sin. Contending for Annette’s best amid the down drag of assorted self-concerns (we are legion), I am roused by a Polish Poppa for the ages.

I recall his definition of sexual orientation, the best one I know, ‘that deep orientation to personally dignify what is intrinsic to his masculinity and her femininity’ (TOB 131:4). True self—arise! I am neither lusty nor lousy but divinely inclined to dignify Annette. John Paul summons my best. I am most true to God and self when I strive to serve my wife better.

But if I am going to love her as St. Paul implores (‘like Jesus loved the Church, pouring Himself out for her’ Eph. 5:25), I need more than truthful constructs (the truth frees us til we can’t do it anymore). I need the power of the Holy Spirit to enable my weak spirit to be faithful.

In the dark stillness, a song rises in my heart: ‘O let the Son of God enfold you, with His Spirit and His love, let Him fill your heart and satisfy your soul; let Him have the things that hold you, and His Spirit like a dove, will descend upon your life and make you whole…’ (Spirit Song). Jesus’ presence infused me and I began to pray that same Spirit would be salve to Annette’s eyes.

John Wimber wrote that song and ushered in the Vineyard movement. Such tuneful prayers accompanied young Californians like Annette and I who committed on earth to summon heaven. Launching from the golden state, John deployed millions to bring God’s Kingdom to the person next to them through Spirit-led service. Personally, John taught Annette and I to rely upon the Spirit for strength and sanctity. As ministers, we move confidently in spiritual gifts because he modeled and made room for us to do so.

Do you need to man or woman up these days? Join us for ‘Dignify and Deploy: Harnessing the John Force’, 40 days of prayerful reflection on Pope St. John Paul ll and John Wimber from October 14th to November 22nd. Get to know these fathers, mightier than ever!

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