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The Ark of the Concrete (sic) & The Words, "Lift Your Right Foot"

Quite an odd title I know, but those were the words that I heard one Saturday morning in my early twenties, when first learning to listen for the Spirit!

A fellow church member and I were precariously perched on a twelve inch wide, fifteen foot tall, block and brick wall, shoveling concrete from a mortar box elevated by a forklift. We were novices, though he and had both labored with masonry crews in the past while growing up.

We were filling in the last course of a U-shaped block reinforced inside with iron rebar; an engineered means, called a bond beam, as I recall. Once cured, the concrete and rebar would tie the perimeter walls together on the church we were constructing. All of us were volunteers except for the lift driver.

We were somewhat balanced by a home made device with wooden handles and a three foot long funnelled plywood box, constructed to fit the width of the wall with the lower throat of the box forming a chute designed to center the bond beam. We referred to it as the "ark of the concrete". Whether Spirit-led in our construction or just our former shipyard worker pastor's ingenuity, it worked within our budget!

As we walked the wall, moving the "ark", the mortar box of concrete would be refilled, and repositioned by the lift driver. Suddenly, I heard a very commanding voice say, "Lift your right foot!" So, I immediately lifted my right foot, just as the fork lift driver hit a low spot along the wall. His lift blade and the hundreds of pounds of concrete in the mortar box instantly sat down on the wall, just as my foot moved from that very spot.

With each movement, the lift driver had been cautiously watching from underneath, his eye always on our feet as we moved along the wall. When the lift blade and load of concrete suddenly sat down on the wall, he looked up in horror, only to see my foot had moved!

With a look of shock, he asked how I knew to move my foot? My response was, "I heard you tell me to!" He seemed stunned, as he declared that he, nor anyone had said a word!

I assume that I too was under construction, spiritually, learning to hear the spirit,, at times audibly!

It may just be the way my brain, heart and gut are uniquely wired, but that day in particular the Spirit was watching out for me. As I shared earlier, God is no respector of persons, the key is knowing how to listen and respond! I am truly grateful, and oh my, what a gift it has been over my lifetime!

Whether in the past, when establishing nonprofits, framing capital campaigns for millions of dollars, or now when consulting with leaders from various marketplace sectors, politicians, even commercial real estate deals, my ear is always open.

I have had folk who knew me well, but were less inclined toward the Spirit, when discussing matters totally outside of any religious context, remark with an edge of sarcasm, "You may want to pray over this deal, maybe check with The Man Upstairs!"

To which I often say, "Do think I would be talking to you, if I wasn't praying!" That's called doing business "with" God!

I was once referred to as the most religious mayor ever in Clemmons! Maybe we can talk about how I responded to that soon!

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