What to do when under construction

Two years ago the intercessors @ Holy Trinity Anglican started dreaming: a prayer clinic downtown where people could detour off sidewalks into the Presence of Jesus.

We began driving for inner healing training and planting foundation prayers walking around our 5,000 pop. town (in the summer we burgeon to 18,000 with tourists).

Six months ago, we hung our sign. The owner said she would gladly take a steelhead for her downpayment. My husband happily obliged with a trout caught just down the sidewalk off the lighthouse pier.

As a neutral setting, we built a comfort that we weren’t selling anything…just loving people, giving them a place to encounter Christ. We would ask those stopping by, “What do you want Jesus to do for you today?” then we prayed simply.  People started coming back for more manna.

Men and women come in with life-threatening diseases, depression, anxiety and fear, or just for a blessing. Inner healing prayer groups  and solo seekers meet once a week removing the masks we wear and asking Jesus to heal our still-bleeding memories.  This Monday Jamie, Zach and Hannah are singing, playing, worshiping as the intercessors pray…their gifts melding with the incense of prayers rising.  Could anything be better?

Then, this:

The road in front of the South Haven Prayer Clinic was ripped up, drilled down, sidewalks sledgehammered and large crews are slowly pouring, smoothing, building.

Slowly being the operative word.

This Wednesday with construction tape strewn across the sidewalk and freshly poured concrete, we balanced around the corner with book bags to the laughter of the construction crew. No one would have known they were even allowed on the sidewalk in front of our prayer clinic. Traffic has slowed over the last few months and then…stopped. (We still see referrals!) But in the meantime, what are we doing?

Showing up. Praying. Training. Showing up. Praying. Training. Showing up.

Dionysius the Areopogite shared that the Christian life was a continuum: purification, illumination and union. Over and over and over.

My friend, a missionary, recently came off the field wanting to listen, rest, recover, rebuild and then be flung right back over. Then came “the wall” or perhaps, the knowledge of the wall. A wall which needed to be torn down for the Spirit to seep into every crevice. Construction time and patience.

Patience feels so very unAmerican. Foundations are being torn down, studied, measured and rebuilt.


And maybe THIS is what’s going on: (from a parable CS Lewis adapted from George MacDonald and quoted in Mere Christianity.)

Imagine yourself as a living house.  God comes in to rebuild that house.  At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing.

He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on:  you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised.

But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense.  What on earth is He up to?  The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards.

You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage:  but He is building a palace.  He intends to come and live in it Himself.”


Summer Gross


Thanksgivings with Ann @ www.aholyexperience.com :

Kathy who inspires me to risk loving big at our Prayer Clinic

mint chocolate chip (low sugar) ice cream

an extra year!  Last year I thought I was turning 37.  Off a number 🙂

a husband who gives me the pulpit

For my dearest Bethel (house of God) mother who knew this quote and knew it was the answer to the question

New friends and full beautiful dear ones

lungs starting to get free

white throated sparrows and my son who knew what they were

linked with:

On In Around button

and Laura: @the wellspring

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  1. This is good, Summer! In all ways, I think. I am breaking open the alabaster box of a newer book by Ruth Haley Barton on Solitude as a major brick in the building of our “houses”. Please allow me to loan it to you when I’m finished highlighting and devouring it.

    Hope you are getting better…

  2. What an awesome ministry and how the Lord is going to bless so many in your community. Construction can’t stop a living God! And yes, the Lord only builds palaces 🙂 Have a wonderful week.

    1. So thankful you came by Kathleen! He is so faithful to not leave us in our nice comfortable shacks, huh?

  3. Don’t think I realized it but guess I have been under construction for a while! Hopefully I’m coming out of it soon, but him making all things new maybe not!

    1. I know that feeling, Court. Construction can be hard work without anything to “show” for it. Perhaps we will be back here (in construction) again in the cycle of spiritual maturity and it will be easier next time?

  4. What an incredible ministry. I know God is and will bless you and the many people who walk through that door. My mind right now is thinking all the places that we could use such a place!
    Thank you so much for dropping by On Your Heart Tuesday and linking up

  5. Summer, I am smiling at the image of God building a palace and wondering how many times I’ve begged Him to abandon His work because it felt too slow. I LOVE the idea of your prayer clinic- we have one, too, in our small town of 10,000 and believe it or not, our clinic is in a lighthouse 🙂 I’ve strolled the sand near your red lighthouse before. Beautiful sunrises there!

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