I remember back in 2000, I went to Nashville to visit some friends for a weekend. They took me to one of the best southern cookin’ restaurants I’ve ever eaten at for breakfast. We had biscuits and gravy, bacon and eggs, grits, and all the good stuff Aunt B would use to clog up Andy and Opie Taylor’s arteries.
I didn’t think my morning could get any better, as this meal set the bar pretty high for the rest of my day. But I soon would discover that it was only the kick starter for something even greater.
As we were in the foyer waiting to pay, my friend mumbled to us. “Don’t look now, but I think that might be T.D. Jakes behind us.” T.D. Jakes? No way! Right behind us? My reflexes were disciplined to his suggestion… my head impulsively turned a 180 degrees like a barn owl. “I said ‘DON’T look now’!” he reprimanded me.
I’m sorry, but when I’m within proximity of greatness and there is no blockade between me and them, it is classified as an invitation from God in my book of rules. I felt the favor of the Lord and responded promptly. I felt ignorant and didn’t know what to do. But I had to do something. Before I could formulate a smart plan in my head, I saw my body walking and my mouth talking.
“Excuse me. I don’t mean to bother you, but what is your name?” What is your name? Is that the best I could do? I’m standing in front of royalty, probably the best preacher on television in modern times, and I ask him his name. Stupid, Jesse, stupid!
But I was ok with myself. It was an act of desperation that needed to happen. If I didn’t do something, I would have regretted it for a very long time. He was gracious towards my youthful naivety to the codes of etiquette.
“T.” He nearly choked it out with a deep, gravelly voice. He cleared his throat to start over. I thought with anticipation, “Is it really him?” “T.D. Jakes,” he recovered as he kindly and humbly reached out his hand to greet me. I reached out my hand and introduced myself, telling him that I deeply appreciate him and his ministry.
As our hands connected and clasped for a strong manly handshake, something happened that I will never forget. The anointing of God shot through his hand into mine and nearly knocked me back onto the floor. This man was carrying the weighty presence of God with him so strong that I felt like Jesus was literally standing in the room.
I am not sure if he realized it, but when I felt that, I secretly pulled for an impartation of what he was carrying for myself.
I was dazed for days. Not because I was star-struck from meeting a famous hero, but because I was overwhelmed by the anointing and presence of God this man carries with him… even when he is simply having breakfast with his friend.
I can’t vouch for all of his teachings because I don’t listen to him enough to know. But I can say that T.D. Jakes is a close friend of God because I encountered God when I encountered him.
I want to be a man like him who cultivates and maintains an awareness of God wherever I go. I want to encounter His presence the same in the restaurant as I do at revival meetings. I believe I can, and I believe you can too! Let’s host His presence continually.