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My daughter has unusual pets. She loves rats!
One day, she was riding her bike home from her university class, when she was hit in the crosswalk by a careless driver. The careless driver turned out to be a jerk as well because they didn’t stop to give aide. Thankfully, my daughter was only bruised and shocked. She told me, “Another inch and I would have been in the hospital.”
But something far worse happened. Her companion rat was riding on her shoulder. She is a young thing, only about 6 weeks old, and she freaked out when they were both thrown to the ground when hit by the truck. The rat scurried away and past a bridge barrier and down into a river canyon under the bridge. My poor shocked daughter could not follow and could not find the rat.
My daughter was devastated. She didn’t sleep. And she didn’t want to return to school or class. I talked with her on the phone the morning after all this and asked if she was afraid to ride. “No. I can do it.” I talked some more and asked if she wanted to go to class. “I think I will sleep now, skipping my first class, but I’ll go to the second class and my yoga. That will help me.” So that was the plan.
When I hung up, my heart was so heavy. She has had such a rough time and lost her previous companion rat to a death. It was a sweet and wonderful little thing. This was due to a freak accident only weeks before. I feared the new loss would send her into depression or worse.
I hurt so much for her. And I prayed all sorts of things all day long. Prayers for protection for her. Prayers that the little rat hadn’t suffered too long, since it had frozen that night. Prayers that my daughter would find inner strength. Prayers that someone would reach out to my daughter in just the right way to help. It went on and on.
That night, I got an amazing text. Things were better. And I called her to get the whole amazing story.
My daughter did sleep after emailing her professor to let her know she would be skipping class because she had been in an accident. Then she pulled herself together and began to ride to school. She would have to pass the place where she had almost been seriously hurt the day before. And where her little rat had frozen to death.
She steeled herself for the strip. About 2.5 blocks from the place, she stopped. There, off to the side of the road was her rat. ALIVE! She was still totally freaked out and my daughter couldn’t catch her. But she bought a piece of fruit from a nearby convenience store, and the rat was so hungry that she ran to the smell of a freshly opened orange. (Did I mention that my daughter is smart!)
The little rat was cold, dehydrated and noticeably smaller than 24 hours before. My daughter turned around and biked home. She watered the little rat, fed the little rat, and fixed her up a little nest to warm in. Then, daughter and rat were upstairs napping together.
Never in my prayers, did I even imagine asking God to save her rat and allow them to reunite. I had not hope or even though of such a thing. Now I see that I didn’t ask big enough.
I frequently ask my client, “What do you want God to do in your life?” And it’s a hard question to ask. And I will be telling this little story of the miracle rat for a long time. I hope it stands as a reminder that we need to imagine bigger things. We need to ask for bigger things.
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I got a phone call from a client named “Tommy” in the evening. He started, “Something strange is happening on the Drag.” I braced myself as Tommy continued, “I want you to see what I see! I think really good things may happen soon.”
My client is not the first to have asked me “Do you see what I see?” About two years ago, a pastor from a church on the Drag once informed me that he had come upon a group of clients praying. Someone had just gone to the hospital, and a group was sitting and praying, some distressed and crying and others leading a prayer. The pastor had never seen this before.
All the credit goes to God’s glory, but we began teaching our clients how to pray every week almost four years ago. We also placed emphasis on taking prayer requests from them and sharing them with prayer warriors. We have poured countless hours into nurturing their prayer lives so they feel comfortable sharing with God… their needs, the good times, the bad times, and the ugly. And God has changed their lives.
A pastor that I meet with for supervision remarked during one of our sessions, “I have to stop and simply give praise that the street youth have become a praying community.” It was a very promising sign. Do you see what I see? Tommy’s news promised to be even better!
Tommy said, “People are talking about Jesus tonight. I don’t mean preachers. I mean that street youth are talking to each other about Him!”
Many street youth have come to Christ over the years. We know because they write to us from wherever they have settled down and tell us about their successes and transformation. But lately, we’ve seen clients come to know Christ on the street.
Again, all the glory goes to God. Many people work with street youth in their daily lives and it is always our goal to get them plugged into local churches. The people we have poured into for years have become saved!
But even more is going on. I want you to see what I see! There are at least five clients who are regularly going to local churches and sharing their faith on the street.
- One is a Saul-to-Paul story of intense persecution of Christians until his conversion.
- Another is a story of black-arts magician to Christian.
- One was a drug-crazed person constantly going to jail and now is totally transformed.
- Another is the story of a shy young lady who could barely speak in public now sharing her faith openly.
- And Tommy is a man healed, once crippled by mental health issues and now fully in love with God and loving others.
God has met each of these people with his transforming power. Oh the joy of seeing what I see!
And fruit has begun to multiply. I couldn’t be more excited that these people are taking their street friends with them on Sunday, and helping them receive the Gospel. At least one more has been baptized through their work (and is now away at a rehab). Another has renewed her faith and joined them in spreading the Gospel.
Do you see what I see? I can hardly believe my eyes! It is so wonderful to see the strength of these young people turned into Gospel tools for His Kingdom.
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