I did something a little nuts tonight. I went out with the girl I mentor, her best friend, and a friend of mine (the same friend who finds angel feathers in her kitchen) and we “treasure hunted.” Except the clues were from the Lord and the treasures were people.
There is a prayer team at our church that does stuff like this frequently, so this time, thanks to the girl I mentor, I went along. A bunch of us met together, prayed for the Lord to show us “clues”, and then just spent about 10 minutes writing down every thing that came into our mind.
Here’s my list (in the order it came to me):
Purple Leopard Print
White Tennis Shoes
Crazy, huh? So then we broke off into groups of four, shared our lists with each other to see if anything matched, and then picked a place to go. Someone in my group had Cumin, Sugar & Spice, which kind of matched my Peppermint. Someone had Tie-Back, which matched my Curtain Rod. Someone had Knee Pain, which matched my Knee Pain. And almost all of us had something about a Purple piece of clothing. One girl had Wal-mart and 9th street, so that’s where we went.
I’ve never been so nervous walking into Wal-mart. I sweated through the armpits of my t-shirt AND my sweater.
We started with the spice section. Nothing. Then we moved to the pickle aisle (someone had Olives on her list). Down at the end of that aisle, there was a man with a little boy (Child was on the same list as Olives). We hesitated and half-followed him all the way to the check-out line before finally getting up the nerve to approach him. The name Carl was on the same list as Olives and Child, so the holder of that list said, “Is your name Carl, by any chance?”
“Okay, sorry. Bye!”
And that was that. Not a hugely spiritual encounter, you might think, but hey. It was a baby step in the right direction.
We then made our way toward the curtains and candles, since those things were on three of our lists. A woman was turning into the candle aisle who walked with a very serious limp – like the lower half of her legs were turned the wrong way or something. We tried matching her to a name, with the same approach as we had with Carl.
“Excuse me, but is your name Tonya?”
“No, it’s Deanne.”
(Watch our boldness here.)
“Oh, well, this might sound weird, but we are on a treasure hunt. We asked the Lord to give us clues and we thought He might be pointing us to you, so could you look at our list and see if anything sticks out to you?”
She looked at it and said, “Yeah ‘Chair’. I wish I could sit in one! I’ve been shopping all night.” We then asked if we could say a quick prayer to bless her, she said sure, and we did. Then, since she didn’t bring up her legs or knees, we did what those friends of that paralyzed man in Scripture did – we took her to Jesus on our own, and we prayed for God to heal her after she left us.
Voila. Treasure found. Candles. Knee/Leg Pain. Chair.
Coincidence, you think? There was also Kathy, who wore a Purple Sweater, a Leopard Print jacket, was near the Curtain aisle, played the Piano, and attended the same church as one of the girls in my group. And there was Darielle who had Coffee & Cream in her cart, had Dark Hair, was wearing a Jacket, Purple Shirt, and the very same Tennis Shoes I had seen in my mind, and her sister was pregnant and having lots of Knee Pain.
My favorite, though, was the most random of all. Someone had Tickle-Me-Elmo on the list. In the Elmo aisle, we struck up a conversation with a woman about her grandkids, for whom she was shopping. We told her about the treasure hunt thing and showed her our list. She was extremely skeptical. Like. Giving us slanty-eyed, weird looks. She read the list for a few seconds and then said, “What am I supposed to do?”
“Just see if anything on the list sticks out to you.””Oh……yeah, Pain. I have arthritis, and I’m in pain all over my body. Also, Octopus.” We asked her why. She laughed and said, “I can’t tell you…you’re church people!” We laughed too. Then we were gathering to pray for her arthritis, and we asked her name.
“My name’s Angie, too!” said our Angie.That really sent Tickle-Me-Elmo’s Angie on some kind of trip. She literally bolted to the other end of the aisle and said, “This is too weird. Y’all are freaking me out. Is your name really Angie…like, you’re Christian, birth certificate name? You’re going to make me cry! This has been a really weird, holy week. You can pray for me from over there, but you are freaking me out.” Our Angie just said, “Well, I bless you with healing from the top of your head to the tips of your toes.” And Elmo’s Angie said, “The same to you…in a good way!” And we left, musing about how Tickle-Me-Elmo and Octopus were two of the strangest clues and how cool it was that they went together.
So that was it. There lots of things on our lists that didn’t get mentioned, but it was such a fun experience. And once we got past the initial awkwardness of conjuring up a conversation out of thin air, it wasn’t bad at all.
And I’m going to do it again on Saturday.
Photo by Brian Wolfe(y).