The other night I let #1 go trick or treating with a girl on her soccer team and her family. At the beginning of soccer season I was not very fond of this young lady. She cursed and was bossy and actually punched #1 in the arm very rudely when #1 tried to stick up for someone she was bad mouthing. Strangely enough, over the last few weeks they have struck up a friendship. So, I figured it might not hurt for them to hang out for a few hours. I warned #1 that she should be the influence and not the other way around.
After dropping her off for awhile, I called #1 to tell her that I was going to pick her up and take her and her sisters over to our old neighborhood to visit friends during trick-or-treat, but she did not answer her phone. I must have called a dozen times in a 10-minute period and she didn't answer. I started to get those I'm-a-mother-and-I'm-praying-my-daughter-isn't-injured-or-in-trouble feelings and The Husband called to tell me that #1 lost her cell phone. To be accurate, her friend lost #1's phone. Her friend kept asking to play with her phone and then stuck it in her pocket (despite #1 asking for it back). At some point while they were walking around it fell out. In the dark. In neighborhoods filled with fallen leaves.
Let me break here to tell you that despite it being a needle in a haystack and the fact that someone could have stolen it or a car run over it, I knew that we would find the phone. Because in the backseat of my car were two little sisters praying their hearts out, almost tearfully, for the Lord to lead us to the phone and it would not be broken.
We searched and searched (#1 in tears) and we couldn't find it. Her friend felt bad, but told #1 to quit crying about it and made a few snide comments that weren't very comforting or encouraging to #1 (I wasn't there when she said anything or this post could have a whole different ending to it). I even went back the next morning before work to search for it, amazed at how many leaves actually grow and fall off the trees in this area. No phone. But, I just knew that God was going to answer all of our prayers and He would get the glory.
Sure enough, that evening, her friend called to say someone her parents knew and were talking to that night found the phone. It works fine and #1 (sort of shyly) told her friend that we prayed about it. The next day at soccer, her mom talked to me and shared a lot of personal things about their life that I never would have known. Later at church, I realized that God was setting up a divine connection with this family and I wanted to get to know them better. So, today, who do you think I ran into at the grocery store? Yes, the mom! I talked to her about coming over for dinner and she felt the need to warn me that their 9-year old son is autistic and been having a few "bad" weeks lately. I assured her that we still wanted them to come and we tentatively compared schedules.
There was some potential for me to just write this girl off, along with her family many months ago. But, I really tried to seek after the Lord on this and I believe He wants us to do more then just talk about loving people who are hard to love. He wants us to put that kind of love into action. It may not look the way I think it will, but I'm looking forward to where this all leads!