I remember a couple years ago, walking to the highest peak of an unfamiliar mountain, making the steep hike up by a rocky, dirt road. I recall wishing I wore sturdier shoes, as the unevenness of the road was just begging to twist my ankles. We made our way to the top to visit a family who consisted of many, living in a space smaller than my kitchen. As they invited us into their home, I sat under the shade of their tin roof, butt smooshed down onto a tiny wicker seat, and was struck with how special it was that even on the tip of this mountainside, in the middle of Haiti behind those mud walls…God sees this family. It’s an obvious idea – to imagine that my Creator has never lost track of even one of His precious ones, but what an astounding awareness.
From the heights of the mountains, to the deepest of depths, our Keeper has not and will never lose track of us.
About four months ago I visited our Breathe family in Philadelphia for half a week, in between graduating the Great Commission Bible School in Florida and visiting Israel. On one of those quick days spent together, we were walking around downtown Philly and walked by a young girl on the street, sign up, matching many of the homeless we pass. But this sign said something different, “Pregnant and homeless” was scribbled in black marker. We continued walking past her, but feeling our spirits being tugged.
My friend Steph and I whispered a few Creole words back and forth, discussing turning around. We couldn’t ignore the Spirit.
For what could have never seemed like enough time, we sat with our friend, sharing stories, laughing and encouraging one another. A gal who slipped away in the middle of the night to get away from her abusive boyfriend, now living on the unpredictable streets as a woman – pregnant and alone. A young woman with zeal and passion, confident to see the other side of this homelessness. Assured that there is hope on the other side of this hardship. Certain that this didn’t define her. Courageous, even disciplining me when I asked if I could be a ‘nerd’ and pray for her. She spoke truth to me, encouraging me to never be tentative in prayer- “it is never nerdy”, she laughed, “please pray”.
We prayed with hands clasped together, Indian style on that sidewalk, falling at the threshold of our Father. We asked for a display of His miracles in our friend’s life.
From place to place as we’ve traveled since meeting that sweet, dauntless friend, we have stayed constant in prayer for her – asking if we could see her again. Remembering her on chilly days. Wondering where she was in the rain and as nighttime falls.
Now, four months later, we have made our way back to Philadelphia. We handed over more prayers to God, asking to find our friend in this time– maybe we’d find her working, maybe she found her way off the street. What will her baby belly look like now? We asked expectantly..but in a city of a six million, what were the odds? Our lovely friend was a needle in a haystack.
The odds were low..until we made an unintentional turn as we aimlessly walked the streets of Philadelphia.
There she was. Her belly, bigger. Her sign, the same. And joy – as we abruptly recognized each other at the same time. We couldn’t help but to yell her name in disbelief!
Of all the millions living here, including the thousands of homeless– we caught her at the exact right moment.
Impeccable, divine timing we should call it. Not a lick of ‘chance’ here.
And like I felt on that mountainside in Haiti, I was again smacked with the understanding of how boundless and faithful our Father is. He never forgot where our sweet friend was. And if that wasn’t good enough, he wanted to give us the longings of our heart– to run into her again in the short time we will be in Philadelphia. He knew the roads to lead us down, and he knew we’d walk a little further than expected that day.
God hadn’t forgotten where His daughter was. And like an ultimate GPS system, He had His marks on us, knowing exactly which roads we needed to cross to lead us straight to His beloved, where she awaited us. She shared with us stories of answered prayer, from being now on a wait-list for a home and program in the city specifically for homeless moms, to miraculously receiving important paperwork needed to get off the streets.
Because He is a God of outdoing all expectations- in the matter of only a couple weeks we have come across her four times (all in separate areas of the city).
The God of all creation not only sees us in all of our messiness and beauty, but He bends an ear down to us when we call out for Him. What other God than He?
“He who planted the ear, does He not hear? He who formed the eye, does He not see?”