Today I had made plans for late afternoon. I received a call saying that the woman with whom I was meeting was going to be late and so I decided to get some things done around the house. As I was walking by the front I noticed my neighbor out front. I went out to ask a question and helped her move some things that were blocking her car then decided I might as well take down the Christmas lights out front while I’m out here. As I was taking down the lights I noticed a small girl walking down the street. She wore a blue jacket, was carrying a small back pack and a sling with a waterbottle in it. I said hello and she hung her head and continued walking. I noticed tears on her face and so I asked her if I could help her in any way. She said no and continued walking. She reached the end of the driveway and stopped. I again spoke up, “honey is there something I can help with, are you lost?” She came back to me and asked if she could borrow my phone. I went inside and grabbed my phone and brought it to the girl. She called a woman who turned out to be her mother and asked if her mom could come pick her up. She handed me the phone and I spoke with the woman. I told her how to get to my home and then she asked if I’d stay with her daughter until someone could be here. I said of course.
I invited the young girl in my home and asked, “what have you been doing?” She said, “I need to find somewhere where I am loved.” I asked a few more questions and then fixed her some lunch. “How long have you been walking?” She replied, “I left home yesterday, I ran away. I just wasn’t feeling loved there and so I ran away.” My heart raced as I knew this was no coincidence that she was in my home. “Where were you headed?” I asked. “I had a dream and there is this place in my dream that i want to find.” I asked, “do you know where it is?” “No” she replied. “What is the place like?” “Oh I can’t tell you that it is top secret!” she said as she ate my Christmas leftovers. “What is it like? Is it safe there?” “Oh yes it is safe!” “Do you feel loved there?” “Very much, I know I’m loved there” “Do you experience peace there?” “No, it’s a little crazy in this place.” she commented. I continued to ask questions about this place about which she dreamed and other experiences. “Do you feel alone?” “No,” she replied “God gave me two imaginary friends that keep me company, so I know I am not alone.” I replied, “He’s given you so much more than two imaginary friends. He himself is with you!” “really?” “Yes, He is with you and you are not alone.” I said as she looked up with a wondering eye.
The conversation continued. I would ask questions and she’d reply with various answers and a continued use of the phrase, “I just want to feel loved.” I asked, “What is home like? Do mom and dad love you? “Oh yes they love me, but it just doesn’t feel like it is enough. It never feels like I’m really truly loved, or loved in a way that makes me KNOW I’m fully loved.” I said, “You know, you are loved. You are loved by God and he wants me to tell you that He loves you so much. He looks at you and sees His beautiful daughter, His princess, His creation who He loves. He is with you and you will never be alone.” The young girls begins to sob, “you are so nice, you are so good to me,” she says as she wipes her nose. “Oh it isn’t me who is good, it is God. You see I was supposed to be somewhere else right now, but God knew you were coming and he brought you here to my house so I could tell you that He loves you! He does. You are His and He will never leave you.” The young girl looks up at me as the door bell rings.
I go to the door and there is a man with tears in his eyes who immediately says, “I want to see my daughter.” He goes into the dining room where he finds his young girl. I walk into the kitchen so the two can be alone. The father cries and holds his daughter repeating, “I love you so much, your mother and I love you so much. We are so sorry that you felt you had to run away. We just love you so much.” I am listening and crying in the kitchen as the fathers love for his daughter was overwhelming and the reunion was one of the more powerful experiences I’ve encountered. The man comes to me and hugs me. As I hold him he falls apart, sobbing and saying, “thank you, thank you. My new years wish has come true. I have my daughter back. You have given us our daughter, You have given us our daughter. Thank you thank you!” He asked how he could repay me and I told him it was a gift to me to help and that loving his daughter was gift enough.
I knew I had to give something to the girl, so I asked them if they’d wait as I got something for the young girl. I went to my room and prayed, “Lord what can I give her.” I put together a bible and a few other books, putting them in a gift bag and handed them to the girl along with my number. I told the father that I had worked with students for many years and if ever there was anything I could do to never hesitate to call. I would love to continue to be a part of their story. He hugged me once again, crying and a little more at peace. The young girl, Lucy, hugged me as well and they went out the front door.
I stood at the door overwhelmed by what had just transpired. I was amazed by the beauty of God, the timing of it all, the powerful reunion and the honesty of this young girl. She was lost, and yet the whole time God was leading her. She had traveled for nearly 20 miles from home, walking through the night and somehow ended up on my street at that exact time. God knew the girl needed to know His love and he placed me there for just that time.
It is truly amazing what God does when our eyes are open. I’m still a bit in shock over the events and awed by our God who is so good. There are so many people like that little girl in the world. People who have run away and want to know love. People who need to be reunited with their Father. I pray that as you go, you’ll notice the tears and be persistent in your care. (even when they first turn their back on you) We each need the love of our Father! We each have the ability to lead others to Him.
May this year be marked with many more homecomings and family reunions!
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!