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Rats, Spears, & Poodles

‘What is God doing?’ we wondered, after our evening dramatically morphed from a relaxing pedicure into a setting of overhearing an interesting spiritual conversation between 3 strangers who shared their hearts with each other.

We sat down at a table to play an innocent game of Chinese Checkers after choosing the seemingly secluded and peaceful table without any idea of what was about to transpire around us.   

Drawn by our game, a woman with an adorable little girl and miniature poodle talked briefly with us. I offered to watch her poodle for a moment as she contemplated trying to pass him as a service dog in order to enter a fast food restaurant with him. After getting food, they sat behind us and soon connected with a passerby who wore feathers in his hair, carried a spear with red feathers, and an idol of an Egyptian god. 

God used the game to allow us to listen to their conversation without giving ourselves away. When prompted, the guy with the spear started talking about his spiritual beliefs with the lady's with the poodle. Our hearts broke as we overheard about his heavily steeped religion involving his own compilation of mysticism, yoga, and idol worship with an ounce of Bible truths intertwined throughout the chaos.   
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...when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.Romans 1:21-22

I asked Jane: ¿Dónde estamos? (Spanish for ‘where are we?’) as we observed things around us getting even weirder.  

The woman was soon approached by a younger woman with 4 thin tails protruding out of her hair.  She asked: “does your dog like other animals?” We all proceeded to be bewildered as we learned that she was referring to 4 rats that she was carrying on her shoulders.  The 1st woman quickly informed her that the dog chases rodents, causing the 2nd to walk away and their spiritual conversation to continue behind us.   

Again, we rhetorically asked each other ‘what is God doing?!’

Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.2 Thessalonians 2:9-10
It would have been much easier to be turned away by the temporal view and remain silent, going on with our lives; my flesh wanted to end the game and flee the scene but God had other plans. Certainly, He placed us there for His purpose and it would have been a sin to act otherwise. 
Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.James 4:17

We rounded up the tracts that we had, opened our Bibles, and began praying aloud, asking our Almighty Father for wisdom in navigating the situation then we waited upon God to act.  

My mind began overplaying the imaginations of his spear being angrily thrown at us as the fear of man began to take hold of my mind and we sensed the opportunity approaching quickly.

We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. 1 Corinthians 4:10

As the time elapsed, we continued listening and praying. Another man approached them and quickly joined the spiritual conversation. He was a security guard on duty who tried desperately to ‘fit in’ with them. All 3 of them had grown up in a Baptist home and had been turned away by hypocrisy in the church.  

Their conversation came to an abrupt close when his bus pulled up. We knew this was now or never so we quickly made eye contact with him and asked if we could give him something. The rush of getting on the bus pressured him into accepting the tract before the doors closed and the bus departed. Before we could celebrate that he accepted it, the bus doors opened again and he got off of the bus. He said “that was the wrong bus, the universe has a reason for this.” We agreed that there was certainly a reason but we did not give ‘the universe’ the credit. Then he proceeded to return the tract to us, saying “Excuse me but I do not need this, I do not have a hole in my heart!” We asked if he’d just consider reading it and then decide but he was adamant. Our flesh wanted to end the conversation there and depart in fear of him asking us for a ride but our spirit, together, had other more valuable desires.

To our dismay, this seemingly closed door led to a greater, more opened door with him! We learned that his name was Sage and we were able to discuss the hole in his heart that he didn’t think was present. In addition, Jane was able to share the mighty work God began in her life, turning her from a lost seeker to a saved daughter of the King! Sage listened very intently and was able to relate to her lost state. We were able to sense the Holy Spirit working in his and Sage even admitted that he saw something ‘different’ in us.  We were able to tell him: “That’s Jesus!”

Sage allowed us to share Romans 1:18-25 with him and he agreed it was true and saw it in the world around him yet failed to see himself in the inclusion but agreed that it was, indeed, truth.  The conversation had its twists and turns but a lost soul heard the Gospel that night.  Sage departed for the correct bus by thanking us for the challenging words and said that whatever he was looking for was seeking him!

Although we did not get to relax in a salon, we went home so refreshed and encouraged by the hand of God orchestrating this scenario which seemed more random than most dreams. The unexpected happened because we anticipated being granted an opportunity with the older woman (without the rats) but she did not want anything to do with God or the Bible.  It was not until we sought God’s will, surrendered our judgements and desires of fleeing, and waited on Him that God moved mountains for us. Please be reminded of this encounter the next time you’re expecting God to work in your time table; His ways cannot be compared with anything we had in mind. At each request for strength and wisdom, God provided exceeding abundantly and worked far beyond what we had imagined. We did not need to fear the scary man with the large, sharp spear because we were doing the work of our Lord and Savior. Our feet remained unpampered but we are rejoicing because God called them beautiful.

And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! Romans 10:15
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