Saturday, September 5, 2009

How Prayers Are Answered

A few days ago I received a call from a loved one who was distraught that her brother who has a mental illness had stopped taking his medication and was missing for over two weeks. Because he was last seen at the edge of a major river, we both had feared that perhaps he had fallen in and could have drowned. There was extra reason to worry as he had not shown up at his former place of residence to pick up his S.S.D. check which would have helped him survive.

He had been hearing voices, and was fearful that he was sought after by the CIA, and FBI. Not one of his old friends had seen him, and everyone who was close to him was worried. I had expressed to his sister that I could help her search for him in  his hometown, which is about fifty miles away.  His sister lives about sixty miles south west of me. We decided that we could get together on the Tuesday after Labor Day, and drive up to the area where he was last seen.

Last night both of us prayed that he would be alive, and that we would soon find him. Today I got up early, did some household chores, and my daughter, granddaughter and I did my grocery shopping for our planned Labor Day picnic. On the way home I realized that I had forgotten a few things and that later we would have to go to the local store downtown to pick them up.

Around 3:30 my daughter had mentioned that she was going to the pharmacy to pick up anti acids for her indigestion. I told her that I would tag along so we could stop at the store for those few things. My husband said he would keep and eye on my granddaughter who was playing a game on the Internet.

Normally, I would have gone over a bridge that leads to the downtown area just down the road, but it had been closed for repairs a few weeks ago, so I had to take a detour that heads up to the intersection of two major highways.

We passed a rather disheveled hitchhiker at the intersection. I looked at his appearance and thought that he would have a hard time getting a ride.  It then hit me like a brick that it possibly could have been our missing loved one. My daughter said she couldn't believe it was him, and I had not shared with her the fact that he had been missing.

We were after all fifty miles west of where he had gone missing over three weeks earlier. I still could not go on without checking him out one more time. I had to drive into town to turn around and then make another turn around to end up on the right side of this highway. I slowed as I passed and was thankful that a PA State Trooper was parked approximately five hundred feet away from the man, in case it wasn't the missing loved one.

As we approached the hitchhiker we immediately recognized him as the missing loved one. My daughter yelled his name, and he responded. We pulled off to the side of the road, I put on the four way flashers, and the State Trooper got out of his car and quickly approached us. He asked the missing man if he knew us and he answered with my daughter's name, and we showed our identification.

I had told him that the man's sister had reported him missing and there was supposedly an all states bulletin regarding him. The trooper had said that he had already checked his credentials and found no such bulletin. I told him what town to check, and he went to his vehicle and had the dispatcher check and found that there was a missing person's report out on him. We called the man's sister on my cell phone and told her the good news. She was ecstatic, and told me that she was on her way to my house to pick him up ASAP. We followed the trooper back to the barracks where he checked everything out and released him to my care until his sister could get to my home to pick him up.

I am sharing this story without giving away the identity of the people involved. I needed to show everyone how the power of prayer works. So many pieces had to be in place to bring this child of GOD into the care of those who love him. He had not eaten in two days, was thirsty, had injuries on his arms, and was aching and tired. He had not bathed in over three weeks. He suffers from schizophrenia an illness that is feared, yet is just as real as diabetes, or high blood pressure. People with mental illness often receive our disdain, instead of compassion.

It is amazing to me that he had wondered into my area fifty miles west of his last sighting. It is amazing to me that my daughter and I set out to the store for the forgotten items at that very moment when he was on the highway that I would not have traversed if it had not been that the bridge to the town was closed for repairs three weeks earlier. It amazes me that the trooper showed up then as I feared stopping, in case it was not the loved one that I knew so well. GOD put all those pieces together. HE was perfectly in charge, and I am thankful that HE knew that I cared enough to help this loved one in his time of need.

I had just been listening to the John Denver song "On The Wings Of A Dream" this morning. These words came back to me as I pondered this amazing experience of today:

There are those in this life
Who are friends from our heavenly home
So I listen to the voices inside me
For I know they are there just to guide me
And my faith will proclaim it is so
We are never alone.

Another song comes to mind:

Lord, Make us instruments of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let your love increase
Lord, make us instruments of your peace,
Walls of pride and prejudice shall cease
When we are your instruments of peace.

Where there is hatred, we will show his love
Where there is injury, we will never judge
Where there is striving, we will speak his peace
To the millions crying for release,
We will be his instruments of peace

Lord, Make us instruments of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let your love increase
Lord, make us instruments of your peace,
Walls of pride and prejudice shall cease
When we are your instruments of peace.

Where there is blindness, we will pray for sight
where there is darkness, we will shine his light
Where there is sadness, we will bear their grief
To the millions crying for relief,
We will be your instruments of peace.

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