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Dec 05

Back by Morning

Josh had been coming along to One Eighty for a while. He was a nice kid, quiet, and a very good skateboarder. His Dad wasn’t really around, and his Mum Alison would nearly always drop off and pick him up from One Eighty sessions. We started chatting to her, and got to know her quite well. One day she shared that she had a job interview coming up and I told her we would pray that the interview went well. She said she had a catholic background, but didn’t really believe in God anymore as the last few years had been so bad for her and Josh that she couldn’t believe in a God who would let that stuff happen. Breast cancer, Josh’s Dad leaving, trouble with the neighbours, it had been a tough life.

As the weeks passed and we got to know her more, I invited her to church with me. She kept saying she would come but didn’t show up, so in the end I picked her up and took her to the Sunday morning service of my church. She was blown away. Church can be like this? There are so many people, they seem happy, and reasonably normal.

A few weeks later, she became a Christian. This was very cool.

The next day I got a phone call from her and she was distraught. Being a single Mum meant things were tough financially for her, and she had saved up for months to buy Josh a Nintendo DS for Christmas. Josh was sat on the front doorstep of their house playing with his DS, when his Mum called him inside to ask him something. After the conversation when he returned to the doorstep, the DS had gone along with the box of games beside it. Someone had stolen it from their doorstep in a matter of seconds, and she was gutted;

“How can God have let this happen? He is not with me, this was all a mistake, how can I ever afford to replace it?”

I found myself incredibly angry, wishing she could just have a break and enjoy the first few weeks of having Jesus in her life in peace. I was surprised how angry I was. I told her to go and get Josh, and pray with him that the DS would come back. I told her I would pray too, and that the DS would be back by the morning.

Back by the morning? Why did I say that?

I ended the phone call and then had a bit of a chat with God which went something like; “Hi God. Erm…so I sort of told Alison that the DS would be back by the morning. I have no idea why I said that. Any chance of some help?” I did not believe it would ever return, let alone be back by the morning. I totally panicked. I was going to add to her fear that becoming a Christian had been a bad decision.

God’s response? Trust me.

Maybe I should go and buy another one and drop it round in the morning? I could get it on my credit card and have it paid off within a couple of months.

God’s response? Trust me.

I have a friend who is a games journalist and I knew he had a spare DS. Maybe he would lend it to Josh until she had enough money to replace the stolen one. I phoned him and he agreed because he is lovely. Hi John.

God’s response? Trust me.

I prayed like I had never prayed before and I went to bed scared and dreading the morning when I would have to try and explain to Alison why I had said it would be back by the morning and it wasn’t. I eventually got to sleep.

The morning arrived. My phone rang. It was Alison. She was talking very fast. Someone had dropped the DS and all the games back through the letterbox during the night. I mean really, who does that? I was speechless and she was still talking, about how much she had felt God with her, about how amazing it was to pray with her son for the first time in years, about how she could see that God was looking out for her and everything was going to be okay.

I was definitely more surprised than Alison.

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