Treasure Hunt: Blessings

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Contributed by Julie Atwood.

This morning’s Treasure Hunt proves a special time both to give and receive God’s blessings.

“Glad you two could make it.” Cheryl beams as Julie and her visiting daughter Rema hurry into Tom Thumb and slip over to the table . . . only a minute before the clue sheets are passed out to today’s ten Treasure Hunters. “I was just telling the group how we’re all God’s Treasures,” she tells the two latecomers. “We each have our identity in Him in a special way. And today when we go out, we’re going to bless others by letting them know each one of them is God’s special Treasure, too.”

Today’s clues include fish, boats, trees, river, elevator, and anything sweet. These clues suggest to most group members our location will be Bass Pro, the colorful sporting-goods store (which also bakes scrumptious treats) we’ve visited several times before. “So do my clues of candy canes and North Pole,” Cheryl adds with a smile, “since they could be about ‘Santa Mike.’ ” Several people chuckle, fondly recalling the day she and some others prayed for Bass Pro’s Santa Claus and his wife.

So on this misty morning all ten of us—Cheryl, Abby, Pastor Cliff, Dustin, Sharon, Charlotte, Jennifer and her daughter Cheyenne, as well as Rema and Julie—hop into three cars and head over to Bass Pro.

“Look, there’s your wheelchair.” Sharon grins at Charlotte as she points out the etching of a wheelchair on one of the store’s front doors. This, however, is not to be the only one we’ll get to see today. But first, as we pass the candy counter wafting out its rich fragrance of steaming caramel, several of us spot her. A young woman whose flow of butter-colored tresses matches the clue of first-timer Rema: a lady with blonde hair. And both her shirt and shoes glow a vivid shade of pink . . . the clue of several Treasure Hunters.

“Look,” Cheryl observes, “she’s lifting up her feet in a way that makes her pink shoes flash at us.” But as we press toward her through the milling crowd, the flaxen-haired stranger disappears. Cheryl remains confident and cheerful. “If she’s one of our Treasures, we’ll see her again.”

Only moments later, we spot another woman like her. Gazing at the giant fish shimmering through the waters of Bass Pro’s aquarium. She’s also blonde and sporting a pink shirt, along with flip-flops (Abby’s clue). And with a chubby-cheeked toddler girl in tow, confirming the clue of child. “My grandpa passed away,” Susie shares with teary eyes when we approach her with the news she’s our first Treasure. As we pray for her and her family’s comfort, we also pray God’s blessings over her and little Andrea.

Next by the fish, we meet Timothy (one of Abby’s name clues). Red-shirted (Julie’s clue), he’s got Pastor Cliff’s clue—a baseball cap with pinstripes—perched upon his head. And snuggled in his arms is his small child, dressed in a pink shirt streaked with rainbow colors (Cheyenne’s clue). “No, I don’t need prayer for anything specific,” Timothy replies when Cheryl informs him he’s our second Treasure. “But I can always use a blessing.” And he receives with gratitude our prayers for God’s blessings over him and Bethany, his two-year-old daughter.

As Cheryl, Pastor Cliff, Dustin, Charlotte, Jennifer, Cheyenne, and Julie squeeze into the glass elevator (Abby’s clue), Cheyenne spots it. “Look, there’s a wheelchair!” When we wriggle back out onto Bass Pro’s second floor, she darts with enthusiasm over to an actual wheelchair . . . seating a man in a blue shirt. “I broke my leg,” Richard explains to the group—who recognize Jennifer’s clue of a broken leg. As we extend hands to pray over him, Dustin notices Julie squatting down with her hand curved above his left ankle (Cheyenne’s clue). “Would you pray for Richard, Julie?”

She startles at the question, then plunges in the second time he asks. And though at that moment we see no visible miracle take place, Richard also receives our prayers as God’s blessings.

Then we see her. Blonde woman number one, with the flashing pink shoes. She has indeed shown up again . . . this time by the elevator. And this time Lori’s close enough for us to easily approach her. While she too expresses no specific prayer needs, she receives with sparkling smiles our prayers for God’s blessings on her life.

In the meantime, the others—Abby, Sharon, and Rema—find some Treasures to bless who have more tangible needs. Rema spots Hannah, a little girl whose long blonde hair bounces on her shoulders as she skips after her pink-shirted mommy Eileen. “I need a new job,” Eileen shares with anxious eyes.

Sharon and Rema find Ethel, wearing Rema’s clue of a purple T-shirt. “Opal, my granddaughter who’s only twenty-six, just found out she has a brain tumor.” Ethel fixes the Treasure Hunters with an open gaze as she firmly grips their hands. “She hasn’t found out yet if it’s malignant or benign, so she could really use your prayers.” With confidence in those prayers, the grateful grandma wrapped both Treasure Hunters in a hug. As they leave, Sharon turns to Rema. “I’ll remember the name Opal, because one of my own granddaughters has that name.” They also recall the name Opal as one of Cheryl’s clues.

In the company of young Cheyenne—who’s been moving freely from one group to another—Rema meets Jake, a roofer who also sports a purple shirt. But like several earlier Treasures, Jake only wants a blessing. He receives with gratitude their prayers over her job.

At one point Cheyenne spots Darlene, a woman striding past in flip-flops. “Look, she’s also wearing a rainbow shirt with flowers,” the ten-year-old Treasure Hunter observes with excitement. “Those are Abby’s clues and mine. I’ve got to go pray for her.” When she forges ahead to describe our mission, she learns Darlene would like prayer for her husband Daryl, who suffers from congestive heart failure (another one of Abby’s clues).

Then there’s young Kayla, whose vivid orange sweatpants glow with no less brilliance than the Holy Spirit’s Light surrounding her. Though she carries no Treasure Hunter’s specific clues, this Light is what convinces some she’s one of our Treasures. But when Jennifer approaches her, she learns the teenage girl is riddled with distress. “My parents are getting a divorce,” Kayla shares, “and I don’t know whether to stay with my mom or my dad. It’s a really hard decision.” The Treasure Hunters’ prayers enfold her in God’s love, freeing her to feel the Spirit shining all around her.

Finally, there’s the Treasure who turns right around and blesses us. The man strolling up who shows every one of Pastor Cliff’s clues. Roy is African-American. Wearing black sweatpants and a baseball cap with pinstripes. And in the company of Joe, also wearing black sweatpants and pushing his adorable toddler Tia in the grocery cart. (Well, child might have been someone else’s clue, but the combination of all these traits still amazes us.)

“Can I pray for ya’ll too?” Roy, a college student from Nashville, Tennessee, is visiting his family here in Texas over Spring Break. After we offer him God’s blessings, we feel God’s warmth flowing through his prayers as he, by turn, is used by his Creator to shower blessings over every one of today’s Treasure Hunters.

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