Treasure Hunt: Blessing Unexpected Treasures at the Harbor

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Contributed by Julie Atwood.

Across this morning’s peaceful stretch of Harbor , the clues lay scattered in abundance. The six Treasure Hunters pass sprays of blood-red flowers, a lighthouse rising above the lake’s pristine blue water, a knot of tourists playing ball along the open space of shoreline. Several trucks zoom past down the nearby freeway, and parked right on the harbor grounds another truck sports a more unusual clue . . . a large X painted on one side.

Strolling past this very truck, we spot them.

A blond, blue-eyed three-year-old in a Superman shirt. “Look, Abby,” Cheryl points out. “He fits your clue of a superhero.” Whimpering and whining, the small boy tugs the hand of his mommy—a blonde, blue-eyed young woman who greets us with a smile as sunny as her hair. The man in their company trudges along a bit behind.

“No, we don’t need prayer for anything.” Christine keeps on beaming after Cheryl describes our mission and names her family as our first human Treasures. She aims her smile down at her little son. “Hey, Ryan. Where does Jesus live?”

Ryan swings on her arm, utters a sound like a creaky door.

Christine squats to face him. “Does He live inside your heart?”

Ryan’s in no mood to reply, so his mom apologizes and the family hurries off. But not before we pray a blessing over them . . . for which Christine expresses heartfelt thanks.

After these three, we find no other human Treasures.

At least for awhile.

The slender black woman tossing a ball to her friends may be tall, but she’s not unusually so. She wears no glasses, her dress seems tinted more orange than red, and the curls bouncing on her shoulders are not even close to red. We decide she doesn’t quite fit Gerald’s set of “package deal” clues.

One man’s shirt does look slightly green from the front, fitting a clue shared by Abby and Bonnye. But as he ambles off, we conclude his back view’s more pale yellow.

“Let’s check out the shops,” Cheryl suggests . . . but as we head in that direction, we see no bustling customers. Only swooping butterflies and more clusters of red flowers nod their heads at us in greeting.

“It’s so strange today,” Cheryl muses as we pause between two seemingly-deserted buildings. “Have you guys ever seen fiddler crabs, how a group of them will show up all at once together on a beach? But then when you move closer, they all disappear beneath the sand? Well, that’s what our Treasures seem to be doing this morning. As we draw near, they all appear to vanish . . . though we keep on finding clues in abundance.”

As we once again move forward, she guides the group in prayer.

Still spotting no one outside, Cheryl, Jennifer, Bonnye, and Gerald slip through the doors of a shop selling chocolates. Lingering outside to sniff at still another display of blood-red flowers, Julie notices Abby has found someone. She’s deep in conversation with a lady on a nearby bench.

After bidding the woman goodbye, Abby returns and reports to Julie. “Sue too claimed she didn’t need prayer for anything, so I just offered her a blessing.” She grins and shrugs. “Hey, why not? I checked her out just ’cause she also had blonde hair and blue eyes . . . plus even flowers on her shirt.”

We all congregate in the chocolate shop, where Cheryl treats Julie to a creamy amaretto chocolate truffle. But on our way back out into the sunshine, we once again pause as the Treasure Hunt co-leader recalls something interesting about our first human Treasure. “Did any of you notice Christine’s left foot? She had a tattoo along the full length of it.”

“That’s right.” Jennifer nods to Cheryl. “She did have my clue of a tattoo . . . and that’s not a very common place to have one, either.”

“I also noticed the man with her seemed to be standing apart from her and the little boy, almost as though he might not be part of their family.” A thoughtful look crosses Cheryl’s face. “You know, I just realized something. Even though Christine said she didn’t need prayer, I think she might have been a significant human Treasure after all. We have no idea what seeds we planted in her today when we blessed her. But God knows, and I believe He might have led us here to the Harbor just for her.”

A peace, a sense of mystery, flows over the group as we once again step forward.

Halfway back to the parking lot, Jennifer about-faces. “Hey, I’ve got to check this one out.”

Moments later, as the rest of us catch up, we find her blessing still another blonde, blue-eyed woman . . . this one with a flowered tattoo on her left shoulder.

“My exact clue!” Jennifer marvels afterwards.

Cheerful Gina of the multicolored shoulder also claims to have no prayer needs. But once again, we praise God for unexpected Treasures . . . and for the privilege of blessing these Treasures in ways only He and they may fully know.

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