Treasure Hunt: At Rockwall Target Super Center

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Contributed by Julie Atwood.

Mothers and daughters. Together they seem to prove the theme of this Saturday morning’s Treasure Hunt at Rockwall’s Target Super Center (chosen resulting from the clue of red, the Target emblem, along with a number of directional clues).

We end up in three vehicles due to various commitments following the hunt (which all vanish by lunch time, when we’re able to all gather at Palio’s once again). We all meet in the parking lot and are just beginning to come together when Cheryl mixes up Darry’s clue of an Oakland “A’s” jersey with a sign on an SUV for Oregon—a large yellow “O” on a green background. For Cheryl that’s indeed the Treasure, as we also have three clues of green shirts.

When Cindy, a petite young mother with a bobbing sandy pony tail, climbs out from the passenger side of that vehicle, we see she’s also wearing an Oregon jersey. And it sports the same yellow “O,” prominently displayed on its front. While Darry and Cliff attempt to help Cheryl with the meaning of the “O” she’s off pursuing the possible Treasure to whom she feels sure it leads. Meanwhile Kathy emerges from the driver’s side, a dainty blonde with a stylish cut who turns out to be Cindy’s mother. We’ll soon learn these two make only one among the many pairs of moms and adult children we’re called to bless with prayer this morning.

On a previous trip we didn’t write about, we ended up at this same Target with Dustin Potter and Mike Herald—who got to play “Body of Christ fathers” for young Patrick, Collin, and Corbin (all a bit revved up to be out on the hunt). On that trip we encountered half a dozen daddies out without moms, taking along the kids for special “daddy time.” It may not have been Father’s Day, but it was certainly Dad’s Day Out. On that trip Dan, with four small kids in tow all under the age of seven, garnered our special attention and admiration. After we offered him initial prayers and edifying words, he opened up and allowed us to pray for some tender issues. We knew he was reason enough for that morning’s gathering.

When Cheryl approaches Kathy and her grown-up daughter Cindy, they’re just settling Cindy’s baby Chloe—already snuggled in her car seat—into a Target grocery cart. As Cheryl explains what led her to them, the green and the “O” mistaken for Oakland, they all burst into laughter at the reality of the rival nature of the two teams. “My daughter does need prayer,” Kathy confirms right away.

“My husband and I lived in Oregon for the past nine years,” Cindy explains. “We feel like God has led us and our three kids back to our home here in Texas. As of yet we have no jobs, though. We’re living with my parents.”

Kathy beams with misty eyes as she gazes at her daughter and granddaughter. “I’m so happy to have them back at home!”

“That further confirms you’re our Treasure,” Cheryl tells her, pointing out Darry’s clue for job concerns. Other clues for Cindy include a convertible with the top down parked next to where we’re standing, along with parking lot as one of our location clues. As we surround Kathy and Cindy with prayers for guidance in seeking work, along with blessings and provision for their family, the mom-and-daughter team grace us with grateful sunbeam smiles.

As we bid them good-bye and start strolling toward Target, we marvel at how quickly we happened on the first clue. We trust that today there will be no easing into the waters of adventure.

True, not everyone this morning wants prayer. A man near our clue of the top-down convertible darts off before the group can pray. But after he’s long gone, he’s still known to God and released into His hands with our blessings.

Cheryl’s clue of pool immediately leaps to mind when she spots the Pool Stop store next door to Target. She, Cliff, and Jennifer head that way to see what Treasures await discovery there. As they breeze into the store they find themselves greeted by Jake, the only person in the building. After asking his name, Cheryl consults her clue list. “Well, I may not see it written here,” she admits. “But I still believe you’re our Treasure. Do you have any special prayer needs, Jake?”

Jake frowns, considering. “Can’t think of anything specific,” he tells us with a shrug and a smile. “But you’re welcome to pray for me anyway.”

Welcoming the Holy Spirit to guide her words, Cheryl finds herself praying, “Please let Jake see You revealed today in new ways.” After finishing the short prayer and bidding Jake a blessed day, we head back to the rest of the group gathered just outside of Target.

Before we can make it in the front doors, up races Sharon’s daughter Lisa. She’s wearing a Target red T-shirt with target emblems, polka-dotted across the front. We delight in the fact she’s one of our Treasures, so keeping the recent trend of people we know being sprinkled in with our finds.

“Do you need prayer for anything, Lisa?” Cheryl asks.

Swishing her reddish pony tail, Lisa gives an elaborate shrug. “I don’t know.”

“You need prayers for your car,” Sharon reminds her. “You know, that aging Expedition you adore.”

We agree to pray that the car will have life to bridge the gap until she’s able to manage the next steps, whatever they may be. “That reminds me of the way God kept the Israelites in like-new attire during the forty years they were in the desert.” Cheryl smiles at the young woman. “God can give you that favor, too.”

With no more parking lot finds to hold back for, we venture into the store and agree to go in two teams of three. Fran, Darry, and Sharon head one way, while Cheryl, Jennifer, and Cliff stride off in the other. While Jennifer’s re-capping her week to Cliff, a mother and adult son pass by us in the opposite direction. “I feel a move of the Spirit about those two,” Cheryl tells her fellow Treasure Hunters. “I sense the mom especially is a find.” And she drops back from her team, who instantly note there’s a hunt underway. Just as we turn to follow the duo, the mother—a slim, athletic-looking woman wearing the clue of a green top—stops to inspect some clothing on a display.

Circling around in front of Debby, Cheryl explains what we’re doing.

“I’m you’re Treasure? Wow, that’s amazing!” Debby points with pride to her muscular son Evan, whose eyes dance like blue flames in a baby face framed by neatly-trimmed brown hair. “He’s in Fire Fighter School at Kilgore College.” As she shares this we take note of Evan’s black T-shirt, which bears the emblems of his school. “He’s planning to graduate on September eleventh of this year.”

We marvel at the date and the tribute, then gladly agree to pray for his protection. When Cheryl tells Debby the prompting she felt to seek after them, the mother’s eyes widen with awe. “When we passed one another, I felt a rise in my spirit as well,” she confides. “God’s hand is truly on this meeting!” As we say goodbye, we all exchange heartfelt hugs.

When we round the corner of the aisle leading across the back of the store, a man hurtles past us at a pace nearing a run. “He’s my guy!” Cliff exclaims with excitement. “Look, he’s dressed in a black golf shirt with a white target emblem. That’s the exact picture I saw—a white target on the black background, in this sea of red. I never thought we’d see that!”

“We don’t need to chase down our Treasures,” Cheryl assures him. “If he’s the one, he’ll be back and we’ll see him again.”

Moving on, we spot another clue—a little girl in a pigtail. As we approach, the shy three-year-old clings tightly to her mommy and refuses to reveal her true name. “I’m Malibu Barbie,” she informs us in a whisper.

Though also shy at first, her mother Heather grins at that. “Her real name is Lily,” the slender mom confides, her spill of brown hair swinging as she fondly shakes her head. And she soon warms up to us, receiving with open cheer our offers of prayer.

Then, while we’re blessing this mother-daughter pair, he returns.

The man in black.

Cliff makes fast tracks to see what this man’s prayer needs might be. As he approaches the stranger, whose muscles ripple with power beneath gleaming ebony skin, apprehension quickens Cliff’s heartbeat. But he soon relaxes when he discovers that yes, Rob is indeed his guy. The man’s eyes moisten as Cliff explains how he was led to him by a prophetic picture. “Lately God’s been speaking to me in so many ways,” Rob confides. “I’m a bit overwhelmed by it, but also very thankful.”

“I feel energized to have found him,” Cliff shares after praying with Rob.

As we journey on we run into Jan, an acquaintance of Jennifer. She’s sifting through school supplies with her two daughters in tow—a lean thirteen-year-old with a ballerina’s bun and a nine-year-old whose chestnut hair bounces on her shoulders. “I could sure use your prayers,” Jan confides after Jennifer explains to her our mission. “But I’d rather not share the issues I’m dealing with right now.”

“That’s okay,” Cheryl assures her. “God knows what they are.”

As we pray, words of encouragement flow from the Holy Spirit for Jan’s teenage daughter. calling out her gift of leadership and speaking courage and strength to stand into her life. Jennifer and Jan exchange warm hugs, and Jan brushes tears from her eyes as she thanks us for our prayers.

Meanwhile the other team—consisting of Darry, Fran, and Sharon—is also enjoying success. They’re praying for many people all gladly accepting the offers of prayer (another clue). These include young Jeff, who’s cradling a two-month-old baby in his arms. “Sure, I could use prayer. I need wisdom to be a good daddy to little Brandon here.”

And Target employee Bill—“Hey, his name’s one of our clues!” Darry exclaims—who requests prayer for obtaining a student loan. “Oh, and would you also please pray for my grandfather?” Bill adds. “Recently he’s become very ill.”

Next they meet Renee, limping painfully along the aisle from her damaged knee (another clue). Lisa, a mother of two, who’s struggling with problems at home. And Gwen, who suffers from a piercing pain stabbing through her chest. A fervent believer, Gwen spices her prayer requests with such compelling questions as, “Who’s the Antichrist? Who do you think he is?”

When they wrap all these human Treasures up in loving prayers, the team watches with thrill as several ailments melt away.

In the meantime, the first team is still intent on hunting. As we’re heading for the exit, Cheryl and Cliff keep their eyes peeled for someone wearing a red hat—the one Treasure we have yet to find. And at the last moment, we see him. He’s lingering to the right of the front entrance, a sun-bronzed boy whose baseball uniform is clay-stained from hard plays. And plopped upon his head, over the tufts of short brown hair peeking out from his cap, is the red hat.

“I’m waiting for my mom,” young Brad explains in a voice of weary patience. “She’s making lists over there on the registry computer.”

His pointing finger leads us to Lori, who’s busy compiling gift lists for an afternoon wedding. “Would you mind if we prayed for your son Brad?” Cheryl asks after explaining our mission and showing her his written clue.

“That would be great.” Lori’s face bursts into sunshine, bright as the golden highlights in her hair. “Brad could really use prayer for his elbow—it’s only recently healed from a break he got while pitching. He’s had to sit out nearly the whole season, and he’s worried he won’t be able to play well enough to be the pitcher.” The pretty baseball mom, clad in shorts and a team-supporting red baseball shirt, turns her glowing gaze toward her son. “Brad, come over here and let these folks pray for you.”

Cliff lays hands on Brad’s elbow, asks for complete healing. “I speak God’s words of restoration and encouragement over you.” As we let the mom and son get on with their gift-finding, we revel in our own finding of our final Treasure.

But back out in the parking lot, we’re surprised by yet another human Treasure. “Look,” somebody calls. “Isn’t that Sarah over there?”

Yes, the woman does turn out to be Sarah—a friend of Cliff and Jennifer and the sister of another NHV family member. We pray blessings over her and her family’s upcoming journey before exchanging happy good-byes.



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