Treasure Hunt: A Rainbow of Treasures

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Contributed by Julie Atwood.

Orange and black. Pink and purple. Red and white and blue. Sunshine yellow . . . and even yellow plaid. An entire spectrum of colors seems splashed against the clues that lead us to this morning’s human Treasures.

And to at least one miracle.

Before the larger team—consisting of Cheryl, Pastor Cliff, Bonnye, and two Jennifers (both Jennifer Smith and Bonnye’s visiting friend named Jennifer)—even reaches its mutual location clue of Home Depot, Cheryl’s clues of donuts and dessert lead the group to stop at the brand-new Krispy Kreme Donut Shop.

There they spot their first human Treasure. As Ron sidles up to the counter to purchase his donuts, the group of Treasure Hunters take note of his black baseball cap bedecked with a white skull (meeting Pastor Cliff’s clue of a black-and-white baseball cap), along with the orange Broncos logo brightening his blue sweatshirt. (Orange is a color clue of Pastor Cliff, blue of both Sharla and Julie on the other team.) “We’re heading down to Waco to watch my son in the Rowlett High School football playoffs,” Ron shares proudly with the group. He receives with gratitude the prayers of Pastor Cliff and Cheryl for a safe trip.

When the group moves up to the counter to bless the family of Krispy Kreme employee Tamika, her milk-chocolate face bursts into sunshine. “Hallelujah! Praise Jesus!” Suffused with the Holy Spirit, she pours words of encouragement over the Treasure Hunters—richer and sweeter than any of the tasty treats she’s selling. “Here, let me take ya’ll’s picture.” A click of her camera (Julie’s clue) captures the laughter and joy (both Cheryl’s clues) reflected from Tamika onto the faces of all five Treasure Hunters.

A few minutes later, as this team strolls into Home Depot, they find themselves surrounded by scurrying employees in black-and-white caps and billowing orange aprons. When they head for the plumbing aisle (in response to Bonnye’s clue of toilet), Jennifer Smith approaches Steve—the first of these colorful workers. Steve receives with gratitude Jennifer’s prayers for the healing of his co-worker Bob. “Bob’s been missing a lot of work because of his illness,” Steve confides.

Next, in that same section of the store, this team of Treasure Hunters finds delight in the form of little Braden. Bouncing in the child seat of his mommy Sarah’s cart, the three-year-old grins at them from beneath an unruly mop of sandy-brown hair. Sarah and her husband Joe welcome the group’s prayers for the family’s upcoming travels, but share their small son’s smile as they admit to having no other needs. The Treasure Hunters offer praise to God for His blessings on this cheery family.

Pastor Cliff then approaches Bill, another orange-aproned employee. “I could sure use some prayer,” Bill confides to the pastor. “I’m suffering from pain in my hips and feet.” He’s thankful for the words of God’s healing Cliff speaks over him.

“Look. Over there’s Anita.” Cheryl’s eyes dance with excitement as she points out her name clue on the tag of another employee . . . who beneath her orange bib sports a sunshine-yellow sweater (matching the color clue of Jennifer Smith). Anita’s eyes widen with surprise as Cheryl explains their mission. But she beams with pleasure upon receiving the team leader’s prayers for clarity.

“Hey,” Bonnye calls out next as the group heads into the aisle stocked with light bulbs. “There’s a lady wearing my color clues of pink and purple.” As she crosses over to Vera to explain their mission, Cheryl takes note of the woman’s husband scowling at the bulbs . . . and receives a Word of Knowledge. He suffers from headaches.

Slipping aside from her husband Harold and drawing close to Bonnye, Vera confides in anxious tones, “My granddaughter could use your prayers. She’s struggling with some serious health issues. . . .”

In the meantime, Cheryl approaches Harold, asks if he could use some prayer.

“No.” His scowl deepens as he whirls on her. “Can’t you people see we’re busy here?”

“We really do need to get going now,” Vera puts in, throwing Harold a worried glance. As the elderly wife and husband scuttle off down the aisle, Cheryl and Bonnye join to cover them in silent intercession. They trust God to heal Harold—and the couple’s granddaughter—according to His own ways and timing.

In the meantime . . .

The smaller team, which consists of Henry, Sharla, and Julie, has taken off for Walmart—the location clue of both Henry and Sharla. (“I heard Walmart repeated over and over in my mind,” Sharla shared earlier with the entire group.) As the second team heads across the Walmart parking lot, Henry turns to Sharla. “I’ll let you lead, as I’ve been on only one of these Treasure Hunts before. And that time I didn’t find any of my clues.”

“Well, Julie’s been on a whole lot more of these than I have,” Sharla responds, throwing a meaning grin to the team’s quietest member. Julie’s heart skips a bit. Does this mean she’s expecting me to lead?

Inside, considering Julie’s clue of a stuffed white cat, they meander toward the toy section near the back of the store. “Look, there she is.” Julie points to a snowy “Hello Kitty” replica . . . just as an entire family files past. When the Treasure Hunters amble behind this family and swing round the corner, they find the parents and two kids cruising the next toy-packed aisle. And Julie and Sharla notice several other details.

The small girl prancing ahead of her parents is clad in pink, with streaked-blonde tresses flowing down her back. (Pink is Julie’s color clue as well as Bonnye’s, and blonde is a color clue of Sharla’s.) Sharla takes note that her brother, lingering behind next to his daddy, is dressed in Henry’s clue of plaid. “And look, the dad is wearing a blue jacket,” Julie observes. “Don’t we both have that clue?”

Sharla grins again and nudges her companion. “She’s your Treasure, Julie. Go for it.”

For the first time in her years of Treasure Hunting, Julie approaches a human Treasure to explain to her our mission. But Linda, the soft-spoken young mother, responds to her with a warm and welcoming smile. “I can’t think of any specific prayer needs, but we can always use a blessing. Unless . . .” Her eyes now cloud with anxiety. “Is it okay with God if we ask for . . . you know . . . help with our finances?”

“Sure it is,” Sharla chimes in with reassurance. “We can ask God for anything.” Julie waits for her to sail in with prayer, but once again Sharla nudges Julie. “Go for it.”

As Julie prays aloud while the others intercede, she feels a thrill of joy course through her . . . especially when she checks her clue sheet afterwards and finds that finances—as well as mother and children—are all clues of Bonnye’s friend Jennifer.

Only moments later, Sharla spots him. She strides straight toward the ebony-skinned elderly man, shuffling along with his stooped shoulders huddled within her clue of a black leather jacket.

“Yeah, I sure could use some prayer for my back,” Leroy confides after she names him as her Treasure. “It’s been hurting me bad these past few weeks.”

After the group encircles and lays hands on Leroy while Sharla speaks over him the words of God’s healing, she checks him out. “How’s your back feeling now, on a scale from one to ten?”

Leroy offers no numbers. Instead he straightens, swings both arms, and bursts into a million creased smiles lit with joy. “Hey. I’m well. The pain’s completely gone!”

Suffused with their own joy over this miracle, the group is not surprised to next meet Sharla’s second Treasure—a senior bedecked in all her clues of red, white, and blue. A snowy bob of white hair frames her flushed round face as old Mildred—clad in a red jacket and blue slacks—guides her cart toward the team with cautious steps. This time it’s Julie’s turn to say to Sharla, “Go for it.”

“She looks a bit too preoccupied now,” Sharla protests as the elderly lady—her furrowed brow knit with concentration—pushes her cart straight past them then turns into a grocery aisle. “I’ll talk to her if she stops.”

At that moment, Mildred stops. And when Sharla does approach her—and ends up praying that her grandson Jim will “grow closer to Christ”—tears well in Mildred’s eyes and trickle down her cheeks.

The trio of Treasure Hunters cruise several more aisles, searching for Treasures sporting Henry’s rather unusual clue of yellow plaid. Find no matches . . . nor any other folks that stand out to any in the group. But as they’re heading toward the exit, Julie remembers something.

“My husband’s wearing yellow plaid.” Her heart again thudding with excitement, she turns to Henry. “This morning he pulled on an old yellow plaid shirt I haven’t seen him wear for years and that I’d forgotten he even owned. And he shared he was experiencing some dizziness. . . .”

Henry’s found his human Treasure. Before the group heads back to meet the first team at Pallio’s Pizza Shop, Henry leads them—much to Julie’s thrill and gratitude—in a heartfelt prayer for her life partner.

Treasures come in a whole rainbow of colors. Some prove rare as yellow plaid, others common as the splashes of orange, black, and white designating the numerous employees at Home Depot. Human Treasures also come with many moods and dispositions . . . ranging from a Spirit-suffused dance of joy and laughter to a quiet trickle of tears to a face knotted into a brooding thundercloud. And Treasure Hunters can range in character from the orange flames or gold sunshine of boldness to the pale pinks or blues of a more reticent nature.

Yet God can, and does, share His love through anyone He chooses. And whether the response is a jubilant yes or an angry bark of no—or whether a healing takes place right in an aisle at Walmart or at some future time in a human Treasure’s home—God still can, and does, work His miracles of love. As group leader Cheryl shared in her morning devotional, “Keep reading. The story is not yet over.”

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