My friend Javonn Bouie is a little light. Brighter than any shining star. He is six years old and we met divinely one day. The story of how we met is, in itself,quite miraculous, so I shall tell it first.
It was closing time at the store, we were locked up and ready to leave, but Tim couldn’t find his car keys. We looked everywhere:through all of his pockets; in my purse; in and around the counters;the office; and the warehouse out back. All the while praying God would reveal to us where they were hiding. But there was no sign of them anywhere.
Tim began to re-trace his steps that day. He remembered a lady had come in and purchased a large teddy bear for her child. She must have placed it on the top of her car and forgotten about it as she drove off. When she drove past the store window, at her departure, Tim noticed the teddy on her roof and saw it roll off. He bolted out of the store and down the street after her, but, alas, could not catch her. He bent down and retrieved the bear from the road. Could the keys have fallen out of his pocket at that point, he reasoned? (pretty smart guy if you ask me).
We set out down the street keeping our eyes peeled along the sidewalk and in the street. We walked all the way up to the first traffic light. The traffic along this particular stretch was heavy and the chances of finding keys that may have dropped in this spot hours ago, seemed slim. Still, we continued to pray that the Lord would make them miraculously appear. With less confidence we turned and started to walk back toward the store. I wish that I could say I had great faith at this point, but I started walking quickly ahead while Tim hung back scouring every inch of that area. That’s when I saw Javonn.
The thrift store that we manage is located in the poorest part of our city.[this was in 2007] The store services many people (who can’t even afford to pay for 2nd hand clothes) with free vouchers. The organization we work (ed) for is fantastic and all of the money collected goes back into other programs i.e., pregnancy support/adoption services, transition houses,etc. And here was this dirty little boy dwelling in this part of town,emerging from a dilapidated trailer park and right into my space.
“Excuse me, miss” (eyes twinkling and voice full of bubbles)
When I turned and looked into his eyes and then his surroundings, I was instantly drawn back to my own childhood. Third grade to be exact, when I, too, had been living in the worst part of town in a trailer park much like this one. I recognized his playground of dirt (these kinds of trailer courts don’t have grass). I also recognized a make-shift fort created from debris and garbage, and my heart went out to him.
“Oh, hello” I smiled.
“I just wanted to tell you how cute you look today” he boldly proclaimed.
I hadn’t had a particularly great day up to this point and his charming words ministered to my soul!
“Awww, thank you” I cooed and heartily reached out to give him a hug.
As we embraced, I heard Tim Holler, “I found them!!” and I immediately knew why God had allowed Tim to lose his keys.
Tim, the whole time, had been praying that God reveal to him WHY he had lost his keys and what was the purpose behind it (he’s often on a higher spiritual plain than I am).
God’s timing is impeccable! At the exact moment that Tim found his keys, I found my buddy Javonn.Coincidence? I don’t think so. Teddy bear forgotten on the roof of a car? A divine appointment, I say. You see, we have come to love and appreciate Javonn and his whole family in deeply rewarding ways since that day. We have been able to minister to them and teach them about Jesus. They minister to us about family,fortitude, and grace.
In closing, I knew that Javonn was special and a highly intelligent individual at our very first meeting:
(boldness delivered by the Holy Spirit)
“I just wanted to tell you how cute you look today”
(charm mingled with genuine kindness. I think he’s going to do just fine!)
And then later,
“How about you come by and see me, whenever you come by here, and be my friend”?
(Wow!What an opportunist, making the MOST of EVERY opportunity. Not bitter or controlled by his circumstances. A giver- a people person- a believer- a friend!)
Javonn continues to bless our hearts. Thank you Jesus.