A Stolen Radio
There are so many admonitions in the Bible about praying for and
loving the unlovely. I’ve often wondered if God doesn’t bring some of
the mean-spirited people or those who “despitefully use us” along our
pathways just so we can pray for them.
One Friday I was working diligently to paint the name of my pastor’s
outreach center on the marquee of the old indoor theater he used. It
was an hour’s drive both ways, and I could only spend a few hours a
day working on it.
On this particular day, I had arrived several hours before the Friday
evening service to get some extra painting in. I had put my radio/tape
recorder on a table just inside the front door and locked up so no one
could get in while I was up working on the ladder. Unbeknownst to me,
one of the musicians came a couple hours early. He unlocked the front
doors and propped them open to let fresh air into the building. By the
time I came down from the ladder to clean up over an hour later, my
radio had disappeared!
My pastor felt bad about it and sat down next to me right before the
service started and asked me all about it. I told him about putting it
inside the door and the guitarist arriving early, and that I hadn’t
been able to find it anywhere. The guitarist had seen it when he
opened up, but then thought that I had put it away.
“Unfortunately,” I told my pastor, “I didn’t have the power cord with
it. Whoever took it will only be able to use it with batteries.” My
pastor laughed at that, and then went up to start the service.
I was sorry to lose my tape recorder because I wouldn’t be able to
listen to my cassettes anymore, or to my pastor’s daily radio
broadcast. More importantly though, I felt that God had allowed the
loss to bring someone to my attention who needed prayer. I figured the
recorder was gone for good, but I prayed God’s blessings and help on
the person who stole it.
Maybe he’ll at least listen to the tape that was in it, I thought. I
couldn’t remember if it was the Gospel of Matthew, or one of the music
tapes I’d last been playing. “Lord, bless that person and help them
find you. Meet their needs, especially their need for you.” I prayed
diligently every day for the person.
The next Friday I came for the service thirty minutes early and was
sitting a few rows from the front when my pastor came and sat next to
me again. “You’re never going to believe this, but your radio showed
“It wasn’t there when we arrived, but when I came out of the office
later, your radio was sitting right there on the table.” He handed it
to me right then and there.
The cassette tape was gone, but otherwise everything was in order. I
was amazed! I hadn’t even asked the Lord for it back! I had just spent
the week praying for the person who had been brought along my path who
obviously needed prayer.