Last Wednesday, my "raccoon devotional" appeared in the Upper Room. Just after the office opened, I got a random phone call from a kind woman in another part of the world (the Upper Room is published in 40 languages and 100 countries, read by almost 3 million people). Until I got the call, I had forgotten Wednesday was the day it appeared.
I answered, "Grace Church, this is Steve." She said, "Steve ... West?" "Yes it is, who might this be?" She told me her name and where she was from, and she told me her story. She had seen my devotional that morning about praying for those who cause us trouble, realizing they are troublemakers because they are hurting deep inside. She was moved, since her sister was going through a painful divorce and her whole family had been very angry with her husband. She took my devotional over to her sister's house, and they realized that throughout this process they had never prayed for him or thought about how he must have deep pain inside they don't understand. So they wept and prayed together for him for the first time.
She said she had worked really hard to find my number, because she wanted to thank me and tell me the story. "And you know what's really funny?" she added. "My sister's last name is Coon!"
What a blessing that on the week of World Communion Sunday, God has reminded me of the spontaneous ways the Spirit works in bringing people together all across the world!
To read the complete raccoon story the brief Upper Room devotional was based on, click the raccoon picture in the right column of my blog.