God, the Pest Control Man, and the Miracle at McDonalds
Date: Monday, March 12
After our “divine encounter” with a 5-year-old little boy at a seafood restaurant in Garden City, South Carolina, Debra and I surrendered to a “Call” to serve children at Connie Maxwell Children’s Home. We moved all our belongings to Greenwood and settle in to a 100-year-old home on campus and began our new adventure.
Even though there was no doubt in our hearts and minds that God had led us to this new appointment, we were still praying for “signs of affirmation.” I always wondered how the disciples could be so “wishy washy” about the future after walking on water, watching the blind man see again, and feeding the multitudes with a few fish and loaves of bread, but there we were, just like them, asking God to continue to make it clear that we were where He truly wanted us to be. Oh us of little faith!!
The very first morning we woke up in our new home, I heard a knock on the door at 8:00 a.m. I opened the door with a cup of coffee in hand to see a gentleman dressed in a uniform with a big smile saying, “Good morning, I am the Pest control man!!” He was our very first visitor and I was a bit surprised that he was standing before me at such an early hour. He stepped forward, looked me in the eye and said, “God sent me here this morning.”
I laughed and replied, “Oh, so God sent you here this morning? Come in and tell me why God sent you here.” He stepped over the threshold of the door and said, “I've been working in pest control for 17 years and I am pretty good at this. Last week I was given a promotion and reassigned to your area. So I believe that God sent me here. My wife and I saw that you were coming to Connie Maxwell a few weeks ago and we had already said we were coming to meet you when all of this happened.”
I quietly chuckled and said, “So, tell me again exactly why God sent you here this morning?” “Well, my wife and I have been foster parents for 72 children.” Now, he had my attention. He continued, “We have always wanted to come over and visit Connie Maxwell but just never had the chance until we were reassigned to this area and saw that you were beginning as the new president. That's why I am here this morning.”
“We also have adopted 2 precious little girls. Would you like to see a picture of them?” As he pulled out his phone he showed me, two beautiful children, that they called their own.
“Can I tell you a story about this one? I said, “Absolutely….I would love to hear your story!!”
“This little girl was born a “crack baby” and at 10 days old she was going through intense withdrawals. She had a very tough beginning and grew up living in an environment that was dangerous and horrifying. After we rescued her from danger and gave her a home, she would still run to her bed every night at 9:00, pull the covers over her head and scream, “The police are coming!!” We later found out that her previous home was raided every night by the police searching for drugs. She lived in fear and was marked by these traumatic experiences.”
There was a tear running down my cheek by now. He continued by saying, “Can I tell you about the miracle that happened at McDonalds?” My heart was leaning into the moment at this point and I said, “Please tell me about the “Miracle at McDonald’s!!”
“One morning we took the kids to McDonalds for breakfast and there were several police officers sitting at the door where we entered. My little girl immediately started yelling and screaming uncontrollably. The presence of the police officers triggered her fear and she lost it right there. I calmed her down and took her to the back of the restaurant to keep the police officers out of her sight. In a few minutes, I walked back over to the police officers and apologized for her reaction. I explained what she had been through and then one of the officers said, “Can I talk with your little girl?"I said, “Certainly but be careful, she may respond the same way.”
He walked over to our table slowly with his arms extended towards her. He sat down gently and put his arms around her. He held her for a moment and then he showed her his badge. He unpinned the badge from his shirt and then placed it on her shirt. He said to her, “You are now one of us. No one will ever hurt you again.” To my surprise, my little girl smiled and hugged him back. She calmly walked out of McDonald’s wearing his badge and she wore it proudly for days. Later, she placed the badge on her bedside table. It was the last time she ran to her bed screaming because now she felt safe, protected, and loved.”
As tears continued to stream down my face, I thanked the Pest Control man for listening to God and making a surprise visit to our home. As he drove away, I bowed my head and thanked God once again for reassuring us that we were right where we belong.
Believe me….I don’t understand how God can be so intimately involved in the intricate details of our lives. It is a mystery to me still to this day. But I now know one thing…..God, the Pest Control man, and the Miracle at McDonalds make a pretty good team!!