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[caption id="attachment_5478" align="alignright" width="203"] Blog by Associate Colette Parker[/caption] Do you believe in divine intervention -- being placed in the right place at the right time to be a catalyst for someone in need? I do (you may, too; but you might call it something different -- fate, destiny, coincidence, synchronicity?). A few weeks ago, my daughter and I were driving through a shopping area, when we decided to stop in a jewelry store to browse. We had no plans to make the stop, and we weren’t looking for anything in particular. But what we found was an opportunity to encourage someone struggling with a difficult situation. When we walked into the store, we were greeted by a salesman who asked how he could help us. I responded that we would like to look at bracelet charms. As we looked around, the salesman offered to clean my rings and asked another salesman if he would continue to help us, while he completed the cleaning task. The second salesman came over and greeted us. During a conversation with my daughter, she shared with him that she loves to read (while looking at a “Love-to-Read” book charm). He shared that his 18-year-old daughter also loves to read. I asked if his daughter is in high school. He responded that she is a student at a nearby university. But, he said, she is now taking some time off because she is hospitalized, experiencing complications after surgery to remove a brain tumor. Seeing the pain in his eyes, I asked for his daughter’s name and offered to pray for her. As he responded “Olivia” and “Thank You,” I could see a glimmer of hope almost replace the pain in his eyes. Before leaving the store, I asked if it was okay to place Olivia’s name on a prayer list. He answered in the affirmative and said: “This is why I was sent over here to help you. Thank you.” It was clear to me that the salesman believed that the reason he was asked to help us was God’s way of showing him love and mercy via my and my daughter’s prayers. I, too, believe that we were drawn into the store to share our prayers as a reflection of God’s love and mercy. I also know that our prayers for Olivia have helped my daughter and I think beyond ourselves and grow in our compassion for others. When we pray for others, we must pray from the heart; out of love (unselfish concern); and with faith (knowing that God has all power and loves the people we are praying for). I spoke with Olivia’s father on Sunday. He told me that she is home, facing a long road to recovery. I don’t know Olivia or her father (the first time I set eyes on him was when we walked into the store that day); but I will continue to pray for them and their family because God knows them and is able to meet their needs. "Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference."                                                                                                                                      -- Max Lucado

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