Last Monday, my friend Paul Perkins was standing on a street corner in Washington, DC, breathing hard and feeling very annoyed.
He had just run after a taxi, which he was afraid was carrying his keys, but the driver didn’t stop when Paul ran after him.
Paul decided to go back to his office in hopes that maybe, just maybe, he left them there. But rather than blow another $15 on a taxi ride back to his office, Paul hurried down into the Metro.
A few seconds later, he heard the sound of a little girl screaming. The further down he got, the louder it became, and finally, when he reached the platform, he was shocked: a grown woman was taking her open hand and forearm and pummeling the head of a little girl. No one was stopping her.
And that’s when Paul forgot about his keys.
If you are a regular reader of this blog you know what happened next: Paul ended up in a verbal altercation with the woman and then practically chased her onto a metro car in an attempt to get help for the little girl, whose face was bruised.
In the midst of all the chaos, he told the little girl he was sorry for what she was going through, and he repeatedly tried to get Metro employees to help.
Finally, the woman was questioned by DC Metro authorities, who let her go, claiming there were no signs of abuse. But Paul wasn’t going to let it go.
The next morning, he wrote a detailed email to the DC Metro, and for some reason, he decided to blind carbon copy me. I was so enraged that I posted the email on this blog and asked the readers to pray for the girl, share the story, and post the link on DC Metro’s Facebook page.
The post quickly became one of the most highly read I’ve ever written. It resulted in about 100 readers posting the story on DC Metro’s Facebook page, and I’m sure hundreds of others offered up prayers for the little girl. And only three hours after the story went up, an official with DC Metro called Paul and told him they were opening an investigation. Then a few days later, the popular blog Unsuck DC Metro shared Paul’s email, and that same day, a reporter from Fox’s DC affiliate called Paul to look into what happened.
Oh yeah, and by the way, I forgot to mention: Paul found his keys in his office.
I know, you don’t care that Paul found his keys.
You care about what’s going to happen to this little girl, whether there’s any chance this investigation will lead to anything. You want to know if someone is going to step in and protect her from her abuser. I wish I knew, but I don’t.
What I do know is that thanks to Paul’s email and your insistence, DC Metro is well-aware of the situation. I’m certain that there are countless people who have prayed for this girl. And perhaps most importantly, I know that at least once in this child’s life, she saw the face of kindhearted man stand up for her and say, “This is wrong; this should not be happening; you deserve better than this.”
All because Paul lost his keys.
“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
I don't want to ruin the party here… but how can we be sure that God listened? Certainly your friend Paul listened and did something wonderful, which he is getting proper credit for. But who knows what God did or didn't do in this situation? This probably wasn't the first time that the poor little girl was beaten, and I wonder what happened those other times when she cried.
The reason I believe God listened is because the "Lord is near to those who have a broken heart" (Psalm 34:18); because I believe that "surely [Christ] has borne our griefsand carried our sorrows," (Isaiah 53:4) and that Christ is a "Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief" (Isaiah 53:3). And I believe that He dwells in my friend Paul and so ordained the loss of Paul's keys so that Paul would hear the cries of this child and show her the heart of God. I understand that it takes a lot of faith to believe that, and I understand why it is difficult to embrace such faith in the face of such a dark world.
i think what matters is the message of this story… not past or future stories…
You can either give God glory for good things that happen or try to take it for yourself. You are either pointing people's attention to God or to yourself.
[…] authorities. The next day, I wrote an email to Metro and posted my story on several blogs (here, here, and here). I ended up getting a call from a public relations employee at Metro and a local news […]
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