Making U-Turns [Christian McMillan]

Did you know the King that married Esther in the Bible is the same evil bald King Xerxes in the “300” movie that fought Leonidas? I didn’t. My friend Nick Alamilla opened my eyes to a lot of fun stuff in church history. I know, it sounds lame, but don’t roll your eyes just yet.

I was driving to a coffee shop to talk church history with Nick when God tugged my heart to make church history. I passed a man limping alongside the road with his thumb waving in the air. My dad told me never to trust someone without a limp, a reference to Jacob wrestling God and walking away crippled. I wanted to pick this guy up but the last time I picked up a hitchhiker he bolted out of the car door with my video camera.

I had reservations.

Here I was wrestling with God. I would love to tell you I had great compassion towards the man and obeyed God immediately, but the truth is it took a while. I reluctantly made a u-turn to go see what was up. I parked nearby and saw the man on his knees being questioned by a cop. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one alarmed by his looks.

As I walked over he looked up and I asked, “Anything I can do to help?” Remember those words.

His name was Chase and he was walking 25 miles under the blazing Texas sun to save his cat. His dog and his bright blue-eyed silky-grey cat had escaped when somebody broke into his home a few weeks prior. After calling around for days he thought he found his cat at a shelter. The shelter was planning on putting the cat down in a few hours if it was not claimed. He tried to get a ride, but nobody answered.

Chase, with arthritis and gout in his legs, decided to spend the whole day walking if that’s what it took to save the life of his blue-eyed friend.

So I was on an adventure to save Chase’s cat.

I called Nick to cancel our coffee but also hoped he would come with me, just in case Chase was planning on stabbing me or stealing my video camera. He happily joined us.

So Nick, Chase, and I sped on to Lewisville to save a cat. At the shelter and we thought we might find his dog as well, but at least we found the cat, who was just as cute as Chase described.

Nick and I offered to pay the shelter fees and then headed back to Chase’s home with joy, laughter, and a cat. Chase beamed of gratitude.

We asked Chase if we could pray for his legs that were still in pain from walking. Nick and I laid hands on him and prayed for the pain to go away. As we were praying, I felt the Lord say to pray for Chase’s blood flow. “Feel anything different,” I asked after. His eyes got really wide! He told us he was feeling an intense presence, but he was also very surprised. Chase asked, “How did you know about the blood flow?” He explained that he had a medical condition in his heart that affected the flow of blood.

So all I could say is that God still speaks when we pray. Chase told us that he had stopped praying a long time ago. He walked away from God and today was the first time he had prayed in a long time.

Earlier, when the police officer had stopped him, he dropped to his knees in exhaustion and prayed this prayer, “God, please help me. At that moment he looked up and saw me shyly asking, “Anything I can do to help?”

We might not have found his dog that day, but he found Jesus again. I guess that counts for something. Maybe u-turns are the fastest way to get where we really wanted to be, where God wanted us to be. Maybe God is calling you to take more u-turns from the daily routine of coffee and church talk.

– Christian McMillan


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In 1994, the McMillan family traveled to the kidnappingmurder, and drug capital of the western hemisphere to plant a church and a foundation. God thought Medellin, Colombia a good place to raise a family. And turns out He was right (as He usually is). It became a very large family: The church, Comunidad (Community), is now the largest church in Medellin with over 8,000 members, the Foundation, Viento Fresco, cares for over 150 high-risk children, and a non-profit coffee shop, New Hearts Cafe, serves cups of caffeine and the love of Jesus to thousands of college students.

God is doing so much in Medellin, and we write about here on the blog!


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