This picture was taken before breaking my arm
I was shopping in the street market on Saturday, looking for a nightgown or dress that would be easy to pull on one-handed. I broke my wrist on Tuesday evening (see Summer in a Cast). Allegra, my ministry partner, was happy to go with me and help me find something suitable. We are in our third week of temperatures in the mid- to upper 90’s, so I needed something lightweight, breathable, and above all, easy to get into and out of.
Upon entering the market, we quickly found a few perfect and reasonably-priced dresses, and a couple of nightgown/housedresses as well. Allegra wanted to continue shopping, so I thought I would kill some time by walking to the newsstand on the corner to buy a newspaper. On the return trip I came back by way of the other side of the market. That way I could avoid the smelly fish vendors’ stalls.
As I walked along in the crowd, nearly tripping over carts and strollers, I was aware of the weight of my phone in my left pocket, where I always carry it. However now my left arm was in a sling. Knowing that my left side was vulnerable to pickpockets, I maintained my awareness of its weight in my pocket.
Then suddenly, it wasn’t there anymore. Gone! Just like that! I turned around, but there was nobody near me. As I walked on, I thought about how I would ever replace my dual-sim phone—along with my American and Italian sims and all my phone contacts. What a mess!
When I got back to where Allegra was, I told her about getting my pocket picked. We prayed, and I added something I had recently heard a missionary pray when she’d had something stolen: I said: “I call my phone back to me in the name of Jesus.”
As soon as we said “Amen,”—literally a second or less had passed—I caught a glimpse of my phone. It was in the hand of a man who looked Middle Eastern. He was speaking Arabic with the fruit vendor right across from where Allegra had been shopping. I stepped up to the men for a closer look, and it was my phone. The man handed the phone to me, saying that he had seen two gypsy women take it. I shook his hand, thanking him, and he turned and vanished into the crowd.
I looked at my phone again in grateful astonishment when the fruit vendor decided to profit from my happiness: “Strawberries, ten Euros.” I said to Allegra, “Let’s get out of the market.” So rather than walking through the rest of the market, we dashed out between stalls.
“That was an angel, you realize,” I told Allegra. “No human man would have just handed the phone back like that.” We had just been talking about angel encounters that morning, and Allegra had said that she’d had only a couple of encounters that she was sure were angels. Just like the other angels I had seen, he hadn’t talked much, he looked ordinary as could be, and he disappeared very quickly after his assignment was finished.
When you lose something, pray and call it back to yourself right away. And don’t forget that you can always ask God to send an angel to help you. God is good!