Keys to the Kingdom

Matthew 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven

***
Several times in the last decade, when prophetic people prayed for me they mentioned the same thing.

“I see keys around you. Lots of keys.”

One girl said she saw a huge keyring, like those that a janitor carries, attached to my waist. Another said he literally saw keys floating down all around me. To this day, I am still awaiting the revelation of what the keys mean. But one night on a dark street in Sarasota, I received another clue.

****
I was excited to eat at my favorite downtown restaurant. I love their Greek salad, complete with “Flintstone style” rack of lamb on top. I eat there only two or three times a year, and I was looking forward to it. I was with a girlfriend of mine, visiting from out of town. We sat down, and as we were preparing to order, I kept having this strange urge to order a pizza.

“No, no…I don’t want pizza. I want Greek salad”.

I was actually arguing with myself. I rarely eat pizza unless it is in front of me, and why would I get pizza at a place with so many delicious choices? Still, I asked my friend if she wanted to split a pizza, and she said no. The waiter came to take our order, and as I opened my mouth to say “Greek salad”, I actually heard the words “I’ll have a pizza” come out of my mouth. Laughing, and having learned to expect the strange and wonderful in my life, I decided to see what God was up to.

I ate two slices, boxed up the remaining six and placed it in a to-go bag, and said goodbye to my friend. Walking down Main Street to my car, I passed a young girl who was visibly pregnant. I walked on, but I was no more than 10 feet away when I heard her start sobbing. So I turned around, went back, and put my hand on her shoulder. She was young, and apparently homeless. She was so wracked with sobs, she could barely catch her breath. So I just stood there waiting. When she composed herself, I asked her how I could help. She said “Oh, I’m ok. but you’re her, aren’t you? The one God sent?”

She went on to say “When you walked past me, I felt the presence of God so strongly that I was overcome with emotion. That’s why I was crying”.

She had my attention.

I told her I didn’t know if God had sent me, but asked her what I could do for her. Smiling shyly, she deflected my question by pointing at the bag in my hand and saying “What’s that?”

“Your dinner” I answered instinctively. “Would you like it?”

She took the bag, and before looking inside said “Oh, I hope it’s pizza! I was praying tonight, and I asked God if He could somehow get me some pizza.” My mind raced back to the struggle in my head a the restaurant. I wanted that salad but I felt compelled to order pizza. It all made sense now. I was so glad I didn’t “correct” my order.

We spoke for hours. She was Haitian, and had come to America after the earthquake had killed her father and brother. Although she had traveled with her mother, the older woman had succumbed to cancer earlier in the year. This 17 year old was alone on the streets in a foreign country, She had been raped while trying to sleep one night, resulting in her pregnancy.

I asked the Lord what He would have me do, and it involved finding her a safe place to sleep for a few weeks, and some money for new clothes so she could look for work.I won’t lie and say I wasn’t wary as I walked up to an ATM on a deserted street with a stranger at midnight, or as I put her in my car. But He put my mind at ease in an incredible way.

The young lady asked if she could pray for me. And the prayer which escaped her lips was so powerful, so heartfelt and Spirit filled that I broke down in tears myself. We got to the shelter where she would stay that night, and she leaned in close to kiss me on the cheek and whisper her parting words.

“Time to go now, Regina. You are not safe here without me with you. God bless you for your kindness.” With that, she disappeared into the night.

And the words of her greeting hours earlier suddenly rushed back to mind.

“I was meant to meet you, Regina.
My name is Key.”

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