While on patrol with my partner, Henry, we received a call from another officer, Tony Penna. “I’ve got four guys getting off the train at South Seattle. They’re drunk and I need back-up.”
Henry punched the accelerator and we made it in record time, braking to a stop between the trespassers and Tony. “These guys giving you problems?” Henry asked, as we jumped out of the car. “That guy over there has a temper and started a fight with these three. But they don’t want to do anything about it so I’m kicking them loose after I get information.”
I shined my flashlight on the troublemaker and immediately recognized the pastor’s son, Daniel. His eyes were no longer swollen and his cuts had healed, but he still wore the same bloodied shirt. I poked my finger into his chest. “Daniel Rayner, what do you think you’re doing?”
“You…you know me?”
“I’ve been praying for you like I said I would.”
Henry snorted. “Even if I believed, I wouldn’t waste my time on this loser.” I kept looking at Daniel, ignoring Henry’s sarcasm. A light of recognition flickered across his face.
“Oh, yeah, I remember now…you’re that Christian cop.”
“And you’re the guy running away from his father.”
“You really been prayin’ for me?” I nodded. Daniel’s face contorted as he rubbed his eyes. He extended his hand and whispered, “Don’t stop, man…please don’t stop.”
And I didn’t, making it a daily commitment to pray for this modern-day prodigal. Even though I never saw Daniel again, I’ve often thought of him, hoping he found his way back home.