There was a story going around the internet several years ago that stirred my heart.
One day, a little boy wanted to meet God. He packed his suitcase, brought a bag of some drinks and cookies then started his journey. He walked a long, long way until he began to get hungry and tired.
He soon came to a park and decided to sit down and rest. He opened his bag, took out his food, and began to eat. As he was eating, he noticed an old woman sitting on the bench next to him who not only looked very sad but hungry as well. Looking at the cookie that he was eating, he decided to offer her a piece of his tasty morsel.
She gratefully accepted it with a wide look of thankfulness and gratitude then smiled at him. Her smile was so beautiful that the boy longed to see it again. After some time, he offered her another piece of his cookie. Again, she accepted it and smiled at him.
The boy was delighted! They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.
As it grew dark, the boy became frightened, so the boy decided to leave and go home. As he got up to leave he had gone only a few steps, when suddenly, he turned around, ran back, and gave the poor lady a hug. She hugged him back, gave him a kiss on the cheek then once again, flashed the nicest smiles that he had ever seen.
After a long while, the boy finally returned home. When the boy opened his door, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, ‘what did you do today that made you look so happy?’
He replied, “I had lunch with God.”
Before his mother could respond he added, “You know what? She’s got the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen in my life!”
Meanwhile, the old woman, also radiant with joy, returned to her home. Her son was stunned by the look of peace on her face and asked, “Mom, what did you do today that made you so happy?”
She replied, ‘I ate cookies in the park with God.” Before his son could respond, she added, ‘You know, he’s much younger than I expected.”
Isn’t that a beautiful story? The author is unknown, but he or she touched the very essence of what we all seek in our lives. Maybe a defining moment, a chance encounter, or something that will direct our steps in a different way.
Many years ago, we would go with a group of our church family to a local nursing home right before Christmas and sing Christmas Carols to the residents as we walked up and down the hallways. Their faces would light up and it was a mutually enriching and filling experience. There was one year in particular that stirs within me a feeling that I haven’t felt more than a dozen times in my life.
It was a Sunday afternoon after worship and I was rather tired from the busyness of the week. There was another busy week that was drawing very near. I would have been very content to go home after church, skip the Christmas Caroling, and spend a much needed afternoon just relaxing. Something (and we all know that it wasn’t something, but someone!) stirred within my heart that I needed to go to the nursing home with the group from our church and sing. It’s not that I contributed very much music-wise to the experience because we all know that I can’t carry a tune in a bucket. However, as we were winding our way through the rather large facility, there were bright smiles that were around us the whole way and laughter was in the air, both with the residents and with their visitors.
We took the elevator to the Alzheimer’s unit, which was locked. There were very few visitors with the residents in that unit. Most of the residents were in a common room for crafting or group activities and were sitting in wheelchairs. The eyes of the residents were looking beyond the four walls of the large room, probably to times long ago or too far-reaching places, or a place that was just empty. Our comments to some of them were unanswered. As we began singing, memories of the residents were awakened for a short while, and they began to sing the words that were buried deep inside. Some of their eyes brightened up and were present with us.
There was one lady who was sitting beside me in a wheelchair. As I was singing, I looked down at her and her blue eyes were so vividly present with me. They were piercing to me in the midst of the rest of the room that was singing and exchanging smiles back and forth. I was unable to sing because I was so caught up in the eyes of this woman that I have never met. She poured herself into me by looking so deep into my eyes. There was an intimate exchange of feelings so deep that I couldn’t help but just stand there, almost frozen by eyes that drew me in. It seemed to be a very long time that our gaze entwined and consumed each other; and then I began to cry. When the singing was done and time for us to go, I just touched her hand and told her that she was loved. She smiled, unknowingly, and her eyes had gone back to the dull stare that met us as we walked into the room.
Something happened during the time of that last carol sing. No words were spoken between the lady in the wheelchair and myself. Some would say that we ‘connected’, or maybe I reminded her of someone who she once knew.
I wholeheartedly think it was the Spirit of God inside of her met and communed with the Spirit of God within me, for just those few minutes. Maybe it was a Spiritual Awakening. I received such a beautiful, heartfelt feeling of love as she poured herself into me through her eyes. He touched me and made me whole in those few minutes with the Lady in the Wheelchair.
There are some individuals that when we meet, randomly, we feel as if we have known them all of our lives. There are glances and chance meeting of the eyes that glimpse at one another through a car window, or at the grocery store, that in that split second of eye contact, we know that we’ve exchanged something almost greater than words can express. We’ve been changed because of that encounter.
I never found out who the Lady in the Wheelchair was. It’s likely that she is now experiencing real life in the fullest of eternity where there is no more suffering and she is not burdened with memory loss. All I know is that I won’t forget her eyes looking into mine, nor will I forget the way that I felt after that chance meeting of our Spirits.
Have you ever had a Spiritual Awakening or a chance meeting with God? I’d love to have you share your story.
He Touched Me
Shackled by a heavy burden
‘Neath a load of guilt and shame
Then the hand of Jesus touched me
And now I am no longer the same
He touched me, oh, He touched me
And oh, the joy that floods my soul!
Something happened, and now I know
He touched me, and made me whole
Since I’ve met this blessed Savior
Since He’s cleansed and made me whole
Oh, I will never cease to praise Him (to praise Him)
I’ll shout it while eternity rolls
Oh He touched me, oh He touched me, He touched me
And oh, the joy that floods my soul!
Something happened and now I know
He touched me and made me whole
Be Blessed, Candy
Silent Night: https://youtu.be/rbyYrLsUPWI (this is the song we were singing as a group)
He Touched Me: https://youtu.be/4HSWTAZZUB8