Years ago after my husband who was mentally ill left us, my two sons and I were destitute for some time. We lived in the back of my pick up truck one summer, with only a bare camper shell over the top. We parked in state parks and along creeks, just the two boys and me. I was totally devastated and bereft. I had no comfort except the kids, and of course I couldn’t tell them all that was really going on because they were only 8 and 10. To them it was just a trip and a vacation and they were interested in all the places we saw and the things we did.
One night we were walking along the beach at Gulfport, Mississippi. and we saw some people walking in the shallow water, quite a ways out, with lanterns and spears fishing for flounder…we also saw some men throwing a circular cast net to catch shrimp. One of the men showed my youngest son how to throw the net and he was really quite adept at it. The next day I took $25 precious dollars out of my short stash and bought him a cast net and for several days as we camped along the beach he entertained himself throwing the net and I cooked the shrimp he caught.
That first night along the beach while the boys were being entertained by the men fishing (they were within my eye sight) I was talking to one of the men’s wives. I don’t know why I opened up to her about our situation, but I did, and I started to cry, spilling out all of my pain and worry. She was like an angel for me, and I don’t remember her name, but I can still picture her face in my mind and how gentle and comforting she was to me.
Someone sent me the following story in a e mail today and I thought about that woman, and yes, I have gone fishing with God or one of His angels at least. Thinking back there have been many times when I “had lunch with God” but He never looked like what I thought he should look like…He looked just like a kind and caring person who just happened to be there with a smile and a kind word when I needed it the most.
There once was a little boy who wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with Twinkies and a six-pack of root beer, and he started his journey.
When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old woman. She was sitting in the park just staring at some pigeons. The boy sat down next to her and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old lady looked hungry so he offered her a Twinkie.
She gratefully accepted it and smiled at him. Her smile was so pretty that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered her a root beer. Once again, she 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 realized how tired he was and he got up to leave. But before he had gone more than a few steps; he turned around, ran back to the old woman, and gave her a hug. She gave him her biggest smile ever.
When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later; his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, “What did you do today that made you so happy?”
He replied, “I had lunch with God.” But before his mother could respond, he added, “You know what? She’s got the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen!”
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 he asked, “Mother, what did you do today that made you so happy?”
She replied, “I ate Twinkies in the park with God.” But before her son responded, she added, “You know he’s much younger than I expected.”
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, and honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.
Embrace all equally!
— Author Unknown