A beautiful, gently warm fall day – Saturday, 7 September 2013. My wife and I were going to devote the day to fall yard maintenance. It would be the last day that we could make use of the college worker who had spent several summer days helping us with yard work. She was helping my wife work the flower and shrub beds when they discovered that we had some poison ivy that had crept into a couple of the shrub beds.
It was determined that our helper would be able to remove the poison ivy with little or no adverse effects, but she would need a pair of elbow length rubber gloves. So I proceeded to Pleasant’s Hardware store (Ace’s) to make the purchase.
When I arrived at Ace’s, I observed that at the front entrance there were several young girls whom I took to be Girl Scouts and a woman chaperone selling cookies. As I got out of my car one of the young girls came toward my car. I recognized the girl to be Taylor Pounders, who had recently joined the RRCB on profession of faith. She asked me if I was interested in buying some cookies. Her mother, Jennifer Pounders, the chaperone, recognized me and came over. She told me this was not a Girl Scout Cookies sale but a “Cookies for Kids’ Cancer” fund raising project.
I told Mrs. Jennifer Pounders and Taylor and some of the other girls that had come near that I was very interested in helping out with anything to do with kid’s cancer since my son Lee had had cancer at age 5 and had fought it his whole childhood.
As I said this, from deep within Jennifer a powerful emotion and sound of compassion came over her completely and she gave me a tremendous embrace, “a God Hug” if you will. In front of all the girls in the group and with a loving voice she thanked me for sharing this story about my son’s struggle with cancer when he was a child. The whole group was demonstrably compassionate.
In the few minutes that this was happening, Jennifer and I and perhaps all of us felt this loving spiritual presence cover us and come around our small group. We stood quietly, serenely, in the sun- filled parking area as our affection and compassion for each other and for kids with cancer flowed among and between us.
I was deeply touched by the depth of love, compassion, and care I received in those few moments. I call it a “hug from heaven.” I did not go looking for it. I did not expect it, but there it was. Christ Incognito? The Holy Spirit? Lee’s spirit? Genuine, sincere love and compassion flowing to and from GOD’s children! It was a very Joyful Moment.
Others were coming, and we broke away. I paid for my cookies. I went into Ace’s and purchased the gloves I needed. The yard work was straight ahead. On the way home I realized that my son Lee had died on 12 September 2002 at age 36 of the cancer that he had begun to fight at age 5 – 11 years that week! GOD is good! HE never leaves us!