The Gentle Touch of God

I have never doubted the existence of God nor have ever questioned His sense of humor.

Let me share one of my stories that support my belief.

The summer before my senior year in high school, my friend, Laura, asked if I could take over a week of in home babysitting so she could go on vacation. I was beyond thrilled. The family lived in Iowa City but would come get me when they brought Laura home. The catch? Convincing my parents.  The only way this would ever happen was to pray for a miracle. That was no exaggeration.

I prayed and, to my surprise, God granted the miracle.

Norma, the mom, picked me up and I was on my way to Iowa City for a week. The best part was there were two days at the end of the week when Laura and I would be at the same time.

The first night we were together we decided to go out and explore the neighborhood. As we walked, we discovered a Goodwill box that was crammed full of clothes. It was too tempting to pass up. We crawled inside and started trying on clothes–it was like having our very own fully stocked dressing room. We found everything we needed. We could not wait to show Norma at breakfast the next day.

She was not pleased. In fact, she told us in no uncertain terms that we were thieves. Not only were we thieves, but we had stolen from GOODWILL. She was so angry with us. She was so deeply disappointed in us. We needed to take it all back immediately. She told us we should be ashamed of ourselves.

We were ashamed. Very ashamed.

Sobbing, we gathered up all our treasures and headed back to the donation box. On our way back we walked past the Catholic Church. I was still very upset so I asked Laura if she minded stopping.

We walked up the few steps and through the front doors. The air was cool and the wide open floor plan of the church was dark and comforting. As our eyes adjusted to the dim light, we found our way to the altar. Sitting close together, we talked to each other and to God. The tears started again as we told Him we had not meant to do anything wrong. For whatever reason, we did not see what we had done was stealing. In all honesty, we explained, we felt the two of us needed those clothes as much as anyone else did. We were sorry and asked for forgiveness. But most of all, we cried, could he please help Norma find a way to forgive us, too?

Time passed. We talked. We prayed. Slowly we noticed that the air in the church felt warmer, the silence less pressing. Smiling, tears drying, we shared an emotional hug. Turning to leave, a ray of sunshine topped the trees and illuminated the large stained glass window over the entryway of the church. As that beam of light angled towards us, a gust of wind caught the heavy front doors, slamming them open.

Holy Cow.

We each jumped off the altar, down the aisle, and out the door! We did not stop running until we were about a block from the church.

At the time, we did not know what had happened. Had God visited us in the church in Iowa City?

My heart says yes and my heart is so blessed by the memory.

I am…

B…simply being…



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