Encounter in the Park

Meet my friend Lois! I believe God has something to pass across to someone through her testimony below.

While visiting the town of Brooks, Alberta, my grandson and I headed for the park in the early morning of the Labour Day holiday.  I was not sure why, but it was a beautiful day and going to the park seemed the right thing to do.  In a new town it’s important to make contacts but I had no idea what awaited us.  Joshua was cozy in the “snuggly” that I was using to carry him.  I wrapped my sweater around his bare legs that were sticking out beneath so they would stay warm.  The little sun cap I put on his head would ward off the chill of the morning. Being with Joshua is always special. 

            Looking over the crest of the hill I saw children playing in the park.  I strolled up and chose a swing which was made by hanging a tire on its side.   Joshua and I lazily drifted back and forth with the rays of the sun falling on us.  Two little girls next to us seemed to enjoy going up and down the slides.  I started a conversation.  “No”, they replied, they didn’t live nearby.   The older one said they were traveling and had spent the night in the car.   She explained that they didn’t usually sleep in the car but their mom didn’t have any money.  This caught my attention. An older brother about ten, approached bringing a large collie on a leash.   His name was David. He came over to see the baby and Joshua gave him a big smile.   I noted that these were healthy, well adjusted children.  Then the mother came over and explained that they were returning to their home in B.C.  Her car was low on gas and she would have to wait another day here.  The banks would open after the holiday then she would be able to get money from her account.  She went on to explain that her bank card had become damaged and she was not able to get any more cash out of the instant teller.   I got up to leave and she walked along with me for a few steps.  Her sweater was light and she mentioned something about the chill of the night.  Their car was parked on a side street.  I wondered how it would be to sleep four in a car and what about the big dog.

            “I hope you have some money for food,” I said as I started to leave. 

            “Oh, we’ll manage”, the mother said. “We have some peanut butter sandwiches”. 

            I walked on, wanting to do something to help but saying nothing.  She called out to me, “Have a good trip back to Edmonton.”  Wishing her well in return seemed empty.  How could I just leave them.  They needed a good meal.  They had already spent most of the previous day waiting around.  But more than a meal, they needed to get home to B.C.  I walked on with Joshua, still deep in thought.  One could sometimes find vagrants in a park, but these were beautiful children and their young mother.  I could not just leave them.  

            I went and found granddad and the two of us walked back to the park.  They were still there, the children, the dog, and the car with the Ontario license plates.  “Here’s money to take you home”, I said handing the mother some bills, and I added,

” God bless you.”   Oh, she replied, “You’re a Christian too”.  Some tears rolled down her cheek and she wiped them away with her hand. 

            Through misty eyes she explained, “I prayed and God gave me assurance he would take care of us”.   Now I had tears.

As we walked away I turned at the brow of the hill and in the distance I saw the figure of the mother and little girl standing together.  She raised her arm and I waved back.

            “So, that is why we went to the park early in the morning.  Yes, you were there, Joshua, and I’m writing this down so I won’t forget to tell you.”   “You, my precious grandson, were just five months old.”  

            Much to our surprise a letter arrived several weeks later thanking us for the help and thanking God for his mercy.  Enclosed with the letter was a money order for the seventy dollars,  money we intended as a gift.

            “And so, my dear Josh, we are reminded once again that our heavenly Father cares very much for us.” I learned much from this experience.   I understood that this young mother was a woman of faith for she had relied on God to care for her need and had not conveyed any apprehension to her children.  More than ever I learned that God can be trusted.  I recall that as I went to bed the night before that memorable happening, I was thinking that I must be up to enjoy the early morning sun.  These thoughts were probably coming to my mind as the mother was praying.  But best of all, through this experience the one concern on my heart was taken care of.  I now knew that God would care for my son and his family who had just moved to this town.  This had been the prayer on my heart as I went to bed that night.  While I reached out to care for another in need, God brought a wonderful assurance to my heart that he would answer my prayer.  Now, five years later I can see how God so wonderfully provided for my son and family.  And I’m thankful that our grandson was a part of this experience.  It is now time for me to share this story with him.

By Lois Hathaway