The day was cold, but not as cold as the heart of an old man sitting alone on a park bench with tears rolling down his cheeks. He didn’t seem bothered by the cold temperature, but something more serious had numbed his senses—his emotions were in distress.
After a few minutes passed, a young boy and man came walking along the path near the park bench. They stopped directly in front of the old man and, without any hesitation, the young boy asked, “Sir, are you okay? I see the tears on your cheek. Are you hurt?”
The old man raised his head slightly until his eyes met the eyes of the young boy. “Young man, today is a very sad day for me. I traveled many miles to come see my grandson in the hospital right down the street there. I had car trouble on the way and waited for twelve hours by the roadside before a kind soul stopped to help me.”
“I’m sorry your car broke down,” said the boy. “Have you seen your grandson yet?”
“No, I didn’t make it to the hospital in time to see him. I wasn’t able to tell him…” said the old man as he lowered his head and looked toward the ground.
“You weren’t able to tell him what?” asked the young boy.
While still looking toward the ground, the old man replied, “To tell him how much I love him and to wish him a Merry Christmas. He passed away three hours before I arrived. I can’t believe he’s gone. I’m so…”
“Sir, are you Joey’s Grandpa—his Grandpa Ben?”
A bit confused, the old man raised his head slightly and replied, “Yes, I am, but why did you ask me that? Do you know Joey?”
“Yes, sir,” replied the young boy. “I’m Zack. Joey is my new friend and he told me all about you.”
“He did what? When?” retorted Grandpa Ben.
“Yes, sir! Just a few minutes ago, Joey asked me to tell you how much he loves you. He wanted me to wish you a Merry Christmas. He said to tell you he is fine and in good hands.”
“I don’t understand. What? That’s impossible! How did you talk to Joey?” snapped Grandpa Ben.
“Joey is sitting on a park bench like you are now. He’s talking to Jesus,” replied Zack.
With that, Grandpa Ben lowered his head toward the ground thinking about what Zack just said. He wondered why Zack was talking such nonsense. Without raising his head, he asked, “Zack, how do you know he’s talking to Jesus?”
Several seconds passed without hearing an answer to his question. Grandpa Ben looked around and Zack was nowhere in sight. Instead, the only person standing in front of him was the man who he saw walking with Zack.
The man leaned down toward the old man and said, “Sir, are you alright? I couldn’t understand what you were saying. Can I get some help for you?”
“What? Where did Zack go? He was just standing right there talking to me. The two of you were standing together in front of me. Who are you?” the old man asked.
“Sir, my name is Sam Jones, but no one was with me today. I’m alone just as you are,” said the man with an air of concern for the old man.
“I’m very pleased to meet you, Sam. My name is Ben. Zack was just standing there beside you talking to me,” replied Ben.
His eyes swelling with tears, Sam managed to say, “Ben, I’m not sure what you’re trying to do to me, but my son, Zack, was killed by a drunk driver on this date three years ago. It happened at the intersection right over there. I walk here each year and remember the good times we shared. It’s my way of feeling as if Zack is walking with me. I miss him so much.”
Totally confused, Ben stammered, “I’m so sorry, Sam. I didn’t mean to… I was just… I mean… I… Zack was with…”
++++++ FOOD FOR THOUGHT ++++++
- Do you have faith and believe in Jesus?
- Do you think angels are capable of sending messages to us?
- Do you think angels walk among us?
- Have you ever experienced the presence of an angel?
- Have you ever felt the presence of God in your life?
If your answers to the above are no, you should ask Grandpa Ben what he thinks.
Blessings to all who have lost loved ones. I hope this short story helps you feel the warmth of their presence during this Christmas season and that your heart is full of joy and happiness knowing they are nearby.
Tom Tatum – Author – 2019
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