Her anxiety about multiple situations threatened to overwhelm her. Then she prayed and asked God for a sign.
Posted in , Dec 27, 2020
Flipping up the hood of my parka, I took a deep breath before stepping out into the icy March wind. The day was bleak, the sky a dour gray. Not ideal conditions for a stroll, but I needed some air—even if it was freezing.
The past few days I’d been in a bad place—a feeling I couldn’t seem to shake. But I was determined to walk it off. I planned to take my usual route, a five-mile loop around my neighborhood, then back home. But with each step, my thoughts raced.
It all started when I learned that my dear friend’s cancer was back. It had been in remission for two years, and we thought she was cancer-free. She sounded optimistic over the phone, but the news was hard to hear. Now it seemed that it was all I could think about. And the anxiety just kept building.
I thought about my son. The last time I spoke to him, he sounded so drained. He was in the middle of his medical residency, sleeping too little and stressing too much. As a recently retired speech-language pathologist, I knew what it was like to be devoted to your work. While I was a proud parent, I was also worried he wasn’t taking care of himself.
When I started to worry too much about my son, my thoughts would inevitably drift to my niece and nephew. Both had passed away—my niece from cancer; my nephew in a car accident. Grief still hung over our family like a dark cloud. It made me feel so helpless. The pain that my sister and brother lived with seemed unbearable, unimaginable.
I took a deep breath. and tried to focus on walking. The once-white snow was pushed in to brown piles at the edges of streets and driveways. My frozen toes begged me to turn back toward home, but I trudged ahead, one foot in front of the other.
The harsh wind suddenly picked up, whipping at my back. I hunched my shoulders against it and pulled my hood down tight. Perhaps it was that posture of prayer, head bowed and eyes downcast, that brought the words to my lips. Maybe it was my heart crying out to the Lord. Maybe it was both. But at that moment, I prayed. It was a simple prayer. “Help me, Lord,” I whispered. “I need to feel your love.”
I had taken only a few steps more when I saw it. A bright splash of color against the dull brown scenery.
It was a child’s red glove. Just one. Lost, without its mate. It lay in an awkward position, the thumb, index finger and pinky finger outstretched. The other two fingers were curled down, resting on the palm of the glove.
When I realized what I was looking at, I stopped in my tracks. I was as familiar with sign language as I was with the spoken word. I immediately recognized the “ILY” hand shape, a combination of the finger-spelled letters I, L, and Y. The sign for “I love you.”
I had called out, and God had heard. He’d sent me an angel in the form of a small red glove, dropped to earth from heaven. With that silent sign, he’d said all I needed to hear.
I continued my walk, a spring in my step, knowing I wasn’t alone. God was holding me in the palm of his hand.
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