Divine Touch

by David E. Philips

I?ve been blessed with a long, happy life, despite losing my mother when I was just a boy. I might never have gotten over that loss except for something I discovered the summer I was 12.

I was at Camp Horseshoe in southeastern Pennsylvania in 1931. On visiting day, Mom and Dad drove up with some family friends. Dad wanted to give them a tour of the camp. That means I?ll be stuck with Mom all day, I grumbled to myself. I loved my mom, but I dreaded my friends seeing her fuss over me.

Dad showed our guests around while Mom and I headed through the woods to my bunkhouse. "You?re so tan!" she said, reaching for my hand. I walked a little faster. "I?ve missed you so much."

I nodded and held open the door to my cabin. Inside, she tried to give me a hug. "Mom!" I groaned, pulling away. What would the guys think?

Looking a little hurt, Mom sat on my bunk. "Are you enjoying camp?"

"Yeah," I muttered.

"Tell me what you?ve been doing, honey."

"Lots of stuff. You know." I wish she would just leave me alone.

Mom told me what I?d been missing at home. After what seemed an eternity, it was time to go. "Walk me to the car?" she asked, holding out her hand.

I shook my head. My friends would all be out there saying goodbye to their parents. Besides, I?d be home soon enough. She?d have plenty of time to fuss over me then.

"All right," Mom said, sighing. "It was wonderful to see you, honey." She stroked my cheek. "I love you." Then she walked out of the cabin.

I flopped onto my bunk. I kept seeing the sad look in Mom?s eyes when I refused her hug. Go back. A voice I?d never heard before filled my thoughts. Go back and tell your mother you love her. Let her put her arms around you. I had to see her again before she left!

I ran out, the cabin door slamming behind me, and raced through the woods. Near the end of the trail I spotted my parents. "Mom wait!" I called. She turned, a great big smile breaking across her face.

This time when she opened her arms I rushed right into them. We held each other tightly. "I?m so sorry, Mom. I love you!" I cried, not caring what anyone else thought. The strength of her embrace told me she understood.

If I hadn?t made things right with Mom that day, I never would have been able to. She died in a car accident on the way home (the others suffered only minor injuries). What sustained me through that devastating loss?and beyond?was the assurance that even more than Mom, God understood. He gave me the chance to feel my mother?s warm, loving touch one last time.

Reprinted with permission from Guideposts magazine. Copyright 1999 by Guideposts, Carmel, New York 10512.