There are times in all our lives when we need a boost, a pick-me-up and a "God-wink" just to let us know we are not alone. "When God Winks at You" is a book given to me by a precious family on my late daughter's birthday a couple of weeks ago. Opening the book up randomly, I read a story and immediately wanted to share it with you.
"The Smile of the Sad-Faced Clown"
Stasia Kelly was in shock.
She sat on the plane bound from Denver to Sarasota, gazing at the picture of her father on the front page of the morning newspaper. "Emmett Kelly, World's Most Famous Clown dead at 80."
The story goes on to say that her father was the famous clown - the sad faced hobo, Weary Willie. That was his trademark. When you think of a clown, you think of a wide smile and funny antics. Weary Willie spent his lifetime not allowing anyone to catch him out of character, even when he was not in his clown attire.
One day, he met a beautiful woman and married. God blessed them with a baby girl, Stasia. On the morning he was given the news of her birth, he was in the middle of an interview with a UPI photographer, and the phone rang announcing the birth of his daughter. "Congratulations! You're the father a baby daughter," said the doctor. A smile lit up his face and with a flash, a photographer took his picture and it was published worldwide. He was the only photographer to ever catch Weary Willy in a smile.
Stasia's father told her the story time and again and was overjoyed each and every time. Now, here she sat flying to attend his funeral. Tears streamed down her face as she held tightly to the newspaper announcing his death and also the now yellowed copy of the paper announcing her birth with the wide smile captured once in a lifetime by a camera.
A man seated next to her, leaned over. He asked if she was all right.
"Yes," she whispered. "My father died this morning." She pointed to the picture in her lap.
The man's face turned ashen.
"You're not going to believe this!" he stammered. "I was with your father the day you were born. I took that picture!"
Stasia looked at him, puzzled.
"I'm Frank Beatty. The UPI photographer. That was the only picture ever taken of your dad smiling."
Instantly, a peace flowed over her. It was as though this incredible wink from God was delivered at that very moment to bring comfort, and let her know that her daddy was at God's side - looking down on her.
Stasia Kelly and Frank Beatty became close friends. Five years later, he was the photographer who took her wedding pictures when she was married.
How about you? Do you need a "God-wink?" I must say, I've had more winks in recent months than my entire life. He knows when we need them and is busy making them happen.
At times of transition in your life, you seem out of sorts, lost. Something happens to you unexpectedly, turning everything upside down. You realize that things are never going to be the same again. A feeling creeps over you-as uncertainty invades your mind, you have a terrible feeling of loss of control. When you lose someone or something you love, the stages of mourning begin to unfold - Shock, anger, sadness. You wonder how you can possibly get along.
Often at these times, God winks at you, through a coincidental experience or answered prayer. He sends you a hopeful message - just as real as placing his arm around you. He provides you with a concrete connection to him.
Watch for "God-winks" in your life during this holiday season. He knows the holidays are a very painful time for many. Know that he is there. He cares. If you watch, he will wink at you in sometimes an unexpected way.
(Kimberly Morgan is a wife and homeschool mom in Elkins. She is also a counselor and chaplain at Cornerstone Christian Counseling/Kristin's Hope at 300 Railroad Ave., Suite 304, Elkins. Contact her at 304-637-1109.)