I know this will be hard for some of you to believe, but this is a true story.
A friend of mine from Oregon once told me a personal story about a phone call he received one day. It was in the days before caller ID, so he did not know where the call came from.
The phone rang, and Virgil picked it up. “Hello?” he said.
A young boy answered. “Hello.”
I imagine from Virgil’s description that the boy was somewhere between 6 to 8 years old. The boy went on to say that it was his birthday, but that no one had remembered that. No one had said anything to him. There were no gifts, no balloons, no cake. Nothing. He called Virgil’s number at random to ask a simple question.
“Do you love me?” the boy asked.
Well, you don’t know Virgil, but I can assure you that the boy dialed the right number that day.
I have known this man for nearly 30 years, and I can tell you he is one of the most kind, tenderhearted men I have ever met in my life. He is devoted to family and to the Lord. In addition to his own family, he and his wife took in foster children and later adopted and raised them. He has worked in Scouts (from Cubs and up) for over 50 years. He loves his many grandchildren and especially loves working in the nursery. If you could see them with those children, it would put a big smile on your face.
Virgil, of course, assured the boy with all the kindness he could muster that he did love him and that he had a Heavenly Father that loved him.
Soon the conversation was over. Virgil never heard from the boy again, and never knew where the call came from or who the boy was.
I have always believed since hearing that story that this little boy’s fingers were divinely guided to dial Virgil’s number that day. I feel that very strongly.
I have thought about that boy over the years. He would be a grown man by now. Where is he? What is his life like? Did someone remember his birthday this year?
I have to wonder if Heavenly Father would ever direct someone in that situation to call me.
What would I say? Would I be in a hurry to get off the line, or would I reach out to a little stranger who needed love and reassurance?
At times, I think I am so preoccupied with my own life that I wonder if I could be prepared to meet the simple plea of a forgotten child.
I hope I will—we all will—be ready when the phone call comes.