As you may have read in previous blog posts, Heather McCoy is awaiting a double-lung transplant at Duke University Hospital. In an effort to help her family with the mounting medical costs, many friends, colleagues, staff and even a local Girl Scout troop worked diligently to bring this bazaar together.
But….this wasn’t your typical garage/rummage sale. It was so much more.
My goal was to take pictures. Driving onto the campus with my trusty, little digital camera I almost ran into the kids washing cars. Up in the “Dunkin Booth” was a volunteer Professor waiting for his next bath. Across the sidewalk were displays of food, clothes, trinkets, computers and even a couch that graced the front yard.
Immediately I knew why I had waited to wash my car. Why should I do it, when I can get these kids to?
Handing my keys along with some cash, I left them to do their job on my very dirty PT Cruiser.
Except for a few children who had to sit still, asking for poses, or “smiles” for the camera, most were happy to have their picture taken.
As I walked the campus, I felt an awareness of a discernible excitement. Looking around were faces of joy, children gulping down Orange Slurpees and curious shoppers. There were friends laughing, amusing facial expressions and a common, unspoken camaraderie. The connection was as tangible as if all these strangers/acquaintances’ had known each other their entire lives.
Immediately, I recognized this distinct observation.
Hovering over this campus were two notable presences.
“The Spirit of Heather” was written on the sidewalk. Her face shone in the smiles of those who know her well. Compassion for her appeared as one “car washer” sprayed the other girl instead of the car. Peace flowed from words that mentioned Heather’s name.
Heather may be at Duke hospital in the physical sense, but her spirit captivated this parking lot.
Sweat pouring down my face; my clothes soaking wet from the hot sun, I felt a 2nd presence in the air. It was like a shield in the sky; a guard covering the school grounds from one end to the other.
It felt as if those who walked on this soil or burning pavement were wrapped in a protective armament of a love so deep you would never want to leave.
Our loving Father was in the midst of the flowers that bloomed, the dogs that got public baths and the cupcakes covered in a delicious chocolate frosting. God sat on the leather couch for sale. He hung around the clothes on the racks and enjoyed the spirit of retail for a child he dearly cherishes.
It wasn’t the monetary fund God acclaimed or the need at hand.
God was thrilled with the hearts who gave up a day for the love of a friend. He knows the hard work, extra hours and effort given for one who is unashamed of speaking his name to the world. He showed up on Heather’s behalf.
Making my way back to my shiny, cleaned PT Cruiser, I felt blessed beyond words that I can write.
Overwhelming me was the truth that miracles happen when God is present.
God says in Psalm 107:20 “He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.”
Maybe God was letting me know the purpose of this “not so typical yard sale” ended with a different note than expected originally.
Maybe God graced that parking lot with his presence as the gift that he is; and for the shared component of affection of one of his own.
God’s miracle healing power has been packaged up with love from a small, bright spot in the road to Duke Hospital for Heather McCoy.
Please enjoy the slideshow from this “Not so Typical Yard Sale”