A woman had just finished a lovely dinner at the World Showcase in EPCOT with her husband and son earlier this month, when a chance encounter with another family changed everyone lives. Taylor Fisher shared the touching moment, which reaffirmed her belief that God “is so real,” on Facebook, and the post has garnered some 21,000 likes and 4,000 shares.
“I have debated whether or not to share this primarily because I don’t think it’s possible to find the words eloquent enough to describe the profound impact it had on my life and also because, though we were surrounded by thousands of others, the experience seemed so intimate it almost feels too personal to share,” Fisher began.
She was with her husband Chris and young son Oliver wandering around EPCOT after a dinner in Norway, when a couple offered to take their picture in front of the Eiffel Tower. Fisher said the strangers were “very patient” as they struggled to get Oliver to cooperate. When they finally “got a decent” photo, they exchanged thank yous and went on their way.
What happened next may have you reaching for a box of Kleenex.
A few minutes had passed when Fisher said the man and woman who had just stopped to take their picture returned and asked if they had a moment. Promising he wasn’t “creepy” (a sad commentary on the world we live in today), the man introduced himself as Scott and his wife as Sally. He said they had three children with them at Disney, who were exploring the parks with their grandparents that evening, as he and his wife celebrated the firth birthday of their fourth son, Duke, who had passed away just a few months ago. That day was Duke’s birthday, and the grieving parents couldn’t get over how much Oliver reminded them of their own little boy.
The couple had an interesting request: they wanted to take Oliver on a shopping spree at the gift shop in honor of their son. While Fisher admitted to momentarily hesitating, she put herself in their shoes and knew it was the right thing to do.
“As a parent, and looking back on the moment, you would never think to just give your child over to perfect strangers but in that moment I was so overwhelmed with peace, a peace that only God can provide, that I handed my little boy over and watched as he held the hands of these two people whom my heart suddenly felt so connected with,” she wrote. “Chris and I of course followed behind (we’re not that crazy).”
Fisher explained the poignant moments when Sally’s eyes “turned from sadness to joy each time Oliver smiled at her.” She watched “the sorrow turn to hope each time Oliver picked up a toy and hugged her thank you.” Scott’s “pain started to fade” as he “held Oliver and wept into his head.” She said that through the profound yet simple act of generosity—buying toys for a complete stranger—she “witnessed a couple begin to heal from the grief and ache of losing something so dear.”
Oliver proceeded to pick out “way too many toys,” but these families chance encounter in one of the largest amusement parks in the world so clearly had a much larger and divine purpose.
“After they bought him way too many toys, we all stopped in the middle of the store. We held each other and we prayed,” Fisher said. “God’s presence was so real and we worshiped and praised him for his ultimate design, for it was only God who could have brought us together. As we left, Sally told us that she prayed that God would send her closure and tonight was her gift from God. After tonight she could start to move on. To heal.”
While Sally may have initially contemplated whether or not to share the story, she hoped doing so would remind others that there are no such thing as coincidences—we are all put in the right place at the right time to help and heal, to love and guide one another.
“Y’all. This is God. He is so real. Only he can put the right people in the right place at the right time so he can heal a broken heart. He designed it this way,” she concluded. “Had we stopped in one more shop, taken one more picture, went a different direction, watched the parade a little longer, we would have missed it. But we didn’t because God was in control. And that, my friends, makes life a whole lot more meaningful.”
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