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I had three pairs of goggles, put one on, and left the other two at the end of my lane. After swimming about 15 minutes, I saw a boy sitting beside my goggles. He looked at me and innocently asked if he could borrow a pair. It was interesting that he asked so straightforwardly. I said, “OK,” adjusted the goggles for him and resumed swimming. The boy swam with full-length blue Jeans.
He was diving for a toy. I stopped and talked to him while he struggled to tread water. His name was Cain; he was eight and lived in a group home. A handful of other boys from the home were also there. He asked if I would play with him. What innocence and frankness! We dove together for a few minutes.
As Cain was trying on the other set of goggles, he said, “Someday I hope I will have a foster family.” I was touched and felt an impression: The curse is coming off Cain.
After finishing laps, we visited in the water. Both of us linked an elbow on the side of the pool. I asked, “Cain, do you know anything about Jesus?” He gave a childlike account of Jesus’ death and resurrection. I told him that it was a powerful story, and that it was true! Feeling I might never see Cain again, I encouraged him to get to know Jesus better and better by talking to him daily: “Jesus is real and He deeply cares for you, Cain. He will help you through life.”
I was growing attached to this boy and felt like packing him home and fathering him. He said, “I sure wish I had a pair of goggles like these.” I told him, “Keep them. I give them to you.” He confided that he had had some discipline problems at the home, but he had a special class apart from the others and that he thought he was doing better. He mentioned also that there was a tiny child in his group that chattered and babbled and sounded funny. I told him that he was probably a good friend to that child.
I prayed a short but earnest prayer with that eight-year-old boy. As I was getting out of the pool, he asked, “Do you know the song ‘I See the Moon’?” He sang:
“I see the moon and the moon sees me…God bless the moon and God bless me.” As I walked away, Cain continued to sing the song to himself. I was touched with emotion for Cain’s challenges, his innocence, uncertainty and hope. May the living God follow that young man’s career!
Steven C Johnson
Landing Strip Enterprises