The Graduation Present

by | Apr 19, 2020 | God's Hands, Great Commission, Salvation

Skyler James recently graduated from high school and the next day at her graduation party, she met a very surprising special guest named Charlie Heflin.

Heflin recalled the moment. “When her mother introduced her to me, I said, ‘Hello, my name is Charlie. You and I have met once before.’ I said, ‘We met back on Nov. 4 1995… Do you remember that day?’ She said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘I know, I don’t expect you to remember your birthday. On your birthday, I found you underneath the pine tree in a cemetery.’ That’s when she realized who I was and she started crying and gave me a big hug.”

Heflin was 27-years-old at the time and working with a cable company. The temperature that day in November was 20 below zero with wind chill factored in. He was wearing several layers of coats but still took a few minutes to sit in his truck to get warm. Then Heflin heard dispatch say on his scanner than an anonymous female had called in saying she had left a newborn baby at a cemetery near a pine tree. Dispatch also said that the infant had not yet been found.

Heflin thought about a nearby cemetery and decided to drive over to take a look. He pulled up in front of the cemetery and immediately spotted a large pine tree. “There was about a foot of snow on the ground. There were footprints all over the area so it looked like somebody had been there. I couldn’t find anything. I walked around the pine tree a couple of times and I didn’t see anything.” Heflin walked back to his truck but decided to go back and look one more time. “As I approached the tree, I heard a baby whimper. I thought, ‘Oh, she’s here.'” He found Skyler wrapped in a plaid Raggedy Anne blanket.

The day-old infant still had mucus on her and her umbilical cord that was tied off with a shoe string. He immediately wiped pine leaves off her and wrapped her in his winter overcoat and pressed her up against his volunteer fire fighter fleece to warm her up.

“I called it in and handed her to the ambulance and that was the last time I saw her,” Heflin said.

Five days later, Bonnie and Greg James took in the foster child and eventually adopted the girl, naming her Skyler. Skyler said her parents had shared her history with her. She wondered if she would ever get to meet the man who saved her life that day.

When Bonnie James was addressing her daughter’s graduation invitations, she looked through the white pages for listings for “Charles Heflin.” She contacted each one, and when she found the right one, she invited him to her daughter’s graduation and her party.

Heflin attended the commencement ceremony, but did not meet Skyler until the day of her graduation party. “I was very speechless. I didn’t know what to say,” James, 17, told ABC News about her meeting with Charlie Heflin on Sunday. “I could not say ‘thank you’ enough. I just hugged him and cried.”

Skyler James is set to attend Concordia University in Chicago where she plans to major in communications. She aspires to continue to share her story. “It’s very important to me to remind myself that even though I had a rough start in life, I have an amazing life and I wouldn’t change anything for the world. I’m just so blessed that God has given me this great life,” she said.

Because of our sins, we were lost – as helpless as an abandoned newborn baby on a frigid winter day…

But God sent Jesus to our rescue. He gave His life for us to save us from our sins so that we might live forever (Ephesians 1:7).

God will save and give the GIFT of eternal life to those who will place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). The blood of Jesus will continue to cleanse those who continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7).

Those who accept His offer of salvation and eternal will one day get to meet the Savior face to face when He comes to take the redeemed to an eternal home.

What a GLORIOUS DAY that will be!

Won’t YOU accept His offer?

David A. Sargent


The Graduation Present