A story for Christmas…
– If John hadn’t told me that his Rotary Club was collecting donations for Toys for Tots at their annual Christmas party, and
– If I hadn’t bought gifts that would work for boys or girls, and
– If we hadn’t put the gifts away so well that we forgot to take them the night of the party, and
– If John hadn’t reminded me that we bought the gifts for children to receive this Christmas and that we shouldn’t give them to Goodwill to sell, and
– If we were unable to find a single place in Pensacola today that was accepting Toys for Tots donations, and
– If I hadn’t noticed the toys sitting on the back seat of the Explorer, and
– If the gal at Office Depot hadn’t taken twice as long as usual to do a printing task, and
– If that train hadn’t made me wait in line, and
– If CVS wasn’t out of the very thing that we needed, and
– If I hadn’t got to Walgreens, and
– If there wasn’t a toy aisle that tempted kids even when their mom looked like she couldn’t afford anything, and
– If that mom hadn’t explained over and over (in a language that I do not speak) that her children should stop playing with the toys, and
– If the Lord hadn’t opened my eyes to the situation, and
– If the nice man at checkout hadn’t given me an extra, plastic bag, and
– If the nice lady at the other checkout counter hadn’t been without customers and had time for me to tell her that I was bringing in two items into the store,
– If the kids hadn’t stayed near the toys while the mom shopped in a different aisle,
Then, this conversation might not have taken place.
Me to harried mom in worn clothes and a tired face: “Are those your children?”
Her reply: “No English.”
Me: (making motions to pose a question about children)
Her: (nodding with a look of concern)
Me: (handing her the bag with toys in it) “This is for you. Merry Christmas.”
Her: (looking concerned) “How much?”
Me: “No, it’s for you. Merry Christmas!!”
Her: (with tears in her eyes) “Free?”
Me: “Yes, Merry Christmas and God bless you.”
Her: “Thank you!!”
Me: (with tears in my eyes) “God bless you. Merry Christmas.”
And, we hugged in the middle of Walgreens.
As I passed by the nice lady at the checkout counter, I held up two fingers and said, “There were two things in the bag that I brought in.” She smiled and wiped a tear, “Got it.” I felt comfortable that there would be no problem when the mom checked out with her few items.
As I drove home, I praised God for His goodness. And, I said, “John should have been here.” It was then that I knew in my heart that had it been a Caucasian, American man and woman giving the bag, that it might have been rejected. Some things are too hard to explain to other family members. When I told the story to John, he hugged me. He understood.
I know that giving makes us feel good. But, giving when you are close to God is different. When we follow God’s leading we get to be part of so much more. We get insights and blessings like we never imagined.
“But still, You long to enthrone truth throughout my being; in unseen places deep within me, You show me wisdom.” (Psalm 51:6)
Jill (just one of God’s little helpers!!)