I was touched by this piece, had to share it with you:
The brand new pastor and his wife, newly
assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn,
arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. When they saw their
church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have
everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.
They worked hard, repairing pews,
plastering walls, painting, etc. and on Dec 18 were ahead of schedule and just
about finished. On Dec 19th a terrible tempest - a driving rainstorm - hit the
area and lasted for two days.
On the 21st, the pastor went over to the
church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large
area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the
sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high. The pastor cleaned
up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the
Christmas Eve service, headed home. On the way he noticed that a local business
was having a flea market type sale for charity so he stopped in.
One of the items was a beautiful, handmade,
ivory coloured, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a
cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover up
the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.
By this time it had started to snow. An
older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus.
She missed it The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next
bus 45 minutes later.
She sat in a pew and paid no attention to
the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc to put up the tablecloth as a
wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it
covered up the entire problem area.
Then he noticed the woman walking down the
center aisle. Her face was white like a sheet. "Pastor," she asked,
"where did you get that tablecloth?" The pastor explained. The woman
asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were
crocheted into it there.
There they were. These were the initials of
the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria.
The woman could hardly believe it as the
pastor told how he had just gotten the tablecloth. The woman explained that
before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria. When the Nazis came, she
was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. She was
captured, sent to prison and never saw her husband or her home again.
The pastor wanted to give her the
tablecloth; but she made the pastor keep it for the church. The pastor insisted
on driving her home that was the least he could do. She lived on the other side
of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for
the day for a housecleaning job.
What a wonderful service they had on
Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great.
At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door
and many said that they would return. One older man, whom the pastor recognized
from the neighborhood, continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the
pastor wondered why he wasn't leaving. The man asked him where he got the
tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his
wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and
how could there be two tablecloths so much alike?
He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how
he forced his wife to flee for her safety, and he was supposed to follow
her, but he was arrested and put in a prison. He never saw his wife or
his home again all the 35 years in between.
The pastor asked him if he would allow him
to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island
and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier.
He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman's apartment,
knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever
True Story - submitted by Pastor Rob Reid,
who says God does work in mysterious ways. I asked the Lord to bless you as I
prayed for you today. To guide you and protect you as you go along your way.
His love is always with you, His promises are true, and when we give Him all
our cares you know He will see us through.
So when the road you're traveling on seems
difficult at best, just remember I'm here praying, and God will do
If you see someone without a
smile.......give em yours. May God richly