It was the day before Thanksgiving - the
first one my three children and I would be spending without their father, who
had left several months before. Now the two older children were very sick with
the flu, and the eldest had just been prescribed bed rest for a week.
was a cool, gray day outside, and a light rain was falling. I grew wearier as I
scurried around, trying to care for each child: thermometers, juice, diapers.
And I was fast running out of liquids for the children. But when I checked my
purse, all I found was about $2.50 - and this was supposed to last me until the
end of the month. That's when I heard the phone ring.
It was the
secretary from our former church, and she told me that they had been thinking
about us and had something to give us from the congregation. I told her that I
was going out to pick up some more juice and soup for the children, and I would
drop by the church on my way to the market.
I arrived at the church just
before lunch. The church secretary met me at the door and handed me a special
gift envelope. "We think of you and the kids often," she said, "and you are in
our hearts and prayers. We love you." When I opened the envelope, I found two
grocery certificates inside. Each was worth $20. I was so touched and moved, I
broke down and cried.
"Thank you very much," I said, as we hugged each
other. "Please give our love and thanks to the church." Then I drove to a
store near our home and purchased some much-needed items for the
At the check-out counter I had a little over $14.00 worth of
groceries, and I handed the cashier one of the gift certificates. She took it,
then turned her back for what seemed like a very long time. I thought something
might be wrong. Finally I said, "This gift certificate is a real blessing. Our
former church gave it to our family, knowing I'm a single parent trying to make
The cashier then turned around, with tears in her loving
eyes, and replied, "Honey, that's wonderful! Do you have a turkey?"
"No. It's okay because my children are sick anyway."
She then asked,
"Do you have anything else for Thanksgiving dinner?"
Again I replied,
After handing me the change from the certificate, she looked at my
face and said, "Honey, I can't tell you exactly why right now, but I want you to
go back into the store and buy a turkey, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie or
anything else you need for a Thanksgiving dinner."
I was shocked, and
humbled to tears. "Are you sure?" I asked.
"Yes! Get whatever you
want. And get some Gatorade for the kids."
I felt awkward as I went
back to do more shopping, but I selected a fresh turkey, a few yams and
potatoes, and some juices for the children. Then I wheeled the shopping cart up
to the same cashier as before. As I placed my groceries on the counter, she
looked at me once more with giant tears in her kind eyes and began to
"Now I can tell you. This morning I prayed that I could help
someone today, and you walked through my line." She reached under the counter
for her purse and took out a $20 bill. She paid for my groceries and then
handed me the change. Once more I was moved to tears.
The sweet cashier
then said, "I am a Christian. Here is my phone number if you ever need
anything." She then took my head in her hands, kissed my cheek and said, "God
bless you, honey."
As I walked to my car, I was overwhelmed by this
stranger's love and by the realization that God loves my family too, and shows
us his love through this stranger's and my church's kind deeds.
children were supposed to have spent Thanksgiving with their father that year,
but because of the flu they were home with me, for a very special Thanksgiving
Day. They were feeling better, and we all ate the goodness of the Lord's bounty
- and our community's love. Our hearts were truly filled with thanks.