Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Christmas Story

It started out as a routine trip to the atm a couple of days before Christmas. The skies were overcast and the rain stayed steady just enough to keep the wipers on. The boy in the back was about 12 years old and was constantly chattering about the upcoming celebration to his parents. His excitement of the pending Christmas holidays was hard to contain.

Upon pulling into the parking-lot with the atm, (it isn't a drive-up) a young man was noticed. He was standing under the shelter of the atm pushing buttons. As the family sat in the car waiting their turn, the young man pulled out his wallet and turned his back to block their view of his transaction. He made all the motions of placing cash in his wallet and then he pulled out "his" umbrella. An umbrella that appeared to have been discarded by a previous owner and started walking away. He was not driving an automobile, in fact, he was not driving anything at all. He was walking. Men are usually walking in this part of town, and are looking for hand-outs, but there was something different about this one. He was not dressed shabbily, nor did he look unshaven. Just the opposite. He was dressed in a shirt that actually matched his slacks and he looked groomed. Not that he was gotten close enough to discern if he had bathed, but he looked as if he would have, if given the opportunity.

The father in the suv got out and walked up to the atm to retrieve his cash for the days journey leaving his son to chatter on with the mother. The mother listened with one ear, as she was more concerned with the previous customer. There was something about this young man that couldn't be shaken. She watched him make his way down the highway toward the fast-food restaurants at the intersection. "Lord, she thought, are you trying to tell me something about this young man? What is it?"

The father soon returns and a conversation begins. As they drive out of the parking lot, the mother knows she has to do something, but what? She has never made it a habit to give cash to the "beggars" but she has been known to buy them something to eat if they ask. Herein the other dilema, he hasn't asked for anything. How was she going to convince the father that she "has" to do something for this stranger? Almost whispering, she began " I feel like we need to do something for that man." She didn't have to explain which man, the father already knew. They had both watched, as he pretended to place withdrawn cash in his wallet, but neither one had said a word about until now. Mother knew that "THE FATHER" had been working on the father, as well as herself. They were in agreement. They drove until they spotted him again as he had passed all the restaurants. They caught up with him and the father rolled the window down when he got alongside him. The father extended out his hand with the cash and the suprised young man just looked at first and then asked "What is this for?" The father asked in reply "Don't you need some food?" "I sure do" he said, "I sure do" and then gratefully took the money. He didn't grab or snatch it out of his hand. His actions were gentle. The father left him with "God Bless You" as he drove away.

No words could be spoken from the mother. Tears were streaming down her face and her heart was broken. Broken for this young man who was so grateful for something she had taken for granted. Broken, wondering if he would have just one gift to open on Christmas morning. Broken because he had reminded her that our best gift is love. Love that The Father has bestowed upon us. Silently, the tears poured from her eyes. Silently, the son sat in the back. His father ask if he knew why his mother was crying. Yes, he knew, we all knew.

1 John 3:1
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.


Beth said...

*sniff, sniff* Oh, Deb. What an amazing thing! God bless you for following His leading. You never know how far you "outreach" might reach! LOL ((hugs))

Unashamed said...

Was this something that happened to you? God bless you for being God's love in action. Just love 'em where they are...

shortybear said...

Bless you for being you, my dear friend, love you.