To the beautiful mother with three young boys. I wanted you to know that I prayed to be guided to you. And God answered my prayer. I tucked my kids in bed before I left. I listened for promptings from the Spirit as I pulled away from my house and went to a nearby grocery store. It was Christmas eve and it was late in the evening. The grocery store had closed hours ago. It was cold and dark and the ground was covered in heavy snow. I saw a few people walking home after working all day. But they weren't the ones I was sent to find. I kept driving and found myself at a K-Mart that was about to close. I waited in the parking lot for almost 30 minutes watching for someone. I even thought I had found the right family when I saw a young couple with a child park their car and walk into the store.
I waited for the prompting to give them our jar that we had carefully filled week by week.
But the prompting was to wait, they were not the family I was looking for.
Then you came out of the store with your three boys. You hadn't bought anything. Your boys were quick to get to the car and you pulled away before I could get across the parking lot to talk to you. So I followed your van as you drove away. I would never do that, except that the Spirit prompted me to follow. You drove less than a half mile to the nearest bank. (The same one that I went to earlier in the week to get a few extra bills that went in the jar.) It was very late at this point and I worried that you would panic when you saw me waiting in my van while you visited the ATM. I tried to stand in the light as you came out. I noticed that you only withdrew a single bill from the ATM.
It took a lot of courage for me to speak up and ask if you would accept our gift. I'm not an extroverted type. You looked at me cautiously. I tried to explain how my kids had entrusted me to deliver the jar on Christmas eve. They had all gone to bed and I could not return home before finishing my duty of love.
As I held out the jar, you looked at me again and then reached up and received it. And then you gave me a great big hug. My heart was overjoyed and I cried. And then your beautiful boys climbed out of the van to run over and thank me with pure joy that only a child can share. And I cried again as I made my way back home.
Thank you so much for receiving our gift. I am so grateful to have witnessed the awesome power of God in the lives of both of our families this evening. God answered both of our prayers.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Christmas Jar Story: 'God answered both of our prayers'
Merry Christmas! Inspirational stories are coming in faster than we can post them. Eventually all will be available online, but in the meantime, read this standout that came in overnight. It brought tears to my eyes all three times I read it. I bet your experience is the same.