Saturday is about sharing here at Patchwork Lives. At least that’s the idea. The goal is to share information about anything quilty.Today however, I’m sharing a personal story (another unusual thing for me.) It’s also a bit longer than normal.
The Christmas Blessing
For a variety of reasons, Friday night, long after dark, I was several miles from my house and in dire need of gas. I exited off the interstate and traveled along the old highway for a few miles, sure there would be a gas station on the road.
I was right, two in fact. I pulled into the first one, two lonely pumps, one marked out of order, and a small building, in need of a paint job. The clerk on duty was barely visible through a window almost blocked with merchandise. As I pulled up to the next pump my eye caught the bright sign of the second store up the road a little. I bit my lip considering, that station looked more prosperous, and had better light. Still, the tank was empty and there was gas right here. Nothing looked dangerous, although there wouldn’t be a large selection of items inside, all I really wanted was gas. The decision made, I stopped at the tank and went in to prepay for my purchase.
Once inside, I found a clean, if crowded store and the woman working the night shift was friendly.
In fact, with little encouragement she told me some of her recent problems. Her husband died a few months back (oh, how I could relate), two of her children had been involved in vehicle-destroying accidents in recent months. One child totaled her car, the other car was repairable, although the cost was extensive. Luckily no one was seriously injured The financial burden for this mother however, was extensive.
Thursday had been the funeral of her best friend. Last week she’d returned to a flooded home, thanks to her water heater developing a leak. She had to use the store’s credit to purchase a new one, her savings had gone to help her children get usable vehicles. Buying on credit, of course made the water heater more expensive. After cleaning the water damage, and replacing the water heater she began preparing for Christmas, This was to be a special Christmas for her son who would be leaving for Afghanistan next year, shortly after the birth of his first child.
However, those plans were changed when her home heating system quit. Repairing her heating, will take time and money. Christmas is now, one of her children will now host the family for the holiday. The Christmas dinner will wait until after five, when the store/station closes and she’s able to join her family.
Listening to her, my heart wanted to help her. How? I knew listening was helping, just being able to say the words, even if no one had a solution often helps. But, I wanted to do more.
I listened to her closing remarks, “The Bible says God will not give you more than you can handle. But, I think He has this time. I don’t know if I could take any more.” She said, looking outside as though hoping God would appear and fix her problems. Her words gave me the answer.
“Do you enjoy reading?” I asked her.
Her eyes widened, probably surprised at the question, but she nodded that she did.
I practically skipped out the door to put the gas in my car. After fueling the car, I returned to the store with a copy of my book, which I signed to her.
“Maybe some of the stories in here will make you smile.” I said when I handed her the book. “I hope next year is a good year for you.”
Before getting back in the car, I looked back at the store. Through the small clearing in the window I could see her looking at the book. I don’t know if she read it, or if it brightened her day, I hope it did. She certainly added to my day allowing me be her listener.
The long dark drive back to my house was a much easier drive than I’d anticipated. Helping someone else had blessed me beyond measure.
MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR.