Tuesday, February 14, 2012


 This is a Christmas story.....
 Valentine's Day reminds me
 of Christmas. It's all about love,
Jesus' birth is about love come
down.....He is our Valentine.


                 The Table Cloth

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 19 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 
colored, 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 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. 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 house-cleaning 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 there 
he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever 
imagine and was blessed with the 
ultimate Christmas gift.

Isn't that a beautiful story about love?  

Coming up next week is something very big. 
I'm doing something a bit different on my blog,
an interview with a woman who suffers 
from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She
has written a book about her experiences that 
we will also be discussing. Please watch for
announcements for it and come by to visit
while I'm interviewing Leslie Raddatz. The 
interview will be in five chapters....five days.

Hugs to all my Valentines,

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