From the Heart of the Minister – January 2021

Seeing the Good When Nothing Around You Is!

I’ll be honest with you. So far, I’m not all that thrilled with 2021.  But I have to admit that in spite of the rough spots, there have been some pretty hefty blessings.

Being alone at Christmas is dismal.  Between Christmas Eve and Christmas day however, I was visited by three Christmas angels who all arrived separately and brought some unexpected presents…my very own version of the Magi!

But it was the fourth Christmas angel that brought the biggest blessing.  Yesterday morning started with some very upsetting news that a family crisis was unfolding.  I immediately headed to my sister’s house to do what I could to help.  She needed some scripts picked up at the drug store and then asked me to get milk and bread.  Getting the scripts was no problem but the CVS didn’t have the 1% milk and I never did find the bread.  Down the street is a super WaWa so I stopped in there.  No 1% milk.  About a block away was an Aldi store.  I was glad to go in there because I needed a few things myself and could take care of my sister and me at one place.

I didn’t get much – it all fit in the seat part of the shopping cart.  I waited in line and had a very pleasant cashier checking out my order.  As she was getting to the end of my items, I went in my purse for my debit card.  It wasn’t there.  Being a stubborn redhead, I must have gone through my wallet ten times before I was willing to give up.

Unfortunately, when I counted my cash, I had a five and five ones.  The total was $18.  I wanted to crawl under the conveyer belt and stay there.  By this time I had apologized at least a dozen times and told the cashier I only had $10 and would have to put some things back.  When I started reaching for some things to put back – my face a brilliant crimson –   the cashier said “Hold on a minute, Honey, I’ll be right back”.  She was right back but I used the time to look once more through my wallet willing that card to magically appear.  Didn’t happen.  But what did happen was the cashier handed me a slip of paper and said “Here’s your receipt, you are good to go”.

I was completely and utterly confused.  She looked at me standing there and said “Go ahead, you are all finished”.  I was finally able to mutter something like “How can that be” and the cashier said “Happy New Year, Honey, now go on.  You are all checked out.”  I started to cry and she quickly said, “No need for that, now…Happy New Year”  To the relief of the customer behind me, I finally started walking away.  I turned around twice before I got to the door and caught the cashier’s eye long enough to say thank you.

This wasn’t a case where I was a dollar short and the person behind me paid it.  It wasn’t a case where I was a few cents short and the cashier waved me on.  My entire bill was paid in full.

I called a friend to share this story and when I got to the end, she said…..”That must be how it feels to come to the realization that Jesus has paid your debt.”  The gasp I heard was my own.  Although I have known from a young child that Jesus paid for my sins, I was never able to see it so clearly.  Or feel it so deeply.  Or be so utterly grateful.  Or to love Him back so completely.

Am I embarrassed that I didn’t have the money to pay for my groceries?  Yes, indeed!  Am I grateful that this happened so that I see Jesus a little more clearly?  You bet!!

I was still flabbergasted when Joan Pesta, OFS, Minister of Holy Dormition, called to discuss a few things.  When we had taken care of her concerns, I timidly asked if I could tell her a story.  She, too, was moved and suggested that I share it.  So, thanks Joan, for your encouragement!

Happy New Year brothers and sisters.  May you, too, take a step closer to Jesus in the coming year.

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