I recently came across a story that is worth sharing, especially at this time of year. I don't know the author, but wish to offer my thanks to the author for writing it.
One day a man went to the convenience store to get a newspaper, like he normally does. He noticed that the owner of the store had tears in his eyes and kept looking out the window. He asked what was going on.
The store owner said, "Do you see that bus bench over there? There's a woman who comes there every day around this time. She sits there for about an hour, knitting and waiting. Buses come and go, but she never gets on one and no one ever gets off for her to meet. The other day, I carried her a cup of coffee and sat with her for awhile.
"Her only son lives a long way away. She last saw him two years ago, when he boarded one of the buses right there. He is married now, and she has never met her daughter-in-law or seen their new child. She told me, 'It helps to come here and wait. I pray for them as I knit little things for the baby, and I imagine them in their tiny apartment, saving money to come home. I can't wait to see them.'"
The owner continued, saying, he had looked out just now and there they were, getting off the bus. The look on her face when they fell into her arms and when she saw that grandchild for the first time was the nearest thing to pure joy he had ever seen. He said, "I'll never forget that look as long as I live."
The next day the same man returned to the convenience store. The owner was again behind the counter. Before he could say or do anything, he asked, "You sent her son the money for the bus tickets, didn't you?"
The store owner looked back with eyes full of love and a smile that was the nearest thing to pure joy the man had ever seen. He replied, "Yes, I sent him the money. I'll never forget that look as long as I live."
Christmas is the time of year many think of acting kindly toward others. Generosity increases. Remembering the less fortunate is on the forefront of many minds. The joy you instill in others warms the heart.
Thank you for the way you exhibit the generosity, kindness and love that was demonstrated by God when he came to earth in Jesus Christ. May you be richly blessed as you spread joy to others.
The Rev. Mark Broadhead is pastor at Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview.