A Thanksgiving Story

Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert – January 27, 2004

It was the day before Thanksgiving – the first one my three children and I would be spending without their father, who had left several months before. Now the two older children were very sick with the flu, and the eldest had just been prescribed bed rest for a week.

It was a cool, gray day outside, and a light rain was falling.  I grew wearier as I scurried around, trying to care for each child: thermometers, juice, diapers. And I was fast running out of liquids for the children. But when I checked my purse, all I found was about $2.50 – and this was supposed to last me until the end of the month. That’s when I heard the phone ring.

It was the secretary from our former church, and she told me that they had been thinking about us and had something to give us from the congregation. I told her that I was going out to pick up some more juice and soup for the children, and I would drop by the church on my way to the market.

I arrived at the church just before lunch. The church secretary met me at the door and handed me a special gift envelope. “We think of you and the kids often,” she said, “and you are in our hearts and prayers. We love you.” When I opened the envelope, I found two grocery certificates inside. Each was worth $20. I was so touched and moved, I broke down and cried.

“Thank you very much,” I said, as we hugged each other. “Please give our love and thanks to the church.” Then I drove to a store near our home and purchased some much-needed items for the children.

At the check-out counter I had a little over $14.00 worth of groceries, and I handed the cashier one of the gift certificates. She took it, then turned her back for what seemed like a very long time. I thought something might be wrong.

Finally I said, “This gift certificate is a real blessing. Our former church gave it to our family, knowing I’m a single parent trying to make ends meet.”

The cashier then turned around, with tears in her loving eyes, and replied, “Honey, that’s wonderful! Do you have a turkey?”

“No. It’s okay because my children are sick anyway.”

She then asked, “Do you have anything else for Thanksgiving dinner?”

Again I replied, “No.”

After handing me the change from the certificate, she looked at my face and said, “Honey, I can’t tell you exactly why right now, but I want you to go back into the store and buy a turkey, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie or anything else you need for a Thanksgiving dinner.”

I was shocked, and humbled to tears. “Are you sure?” I asked.

“Yes! Get whatever you want. And get some Gatorade for the kids.”

I felt awkward as I went back to do more shopping, but I selected a fresh turkey, a few yams and potatoes, and some juices for the children. Then I wheeled the shopping cart up to the same cashier as before. As I placed my groceries on the counter, she looked at me once more with giant tears in her kind eyes and began to speak.

“Now I can tell you. This morning I prayed that I could help someone today, and you walked through my line.” She reached under the counter for her purse and took out a $20 bill. She paid for my groceries and then handed me the change. Once more I was moved to tears.

The sweet cashier then said, “I am a Christian. Here is my phone number if you ever need anything.” She then took my head in her hands, kissed my cheek and said, “God bless you, honey.”

As I walked to my car, I was overwhelmed by this stranger’s love and by the realization that God loves my family too, and shows us his love through this stranger’s and my church’s kind deeds.

The children were supposed to have spent Thanksgiving with their father that year, but because of the flu they were home with me, for a very special Thanksgiving Day.

They were feeling better, and we all ate the goodness of the Lord’s bounty – and our community’s love. Our hearts were truly filled with thanks.

 

Author Unknown - Please comment if you know the author so credit can be awarded.
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18 comments
  1. kiwiskan said:

    We have also been on the receiving end of God’s provision, and it is a wonderful experience

  2. This story moved me to tears myself, just reading it. I’ve decided to hand out bags of food and water to the homeless this year. Do you know what? I just found some insulated cloth bags – with ZIPPERS ON THEM – for only 99 cents!!! I bought a bunch of them and am going shopping tomorrow to fill them up. I can hardly wait!

  3. Beautiful story, Kenny T.! We all have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. God bless, and keep spreading the cheer! 🙂

  4. lala1966 said:

    thank you for sharing this wonderful story!

  5. Sweet story. I didn’t expect to need a tissue. I have a story or two that are appropriate for Thanksgiving that I wonder if you have. One is Tom’s Thanksgiving Turkey, and the other is A Bouqet of Thorns. I would be happy to add them to your collection.

    • I would love to use the stories. I can re-blog from your site or you can send the the stories and I can post them on Morning Story and Dilbert. My email address is kennytedder@gmail.com. I don’t give everybody my email address, so let’s keep it top secret 🙂 Take Care and god Bless Kenny T

  6. Wonderful story! Good reminder to think of others as we prepare for our own feasts.

  7. This is so beautiful, the replies too. All of this ‘Black Friday’ madness just makes me sick when we should instead be rushing to side of our brothers and sisters in need. I’d love to hear about people standing in line to serve the poor at the local soup kitchen instead of who got the best deal at WalMart.

    Please God touch the hearts of your children and guide them to those who are truly in need this year.

    Thank you Kenny T for your Christian witness everyday of the week.

  8. (; Kenny, you need to start put warnings for tissues needed…

    This T-day will be the first one without my husband so yesterday’s worship was extremely teary. Close to the end of the service I was handed a note saying someone had left a cake for my family in the back of the church. The faucet turned on full blast and wouldn’t stop. Thursday afternoon, a friend is taking us in to share lunch with her family…

    I don’t like to accept charity. I don’t like to be the one in need. I am a giver-not a receiver. We can choose to make a difference in someone’s life or we can call it a missed opportunity. There are so many opportunities. Thank you for this. I too would rather hear more stories of goodness in the news.

    • Thank you for your comment. And I know you are a Giver, that’s so easy to see in your words. Sometimes we have to be a Receiver so another person can be blessed as a Giver… Take Care and God Bless 🙂 Kenny T ps: maybe I should use this as a tag line; Best read with a cup of coffee, hot Tea and maybe a Kleenex LOL

      • Maybe a BOX of tissues 😀 …

        You are right about being the Receiver and it is very humbling. Take care.

  9. kdcorner said:

    This is BEAUTIFUL. Thank you for sharing it Kenny T. 🙂

  10. Debbie said:

    I always come away feeling so much better after I have read your posts. Thanks

  11. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful story. What a message for thought as we consider how to let God use us on a day by day basis…but especially the holidays when so many people are in need of love, care, and compassion acted out.

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