INSPIRING STORY OF THE WEEK
THE LACE TABLECLOTH
by LOIS W. STERN
Although the inspiring story you are about to read is timely for the holidays, its message is one we can enjoy throughout the year.
In this inspiring story, a young pastor and his wife had just accepted an assignment for their first ministry. They arrived in early October to reopen this abandoned church, but when they walked inside, they saw a church that was quite run down. Although it needed much work, they were excited about their opportunities and determined to have everything ready in time for their first service on Christmas Eve.
They got to work: repairing pews, plastering walls, painting and cleaning, but their hard work paid off. On December 18th they were ahead of schedule – eagerly awaiting their big day.
Then on December 19th the unthinkable happened. A driving rainstorm hit the area, lasting for forty-eight hours. When the pastor reentered his church on December 21st, his heart sank. The roof had leaked, causing a a huge hunk of plaster, 20 feet by 8 feet, to fall off the front wall, head high just behind the pulpit. The pastor cleaned up the mess as best he could, thinking the unthinkable. Should he postpone his Christmas Eve service?
On his way home, he noticed that a local business was having a flea market charity sale. One of the items, a beautiful handmade tablecloth, caught his eye. Crocheted in a soft creamy beige color, it had an exquisite cross embroidered right in the center. What’s more, it was just the right size to cover the fallen plaster behind the pulpit.
The pastor bought it and while rushing back to the church, noticed an elderly woman running to catch a bus. She missed it so the pastor invited her to sit in his church for the next 45 minutes until she could catch the next scheduled bus. She sat in a pew, paying little attention to the pastor as he got out a ladder and nails. When he finished hanging his new found wall tapestry, he could hardly believe how beautiful it looked. He sat back and smiled, not just because of its beauty, but because it covered up the entire damaged wall.
Then he looked up to notice the elderly woman rushing down the center aisle toward him. Her face was pale as a sheet. “Pastor, where did you get that tablecloth?” she gasped. The pastor explained, and then she asked him to check its lower right corner. Once he turned up that corner, they both saw the initials ERB crocheted there in tiny letters.
This story is only the beginning of a series of events in an inspiring story that makes one wonder: “Is there really such a thing as coincidence, or is it divine intervention?” You decide.
This story is now published in
Tales2Inspire ~ The Emerald Collection
Beyond Coincidence Stories