A Girl In A Tattered Coat

So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”  Matthew 6: 28,29 NKJV

I want to share a true story that happened in  2016.  I came home, wrote it down, and now will share it here:

Weather report is calling for snow tomorrow. For my area, that means ice.  It’s late, but we need bread and milk, so I drive to the store. Others are doing the same.

I pick up the items and approach the express lane.  To my left are three older teens dressed nice and smiling.  Directly in front of me, leaning against the counter, a young girl tightly clutches a small duffle bag.  I notice her tattered coat, faded sweat pants with holes, and sandals with socks.

My thoughts began to wander about how I am dressed in nice clothes like the teens to my left while this girl is in sandals and a very tattered coat.  I notice a long string that hangs to her knees…instinct wants me to reach out and trim it.

Her movements jar me back as she firmly places the duffle on the counter with fists still clinched.  After the young male cashier moves it across the scanner, she unclinches her fists and places wadded bills and change on the counter. The cashier counts the money and leans forward saying in a low voice,

“You don’t have enough.”

Meanwhile, the teens are watching and one offensively says,

“Look, he is counting it again as if that is going to make it more.”

All three roar with laughter, and as the laughing and mockery continues from the well-dressed teens, I hear the cashier calmly, but with more authority say again,

“You’re about a dollar short.”

The teens are now rolling their eyes and peels of laughter can be heard loudly.  I  open my wallet and get a dollar that I have left over from earlier in the week.

The cashier and the girl are solemnly staring at the pile of money.   I place the dollar on the pile in front of their gaze. Their expressions brighten.  He smiles and in a few seconds places a new shiny quarter in her hand.  She slowly smiles and examines it.  Next, she flips the quarter up in the air and catches it, while the cashier hands her the duffle bag with receipt. Then she is gone and so are the teens.

As I place my items in front of the cashier, tears well up in my eyes.  I blink several times to displace them and try my best to gain composure while I hear the cashier exuberantly exclaim,

“Thank you!  Thank you so much, I couldn’t help her, we are not allowed to help a customer in this manner.  I think it is not a good policy, but I don’t make the rules. Anyway, thank you so much…”

He continued to talk, but it became a blur as my mind was wrapping  around what had just happened.  I paid for my items with my card as usual, not cash! I do not carry cash; why did I have cash on me today?   This week?   I was thinking that I would have used my card to have stopped that mockery to my left and humiliation to my right.  Tears well up again and I quickly gather my bags and smile at the cashier.  As I was walking out I notice the teens pumping quarters  into one of the machines that sits by the doors.  Could they not have just given her a few instead of mocking and laughing?

I cry all the way home as images of Christ walking with the cross appear in my mind.   I see the mockery and laughing, and feel the humbleness in him.

Abundance is my keyword for this post and a few others.  It means plenty or more than enough.  Some may be greedy and want all for themselves.  I suggest to keep what you need then give what’s left over away.  I have always heard you reap what you sow, so… sow some abundance.

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