Hard time at Christmas

Time and again, I have met folks who believe and practice, “If we are faithful to God, He will be faithful to us.”
But no one said it was always easy as my co-worker said, “I have always tithed,” she said. “Even when I did not know how I could do it, I tithed … and it always worked out. I don’t know how, but I always had enough money.”
As with any family, she experienced times when the money was tight, as she did the year her husband had been off work for six weeks with medical problems .
“We were not starving, but it was tight,” she said. “I did not know how I would be able to buy any Christmas for the kids that year. I was a stay-at-home mom with a two-year-old at home. The older children were 7 and 19 at the time.”
“I was talking on the phone with my really good friend. I was standing at the kitchen window when I saw a white truck pull up that said something about the Bell Phone company on the side.”
“I told my friend, ‘A white truck just drove up.’” She paused and watched as the driver opened the door and got out.
“There is someone here with a red shirt, white beard and gray hair. He looks just like Santa Claus,” she half laughed as she told her friend.
“Keep me on the phone,” her friend urged.
“I’m sure it will be fine,” she said, but stayed on the line anyway as the man walked up to the house and knocked at the door.
The stay-at-home mom went over to the door, opened it and asked, “May I help you?”The man in the red shirt with the white beard said, “I heard you were having a hard time this year at Christmas.” He reached in his pocket, pulled out a white envelope and said, “This is for you.”
She took it, and before she could open it or even say “thank you” he turned, walked quickly back to his truck, climbed in and drove away.
Her friend’s voice came over the phone, “Who was it? What happened?”
“He looked like Santa Claus, that’s all that I can tell you because it happened really fast and quick.”
“What did he do?”
“He came up to the door, said ‘I understand things have been a bit tight this year’ and gave me a white envelope.”
“What’s in it?”
“I don’t know. I haven’t opened it. I am kind of afraid to open it,”
“Open it! Open the envelope and see what it is,” her friend insisted.
Okay,” She slipped her finger behind the flap, opened the envelope, pulled out five one hundred dollar bills and began screaming.
“Oh my! It’s five one hundred dollar bills,” she half cried and half screamed.
Her friend screamed happily with her.
“And, I never had a chance to ‘thank him’,” she said.
“Did you give him my address?” her friend teased.
The family never did find out who had brought the cash – although one person did try. “They called the phone company and asked, but no one there fit that description.”
“Some people say that Santa Claus visited me,” my co-worker said. “But, I do not think it was Santa Claus, I believe it was an angel.”
“It is like I heard at the Bible Study the other night, ‘Jesus is Sweet.’ I have heard that He is good. I have heard that He is real, but that year, Jesus was sweet. He was so sweet to us. We had a nice Christmas dinner. It was just amazing,” she said.
In the years since that event, her children have all entered full time ministry.
Yes, Jesus is good. Jesus is real – and when times are tough He is sweet, so sweet – as my co-worker discovered the day when a man who looked like Santa Claus gave her an envelope with much needed cash.
(Joan Hershberger is a reporter at the News-Times. E-mail her at joanh@everybody.org.)