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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

THE TABLECLOTH (True Story - submitted by Pastor Rob Reid)


Beautiful story.... makes you understand that things happen for a reason:

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October excited about their opportunities.    When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.
They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc, and on December 18 were ahead of schedule and just about finished. On December 19 a terrible tempest - a driving rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days. On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high. The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home.
On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover up the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.
By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later.

She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area. Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet. "Pastor," she asked, "where did you get that tablecloth?"
The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into it there. They were. These were the initials of thewoman. She had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria. The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten the Tablecloth. The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria.

When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. He was captured, sent to prison and never saw her husband or her home again.
The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth; but she made the pastor keep it for the church. The pastor insisted on driving her home, that was the least he could do.. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.
What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return. One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn't leaving.

The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike. He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a prison.. He never saw his wife or his home again all the 35 years in between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier. He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman's apartment, knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.

Who says God does not work in mysterious ways? His love is always with you. His promises are true, and when we give Him all our cares you know He will see us through.

So when the road you're traveling on seems difficult at best, just remember: When there is nothing left but God, that is when you find out that God is all you need. Take 60 seconds and say the following small prayer:

“Father, God, bless all my friends and family in what ever it is that You know they may be needing this day! May their life be full of your peace, prosperity and power as he/she seeks to have a closer relationship with you. Amen.”

7 comments:

  1. Beautiful story. But is it true or does it lie about the truth?

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  2. It is an embelishment of a 1954 readers digest article. The orignal doesn't include names of people, places or dates. While we can be pretty certain that this version's authenticity is questionable (at best) it is difficult to know, without a starting point, whether the orginal was true, based on a local folk tale or simply a beautiful Christmas story created by the author.

    False or not it is a beautifully romantic story though :)

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  3. I just received this story in an email from a friend. A beautiful story? Yes. True? Most likely not. If one of the ten commandments is not to lie, and we lie about a story calling it true when there is no foundation to its claims, then where does that leave the story?

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  4. Nobody but God knows if this story is really true or not but ... if it wasn't purported as such then non believers would say "What a bunch on sentimental nonsense. As if that could ever truly happen".
    But those who have witnessed God's miraculous power in action know that He loves, He gives, He re-unites, He heals wounds, He rights wrongs and He is not constrained by the 'impossible'. So for every story that is professed as a true account of God's sovereignty in action, you can rely on there being hundreds that never made the Readers Digest or the Internet. :)

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  5. JRC, North Carolina:
    This is a beautiful MIRICLE of GOD; one of many that HE performs every day!! If you don't believe it that's your right, but I know for a fact that GOD is still in the Miricle business for I have seen several in my 65 years on earth!! God loves you, His Son Jesus died on a cross to save you from your sins, which would otherwise send your soul to a real, eternal,fire burning HELL! Please believe in Jesus and except Him as your Savior before it's too late!!!! God bless you all.

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  6. This can be true, just look at the movie "Impossible". That will just show anything is possible with God

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    ReplyDelete