Some years move faster than others. In fact as time has shown me, every year creates a tempo of its own and this year 2011 (year of the metal rabbit) is no exception to the rule. The year of the dragon is just around the corner (2012) and the Chinese say this is a very auspicious year for the west. About time, is my only murmur… I would like to acknowledge the excerpt from an email that I am going to post for my year end Christmas post. It was sent to me by a Christian friend. She was feeling really blue because her dearest friend of forever died quite unexpectedly. The following Christmas story doesn’t really hold a story of positive affirmations in the overt sense; it does show the experience of coincidence and the value in feeling hope,┬ápromise and gratitude on a daily basis. As I find myself saying more and more these days – you are a miracle just to be here. No matter where your walk is, and I totally understand that we all need to walk our own way, may I suggest you leave yourself sometime for understanding why you are here – at all.

With respect to all religious denominations this following Christmas story is written in the spirit of Christmas and the Christian faith. However, being a respectful person of human understanding I have included a video at the bottom of this posting (if you want to scroll down to it and skip the text) that can be enjoyed by everyone.

Who ever you are, where ever you are, may your load be light and your day filled with laughter.

Happy Holidays and Seasons greetings!

Enjoy the read.

Beautiful story. . . things happen for a reason. Inspirational Christmas story.

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 18th were ahead of schedule and just about finished. On December 19th 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 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 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 forty five 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 the woman and she had made this tablecloth thirty-five 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 she 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. 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 thirty five years 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 re-union he could ever imagine.

Prayer: Father, God, bless all my friends and family in whatever it is that You know they may be needing this Christmas day.

Origins: True or not, this is one fabulous story. A lonely couple, separated by that greatest of evils, war. Each unaware of the others’ fate, is brought together again on the holiest of holidays by a man of the cloth. The key to their reunion is an ordinary object that no one else valued, and the chain of events unfolds due to an amazingly serendipitous series of circumstances. If only a storm hadn’t knocked a hole in the church wall, if only someone else had bought the tablecloth, if only the woman hadn’t happened to be standing outside the church at just the right moment, if only her long-lost husband hadn’t coincidentally been a member of that particular church, the couple might never have found each other again.

Of course to those who believe in miracles, all of this was no mere coincidence.

What do we know of this tale? It’s called “The Gold and Ivory tablecloth”; it was written by the Rev. Howard C. Schade pastor of the First Reformed Church in Nyack, New York. It was published in the December 1954 issue of Reader’s Digest; and it was anthologized in Alice Gray’s Christmas Stories for the Heart in 1998.

O.K., grab your popcorn-sit back put your feet up, and enjoy a hour of sensory-immersive experience of the world’s most beautiful environments.

Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy holidays, Happy everything!

Created by Livinglandscapes HD

Have a beautiful day,

Photo: ‘breathe’ PKM



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