On our annual Mother/Daughter Christmas shopping trip when the second strange event occurred, I couldn’t deny…something pretty special was going on! Every November my daughter Collins and I go on an annual Christmas shop just before Thanksgiving. It has become something that we look forward to and usually invite other mothers/daughters to join in. It is a time to “git-r-done” and a time of fellowship and memory making.
Christmas Shop 2014 is one to remember. This year we had great friends from Texas join us. Friends we rarely get to see because of our kids’ ages and schedules, but we vowed to change that this past summer, so they bought airline tickets to join us in Atlanta. They flew in on a Saturday morning and joined us for shopping. The daughters made a quick trip to a coffee shop while we headed to the men’s department to buy presents for our sons and husbands.
As I was gathering my things to check out, my friend walked up and said, “Hey, this fellow gave me his card and said we could put our stuff with him. He will hold it and ship it to us for free and give us “Black Friday” sale prices.” “Wow!” was all I could think. The guy I had been dealing with didn’t offer me that deal so I kindly went with my friend’s guy, gave him my stuff and my card. He gave me his card and we departed being so excited about our great fortune. It is key for me to point out here–the deal was not originally offered to me. It was offered to my friend from Texas.
We continued to shop and went to a really nice boutique. I was there to buy a wallet and earrings. We spent around an hour in the store where my friend and her daughter tried on shoes and looked at purses. We were offered water and there were sofas to sit on. We were soaking in the experience. I knew exactly what I had come for so I immediately found and purchased my gifts. The rest of the time I was just enjoying watching my friend try on and mull over what she wanted to buy.
After we had been in the store for quite a while having a great time, my friend finally decided on some shoes and a purse. As she was sitting on the sofa waiting to check out, a man in a suit appeared. We had never seen this man but he knelt down and asked my friend, “Are you the lady from Texas?” My friend said, “Yes, I am.” He then said, “Our employee told me you were one of the nicest people she has ever waited on and she wants to give you 30% off of your purchase.” He turned to me and asked for my receipt as well because he wanted to extend the discount to me! I was stunned!!!
He took my receipt, offered us more water and disappeared to give us the discount. I was blown away. I watched for a little while to see if anyone else in the store was getting the discount and as far as I could tell, it was only happening to us. When the employee reappeared, she handed me cash because I had paid in cash. We thanked her and she said, “It was my pleasure. I so enjoyed waiting on you girls!” As we walked out of the store, my friend said, “This is too funny. I think you are an angel and God is giving us favor because of you!”
I can tell you right now….that is NOT the case. You see, my friend is one of the sweetest people I have ever known and on top of that, one of the most generous. I have known her for a long time and there is not enough room in the post to elaborate on her nature, or her husband’s for that matter. Let me just say, they are very unique people.
On with the story…as we were traveling around that day, in and out of stores and the car…she was talking on her phone and I was not eavesdropping…but I kind of was. We have a mutual friend whose daughter is dying. What I learned is that my friend and her husband were making plans and arranging to pay to fly our friend’s daughter home on a private plane so that she could die at home. Let me just say…..there is no way….I can’t tell this story. You see, I have known this couple for 14 years and watched them do hundreds of things for others secretly. Seriously, hundreds of things to help people…….especially people in need! We are told in Matthew 6:3-4, “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” I saw this principle in action!
As I listened to her continually check on our friend and communicate with her husband…I was so moved and touched by their hearts. I finally turned to her and said, “Donna, what is going on here with the shopping is a God thing. He is hugging you and blessing you for your HEART! I just happen to be benefitting.” She just looked at me with a blank stare and smiled! I wanted her to know all the good fortune had nothing to do with me! Nothing at all. I was just glad to be watching it all unfold!
The story doesn’t stop here. After our trip….and we were all at home…she texted me the next day and asked if she could call me because she had another shopping story! Of course I couldn’t wait….she called to tell me that upon arrival back in Texas, she and her daughter had gone to make a big purchase of some coats at a particular store. At check-out the lady stopped and said, “Wait just a minute,” and then disappeared. She came back a few minutes later and handed her card to Donna and told her to call the next day because she was going to give her the sale price and adjust her receipt. She said to Donna, “You will save a lot of money!!!”
Let me just explain the bigger picture here….my friend is so sweet and so kind. She exhibits 2 Corinthians 9:7, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” In Atlanta I am not sure she believed me when I said….”God is showing favor to you.” She is the type that somehow wanted to give me credit and not herself. She is humble and always looking to highlight something great in someone else. I believe the “weird and unusual” happened in Texas after we departed so there would be NO DOUBT in her mind that it was God blessing her for her family’s heart towards others!
This story has made my Christmas. Christmas is about giving. God gave us his Son! He continues to bless me with up-close encounters of His hand and His faithfulness and goodness to his people who put legs on their faith and their purses!
Do you know the words to the song, “Find Us Faithful”? Here are the words to the chorus:
“Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave
Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey”
I would like to end this post by asking you to remember our mutual friend in prayer…who, over the next weeks, will lose their daughter who has fought her disease courageously. She has fought with courage and a faithful witness to all who know her and her family!