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Old 04-03-2010, 07:27 PM   #94
Avalon Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Lunar Base II
Posts: 3,093
Default Re: Red Letter Church

The following true story was printed in the December 2006 issue of “The American Organist” magazine:

The brand new pastor and his wife were assigned, as their first ministry, to reopen a church in Brooklyn. They arrived in early October, excited about their opportunities. Unfortunately, the church building was 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 and cleaning, and on December 18 were ahead of schedule and almost finished.

On December 19, a torrential rainstorm hit the area and lased for two days. When the pastor went to the church on the 21st his heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.

He cleaned up the mess on the floor and headed home. On the way he stopped at a local business that was having a sale for charity. 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 returned to the church.

By this time it had started to snow. An elderly woman came running from the opposite direction attempting to catch a bus. When 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, and hung the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked, and it covered up the problem area perfectly.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was white as a sheet. "Pastor," she asked, "where did you get that tablecloth?" When he explained, the woman asked him to check the lower-right corner to see if the initials EBG were crocheted into it. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had made the tablecloth 35 years before.

The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten the tablecloth. She explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria. When the Nazis came, her husband forced her to leave for her safety. He was going to follow her the next week, but he was arrested and imprisoned. She never saw him or her home again. The pastor wanted give her the tablecloth, but she insisted he keep it as a Christmas gift to the church. The pastor offered to drive her home, feeling that was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn that day for a housecleaning job.

The church was almost full for a wonderful service on Christmas Eve. 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. When the pastor spoke to him, the man asked him where he got the cloth hanging on the front wall, saying it was identical to a tablecloth that his wife had made in Austria where they lived before the war. He was amazed that there could be two tablecloths so much alike. He explained how he and his wife were separated by the Nazis 35 years before, and had never been able to find each other over all the years.

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

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