Posted by: Diane | December 18, 2013

He’s Always There

There was this crazy busyness at the store yesterday – non-stop customers for about an hour and a half.  My head was spinning by the end of it all and I felt exhausted.  I slumped down on a stool, just in time to hear  “Mary, Did You Know” on a secular radio station, followed by a jazzy, “Merry Christmas, Baby.”  (very interesting contrast!) I was enjoying the empty store (I’m definitely not business-minded!) when an older woman sauntered in. I didn’t recognize her – she wasn’t a regular – and I greeted her cheerfully.

No response.

This customer wandered around the store for about twenty minutes and then headed towards the front of the store.  She had some tissue paper and a small block of paper with pictures of cats on it and as she placed the items on the counter, I asked her, “Getting into the Christmas spirit yet?”

She looked at me with very sad eyes and responded, “I don’t feel anything. It’s so difficult to feel happy these days. Last Christmas, exactly one year ago, my husband of 43 years and one of my daughters died on the same day.  My husband died of a heart attack and my daughter got in a car accident when she was driving to the hospital to see her father.”

I dropped everything, stopped the transaction, walked around the counter and stood beside the woman.  I held both her hands, looked into her eyes and  sincerely apologized for my question.

The woman was so gracious to me.

“Please don’t apologize – you had no idea. Thank you for listening to me. I’m still grieving terribly and of course, Christmas time stirs up so many emotions and memories.”

I asked her name.

“It’s Molly.”

The next question just rolled off my tongue.  I could just imagine my husband’s facial expression when I came home and told him that yet another stranger was coming for Christmas dinner… but I couldn’t help myself.

“Molly, do you have somewhere to go on Christmas day? Would you like to come to our house for dinner?

Molly squeezed my hands and said, “Oh no, dear…I will be spending Christmas with my kids but thank you so much for asking.  That’s the Christmas spirit, isn’t it? You must know Jesus. Do you?

I smiled, squeezed her hands and answered a resounding, “Yes!”

Molly looked at me and said, “That’s good to know.  I will come in again when I’m feeling better and we’ll talk more about Jesus.”

What an amazing woman I met today. In her grief, she still saw Jesus in all His glory.

In all the messiness of life, He is there –

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9.6  

wood nativity


  1. Heavenly Father hold all those that grieve at this blessed time of year close to your heart. thank you for growing us to be your ambassadors, placed wherever you need us day by day until you call us home. Thank you for Christmas, and all the emotions that come with this special time. Amen

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