What if you, personally, could make the world a better place...by tomorrow?
Debbie Macomber knows the secret to doing exactly that! In a world that seems too often stingy and grudging, she has witnessed how one simple act of generosity can yield unforeseen miracles. Read more...
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
- Date: Nov 2009
From the book
Fleas, Footsteps, and Checkout Lanes
The Springboard of Gratitude
Kate stepped out of her bookstore at the end of a long, tiring day, locked the door behind her, pulled her scarf up over her nose and mouth to shield her lungs from the bitter cold air, and rushed across the lot to her car. Just one quick stop at the grocery store and she’d be on the way home to cuddle up with her new book in front of a warm fire.
As she waited at the traffic light to turn into the grocery store lot she took off one glove to feel if the air blasting out of the heat vents was starting to warm. Ah, yes. What a relief. In the few minutes it had taken her to get from her bookstore to the grocery store her fingers had started to ache from the cold. “I think I was born with cold fingers,” she muttered. The light changed to green and as she turned into the lot she came alongside a narrow median strip and noticed a man holding a crudely made hand-lettered cardboard sign. homeless. need food. please help. At his feet was a small white plastic bucket. His collar was pulled high against the cold, but her eyes went to his hands holding the sign. Bare hands.
My fingers ache from five minutes in this cold car, with gloves on. How cold must his be? she wondered. Her eyes went to his face. Late twenties, probably six or seven years older than Mark. The sudden thought of her son instantly made her shoulders sag. She hadn’t seen Mark since summer. Addicted to drugs, Mark had left home several months ago after a two-year struggle--maybe war was a better word--with his parents over his drug abuse. He still called sometimes, but he’d been bunking with friends, house hopping, and he’d even slept on the streets rather than come back home. Never had she felt so helpless as she’d felt watching her son self-destruct during these past two years. Never so powerless to meet the deep needs of the son she loved. But he wasn’t ready to give up his drugs or his illusion of freedom. He remained elusive about his whereabouts and declined every offer Kate made to meet him someplace to talk. Where is he tonight? Cold and hungry like this guy? Begging on some street corner? And if a kind stranger gives him a ten-dollar bill, he’ll buy his next hit of pills before buying a warm meal. Kate’s heart sank. Are Mark’s hands cold tonight?
And then it came to her. A quiet nudge. She parked, hurried into the store to pick up bread, eggs, and some yogurt for the weekend, then hit one more aisle. Through the checkout, a dash back to her car, and back along the other side of the median strip, where she pulled alongside the young man, rolled down her window, and stopped. Her heart picked up its pace. He walked over to her car, bucket held out, but she didn’t hand any money out the window. Instead she held out a warm pair of gloves she’d just bought. He looked startled. “Your hands must be terribly cold,” she said. “I hope these help.” The young man looked confused for a moment, then accepted the gloves. “Thanks,” he said. The car behind her honked and she pulled away and moved toward the intersection. She glanced in the rearview mirror and saw him pulling on the gloves. She blinked to clear a few tears away. They were warm on her cold cheeks, but another warmth from somewhere in her core was spreading upward, and she found herself smiling. For the first time in a long time she didn’t feel powerless at the thought of Mark. Take care of my son tonight, Lord, she prayed. Show him Your love through the kindness of a stranger. And Lord, comfort...