Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It must be raining~ By Bob Perks

"It must be raining"By Bob Perks
The images flash across my television screenas I sit there in the comfort of my home.

"It's that time of year again," I thought to myself.

Then realizing how foolish that was to say, I satup in my chair and watched closer.

The news reporter was telling the story of one ofmany food banks in our area that were servingthose in need of the basics for the holidays.

This particular place had both food and clothing.Food for the body and warm second hand coats for children.

"It's that time of year again," replayed in my mind.

I meant that throughout the holidays wesee such reports over and over, unlike the other 11 months when the same people are hungry,in need of clothing, basic services and a little helpwith life.

Maybe I said it because I was becoming numb to it all, like watching the same commercials a hundredtimes.

I was about to feel the real impact of it all.

I was sitting at the counter having breakfast at a local diner the next day.

It's a small "quaint" place. Local people, husband andwife cook and serve.

A man walked in and sat next to me. There is little elbow room as it is and he was a big fellow.

On top of the milk dispenser is a small television placedthere for both the customers enjoyment and the owners when things get slow.

It just so happened that the news was on and once again that same report on the food bank. This time it included more information and a few interviewsof some of the people who participated.

There was a little girl looking through the coats.
The reporter asked her if she found something that fit.

She turned toward the camera and smiled. She flipped her soft brown hair up over the collar as she pulled and tugged at the front to make sureit would zipper properly.

"I like this store. Mommy said I could have any coat I wanted, but I'm getting this one for my friend. Her daddy won't come here. Mommysays he's too proud. Whatever that means.All I know is Mandy needs a coat."

Out of the corner of my eye I could see the man next to me lower his head. Without looking uphe fumbled for a napkin and began to wipe his eyes.

"Incredibly sad, isn't it?" I said.

He didn't respond.

"Are you okay?" I asked.

"Yes," he said quietly.

"Hey, don't feel bad, I've shed many tears through the holidays for those who don't have nearly as much as I and I am in no wayfinancially set for life," I told him.

"I'm a writer. I live on my dreams," I added.

He turned toward me. I could still see thedampness of tear filled eyes. He raised his hand to his chest and pointing at himself he said..."I'm Mandy's father. That's
the first I've seen that. The little girl goes to
school with my daughter."

Oh, my god! My chest tightened, my hands shook and I shared in his tears.

"It must be raining," he joked.

We spoke for a few more minutes about how he felt and what he needed to do.
Turns out he's unemployed for more than
a year now and doing odd jobs to pay bills.

We said our goodbyes and I approachedthe register.

I whispered that I wanted his check.

"He only gets coffee," she said.

"Well, here. This is for my meal, his coffee and tell him this is for Mandy.He'll understand."

Many years ago I spoke at my friend'schurch in Atlanta, The Ark of Salvation.
A woman came up to me and said God told her to give me everything she had in her wallet. I was shaken by the thought and began to refuse it. Things were better for me back then.
I couldn't justify what she offered.

God spoke to me as I listened to her explain.

"It isn't very much, but God said that it would multiply. Please take it."

I did. I shared the story with Nathaniel Bronner,the pastor of the church and he smiled assuring me I did the right thing.

It was $57. I always carry it with me until thisvery day. I give it away and replace it. It has indeed multiplied many times. God is an amazing God Who has never failed to replace that $57 each and every time I use it.

I turned to walk away and another man sittingat the counter grabbed my arm and said..."I overheard your conversation with that man.I'll help him, too."

He then wiped his eyes and said, "He's right.It must be raining."

You can visit the church website, view or listen to
The Online Word.

There's a lot of hope and inspiration there...especially when
"It must be raining."

"I wish you enough!"
Bob Perks

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