Hi folks! I just got back from Mansfield following an appointment and I couldn’t believe the traffic and the parking lots! Can you imagine what they may be like the week before Christmas? Anyway, the following story is one that will tug at your heart strings and unfortunately, I can’t find out who wrote this article.

The Gold Slippers

It was only four days before Christmas. The spirit of the season hadn't yet caught up with me, even though cars packed the parking lot of our local discount store.

Inside the store, it was worse. Shopping carts and last-minute shoppers jammed the aisles. Why did I come today? I wondered. My feet ached almost as much as my head. My list contained names of several people who claimed they wanted nothing, but I knew their feelings would be hurt if didn't buy them anything.

Buying for someone who had everything and deploring the high cost of items, I considered gift-buying anything but fun. Hurriedly, I filled my shopping cart with last minute items and proceeded to the long checkout lines. I picked the shortest, but it looked as if it would mean at least a 20-minute wait.

In front of me were two small children — a boy of about 5 and a younger girl. The boy wore a ragged coat. Enormously large, tattered tennis shoes jutted far out in front of his much too short jeans. He clutched several crumpled dollar bills in his grimy hands. The girl's clothing resembled her brother's. Her head was a matted mass of curly hair. Reminders of an evening meal showed on her small face.

She carried a beautiful pair of shiny, gold house slippers. As the Christmas music sounded in the store's stereo system, the girl hummed along, off-key but happily.

When we finally approached the checkout register, the girl carefully placed the shoes on the counter. She treated them as though they were a treasure.

The clerk rang up the bill. "That will be $6.09," she said. The boy laid his crumpled dollars atop the stand while he searched his pockets. He finally came up with $3.12. "I guess we will have to put them back, " he bravely said.

"We will come back some other time, maybe tomorrow." With that statement, a soft sob broke from the little girl. "But Jesus would have loved these shoes," she cried. "Well, we'll go home and work some more. Don't cry. We'll come back," he said.

Quickly I handed $3 to the cashier. These children had waited in line for a long time. And, after all, it was Christmas. Suddenly a pair of arms came around me and a small voice said, "Thank you lady."

"What did you mean when you said Jesus would like the shoes?" I asked.

The boy answered, "Our mommy is sick and going to heaven. Daddy said she might go before Christmas to be with Jesus." The girl spoke, "My Sunday school teacher said the streets in heaven are shiny gold, just like these shoes."

"Won't mommy be beautiful walking on those streets to match these shoes?"

My eyes flooded as I looked into her tear streaked face. "Yes" I answered, "I am sure she will."

Silently I thanked God for using these children to remind me of the true spirit of giving." 'Tis the Season!! Remember that it's better to give than receive.


Birthdays being celebrated this week include: Dec. 5 – Larry Kauffman and Marv Cates; Dec. 6 – Linda Zody; Dec. 7 – Jaimie Book, Miranda Oswalt, Abbie Kline and Gavin Spreng; Dec. 8 – Tracy Burgess; Dec. 9 – Jim Haudenschild, Sandy Weltmer, John Burkhart, and Sally Snow. Many happy returns of the day!


I attended the L-P Ministerial Association’s Thanksgiving service for the communities at the Loudonville Methodist Church on Nov. 19 and want to thank those individuals for a beautiful and meaningful service.

After the service was over, many folks I chatted with felt the same as me. It was truly inspiring!


Only two couples are celebrating their wedding anniversaries this week. Dec. 6 – Ron and Carol Endslow (their 48th) and Dec. 11 – Jim and Cyndde Griffith.

Congratulations!


Finally, "Shopping is a woman thing. It's a contact sport like football. Women enjoy the scrimmage, the noisy crowds, the danger of being trampled to death, and the ecstasy of the purchase." — Erma Bombeck