The Table cloth

Discussion in 'Spirituality/Worship' started by JimB, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. JimB

    JimB New Member


    The Table Cloth

    The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry,
    to
    reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October excited about
    their opportunities.

    When they saw their church, it was very 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, etc. and on
    Dec
    18 were ahead of schedule and just about finished.

    On Dec. 19 a terrible tempest - a driving rainstorm - hit the area and
    lasted
    for two days. On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart
    sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster
    about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just
    behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.

    The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do
    but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home. On the way he noticed
    that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity so he
    stopped in. 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 headed back to the church.

    By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the
    opposite
    direction was trying to catch the bus. 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, hangers,
    etc.,
    to put up the
    tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful
    it looked and it covered up the entire problem area. Then he noticed the
    woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet.
    "Pastor," she asked, "where did you get that tablecloth?" The pastor
    explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the
    initials, EBG were crocheted into it there. They were. These were the
    initials of the woman, and she had made this
    tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria. The woman could hardly believe it as
    the pastor told how he had just gotten the Tablecloth. The woman explained
    that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria.
    When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to
    follow
    her the next week. She was captured, sent to prison and never saw her
    husband
    or her home again. The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth; but she
    made
    the pastor keep it for the church. The pastor insisted on driving her home,
    that was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of Staten Island
    and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.

    What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The
    church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. 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, and the
    pastor wondered why he wasn't leaving. The man asked him where he got the
    tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife
    had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could
    there be two tablecloths so much alike? He told the pastor how the Nazis
    came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety, and he was supposed to
    follow her, but he was
    arrested and put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home again all
    the
    35 years in between.

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

    True Story - submitted by Pastor Rob Reid.