The Table Cloth

Beautiful story.... makes you understand that things happen for a reason :

 

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 December 18 

were ahead of schedule and just about finished. 

On December 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. 

He was captured, sent to prison and never saw her 

husband or her home again. 

T he 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

 

Who says God does not work in mysterious ways..

 

 

When there is nothing left but God, that is when

 

you find out that God is all you need.