Christmas Tears

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 I Didn't Buy Them Anything

Hurriedly I Filled My Shopping Cart With Last Minute Items
I Proceeded To The Long Checkout Lines
I Picked The Shortest Line
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
He Was Wearing Enormously Large, Tattered Tennis Shoes
The 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 On 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
He Searched His Pockets For More Money
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 $3.00 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
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"

I Thanked God For Using These Children To Remind Me Of The True Spirit Of Giving

Author Unknown

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