His Marvelous Ways
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Black Friday Specials
Beth and Margie clung tightly to each other so they wouldn’t get separated amidst the swarms of people carrying armloads of baggage.
"Oww! Oh my God this foot hurts! I think there might be a broken bone. Look Margie, it's turning black and blue."
They'd been caught in a stampede as they had entered the mall.
"Yes, it sure is turning black, Beth. Oh dear Lord. Come on, let’s duck in here. We need to eat anyway.”
"Ok. I’m starving. Dear God this foot hurts.”
Margie helped her sister hobble through the entrance but once inside they found the restaurant no less crowded
than the mall corridor.
"Stay here. Be right back.” Beth nodded and winced with pain.
Margie pressed toward the hostess desk and raised her voice over the clamor.
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“My sister might have a broken foot. How long is the wait?”
“An hour and a half” the hostess yelled back.
She tilted her chin upward, closed her eyes and thought, “Now what?” Her shoulders ached from the weight of the bags
A lone man wearing a red and blue pinstriped shirt had seen them come in, and now he beckoned, “Come over here! I have room for you.”
Any other day they might have ignored him, but not today. Beth breathed a sigh of relief. Margie helped Beth hobble to the table where the man stood to take their baggage. The two women collapsed into his booth as a waitress sprinted by but did not offer a menu.
Beth spoke first. “I’ve never been so happy to sit down in my life. Thank you.”
The man kindly smiled and nodded while arranging their bags so that no one would trip, then sat down with them at his table.Margie thanked him, then explained that Beth’s foot might be broken.
“Yes, I know. I heard you tell the hostess. May I see your foot?”
Beth’s foot throbbed as she took off her shoe. “Oh no. Look at it! What are we going to do? I can hardly walk.”
The man took her foot in his hands and inspected it. “Yes, you’re in need of a physician. But don't worry...you're in good hands.”
Margie and Beth were stunned. Margie asked, "What? You mean you're a doctor!?"
As he was still inspecting Beth's foot, she laughed, "How ironic. So what do you think, doctor?"
He winked in a fatherly way. "I think we can fix it.".
“Ok, well, that's wonderful. But how am I going to walk out of here? This Black Friday has turned out to be a very painful day! People will do anything to save $100.00 or $200.00 on Christmas gifts!”
Again the man humbly smiled and agreed. ”Yes, Christmas is here. And Black Friday can indeed be painful.”
Margie chimed in, “And people trample each other like this on the day after Thanksgiving!"
Both women suddenly remembered that they themselves had gotten up at 4:30 that morning in order to be first in line to save $160.00 on a 45-inch flat screen.
The man spoke. “So that TV is for your brother’s little invalid son, James?”
Margie's eyes got wide and she asked, “How…how did you know that? Yes, James has been bedridden for 5 years. But how did you know that?!”
Beth’s phone rang. Her mouth dropped and her expression lit up like Christmas lights as she listened, obviously speechless.
Margie asked, “What is it, Beth? Isn't everything ok?”
“Yes, Margie! Little James stood up today! He stood on his own two feet!”
“What?! James stood up today? Oh my God! Thank You, Jesus! What a miracle!”
Now the man stood. “Excuse me, ladies, I must go now. I pray the best for both of you and your nephew.”
Before the women had time to react, the man disappeared into the crowd, and a waitress delivered lunch.
Beth said to her, “This isn’t ours. We haven’t even seen a menu yet.”
“That man ordered for both of you, and paid for it, and tipped me very well. I thought he was your father or brother or something."
Margie, bewildered, said, “This is my favorite item on the menu!”
"And Margie... how did he know that I love this salad? Who was he?"
Beth peeked at her foot and exclaimed, "Margie!...My foot isn't black and blue anymore. And it doesn't hurt at all."
"Let me see it."
Beth lifted her foot enough for Margie to confirm that it wasn't black and blue any more. Both women sat there quietly, with their mouths hanging open...thinking...processing...wondering. Trying to make sense of all of it.
Margie broke the silence. Oh my God...how did...why is...your foot is healed?
"Yes." She whispered, obviously marveling. "Margie, was your heart, like, burning? I mean while he was here?"
Softly, she said, "Yes. It was.". “Beth,... I think Christmas was here. We didn’t recognize Him.”
“Oh Margie! We call it Good Friday, but THAT was black Friday for Him! They put nails through His feet!"
The astonishment deepened. “And Beth... didn't you say, 'Oh God, help me'?.”
And their hearts still burned within them.
Mark 15:33...darkness came over all the land.
Luke 24:32 "...they said to one another,
“Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked with us on the way..."
“...and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,and you will delight in the richest of fare.