The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Listen for God this holiday season


November 24, 2017

Judy Brandon

Sometimes we look at the things that happen in life as merely coincidences. But are they?

The preacher Rick Warren wrote: "Is there such a thing as coincidence? The way you answer that question will affect the way you give thanks this week.

If the blessing you receive is just an accident, you can be glad. But can you be grateful?"

Warren makes an excellent point. If we just accept our blessings as coincidences, is there really a reason to be grateful to an almighty God?

This true story all began with Audrey, a mother of four, who lost the sales receipt to a new pair of shoes that she had bought for her daughter and those shoes did not fit.

She decided to avoid the hassle of returning them and donate them to her church.

In the same metropolitan city, a little second grader lived in an impoverished area.

Her single mother felt the pressure of being the bread winner, disciplinarian, and motivator. She was doing the best she could.

One day the little girl was required to run a mile with her peers to fulfill her physical education credit for the year.

The child ran the mile far below the time requirement, but she passed the finish line in distress.

Limping and struggling, she was nearly in tears. The teacher came to her and asked her what was wrong.

"My feet are hurting so bad!" she said.

The teacher saw her swollen and bleeding feet as the child attempted to rub them.

"Let's go show the nurse," the teacher said and led her to the nurse's office.

Upon examination, the nurse realized the child was running without socks, and the nurse told her she always had to wear her shoes with socks to avoid this happening again.

The little girl answered, "I can't wear socks because they make my shoes too small." So the nurse measured the child's shoes against her feet, and she was shocked to see the shoes at least three sizes too small. The nurse provided a pair of loaner tennis shoes for her to wear home.

"These shoes are for you to wear until you get some new ones."

The child loved the white shoes with the pink designs. She had seen other girls wearing the same shoes, and she admired them from afar. Proudly she wore the shoes home and even asked her mother if she could sleep with them on.

Her mother said she could not. Yet, the child cuddled her new "loaner" shoes in the bed with her.

Little did she realize that the nurse was calling her church to see if there was a benevolent fund for shoes.

"The child wears a size 3 medium width," the nurse told the secretary. With a chuckle, the secretary responded, "You will not believe this, but you know Audrey in our Bible study ... she brought in a pair of size 3 tennis shoes today. You are welcome to those."

The next morning, the child begged her mother to keep the loaners.

Even though the shoes were worn, the bright pink designs made her feel stylish. Reluctantly the child put the shoes in a paper bag and walked back to school in her ill-fitting shoes.

When she arrived at school, the nurse called her aside. "Here is a gift from the woman in my church. It's a new pair of shoes."

But the child didn't want to give up the loaners. Yet with much coaxing from the nurse, she opened the box.

There was an identical pair of white tennis shoes with pink decorations size 3 medium — exactly like the loaners. The child picked them up and smelled them. The aroma of new shoes ... she was delighted.

Did Audrey know of the child's needs? No, but Audrey had decided that she would donate the shoes and skip the hassle of trying to return them without a receipt. Was this a coincidence?

This Thanksgiving, God may be speaking to your heart. God may be calling you to be generous in some way, maybe to someone you don't even know. The resulting blessing will be marvelous for the giver and the receiver.

Judy Brandon writes about faith for The Eastern New Mexico News. Contact her at:


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