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It was the day before Thanksgiving - the first one my three children and I would be spending without their father, who had left several months before. Now the two older children were very sick with the flu, and the eldest had just been prescribed bed rest for a week.It was a cool, gray day outside, and a light rain was falling. I grew wearier as I scurried around, trying to care for each child: thermometers, juice, diapers. And I was fast running out of liquids for the children. But when I checked my purse, all I found was about $2.50 - and this was supposed to last me until the end of the month. That's when I heard the phone ring.It was the secretary from our former church, and she told me that they had been thinking about us and had something to give us from the congregation. I told her that I was going out to pick up some more juice and soup for the children, and I would drop by the church on my way to the market.I arrived at the church just before lunch. The church secretary met me at the door and handed me a special gift envelope. "We think of you and the kids often," she said, "and you are in our hearts and prayers. We love you." When I opened the envelope, I found two grocery certificates inside. Each was worth $20. I was so touched and moved I broke down and cried."Thank you very much," I said, as we hugged each other. "Please give our love and thanks to the church." Then I drove to a store near our home and purchased some much-needed items for the children.At the check-out counter I had a little over $14.00 worth of groceries, and I handed the cashier one of the gift certificates. She took it, and then turned her back for what seemed like a very long time. I thought something might be wrong. Finally I said, "This gift certificate is a real blessing. Our former church gave it to our family, knowing I'm a single parent trying to make ends meet."The cashier then turned around, with tears in her loving eyes, and replied, "Honey, that's wonderful! Do you have a turkey?""No. It's okay because my children are sick anyway."She then asked, "Do you have anything else for Thanksgiving dinner?"Again I replied, "No."After handing me the change from the certificate, she looked at my face and said, "Honey, I can't tell you exactly why right now, but I want you to go back into the store and buy a turkey, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie or anything else you need for a Thanksgiving dinner."I was shocked, and humbled to tears. "Are you sure?" I asked."Yes! Get whatever you want. And get some Gatorade for the kids."I felt awkward as I went back to do more shopping, but I selected a fresh turkey, a few yams and potatoes, and some juices for the children. Then I wheeled the shopping cart up to the same cashier as before. As I placed my groceries on the counter, she looked at me once more with giant tears in her kind eyes and began to speak."Now I can tell you. This morning I prayed that I could help someone today, and you walked through my line." She reached under the counter for her purse and took out a $20 bill. She paid for my groceries and then handed me the change. Once more I was moved to tears.The sweet cashier then said, "I am a Christian. Here is my phone number if you ever need anything." She then took my head in her hands, kissed my cheek and said, "God bless you, honey."As I walked to my car, I was overwhelmed by this stranger's love and by the realization that God loves my family too, and shows us his love through this stranger's and my church's kind deeds.The children were supposed to have spent Thanksgiving with their father that year, but because of the flu they were home with me, for a very special Thanksgiving Day. They were feeling better, and we all ate the goodness of the Lord's bounty - and our community's love. Our hearts were truly filled with thanks.中文譯文:那是感恩節的前一天——孩子的父親在幾個月前離開了我們,這將是我和三個孩子在沒有他們父親陪伴下度過的第一個感恩節。現在兩個大的孩子患了重感冒,而且醫生還要求最大的那個孩子必須臥床休息一周。這是個寒冷、灰暗的日子,窗外還飄著細雨。我四處忙碌著要照看好每個孩子:測量體溫、喂飯、換尿布……我感到越來越疲憊。而且給孩子們喝的東西也馬上要用完了。但是當我開啟錢包,所能找到的隻有2.5美元——可我還得靠這點錢支撐到月底啊。就在這時電話鈴響了起來。電話是我們以前教堂裏的秘書打來的,她說他們一直在惦記著我們,教友們還有一些東西要送給我們。我告訴她我正要出去給孩子們買些喝的東西,在我去市場的途中會順便到教堂去一下。我趕到教堂時正好要到午飯時間了。在門口我遇到了教堂的秘書,她遞給我一個別致的禮品信封。“我們經常想起你和孩子們,”她說,“並且在心中為你們祈禱。我們愛你們。”我開啟信封,看到裏面有兩張面值是20美元的食品店購物券。我被深深的感動了,不禁失聲痛哭起來。“太謝謝你們了!”說著,我們擁抱了一下。“請向教堂轉達我們的愛和感激。”接著我便驅車到離家不遠的一個商店裏去買孩子們急需的一些東西。我買了14塊多一點的東西,在收銀台我把一張禮品券遞給了收銀員。她接了之後,便轉過身去好長一段時間。我想可能是什麽地方出了差錯。終于我忍不住說到:“這張禮券包含了真誠的祝福。是我們以前所在的教會送給我的,因為知道我是個量入為出的單身母親。”于是那個收銀員轉回了身,充滿愛心的眼中盈著淚花:“親愛的,好極了!你買了火雞嗎?”“沒有。不過沒關系反正孩子們病著呢。”她又接著問到,“你買了其它感恩節的食品嗎?”我依然回答說:“沒有。”把禮品券中剩餘的錢找給我之後,她看著我說到,“親愛的,我現在不能確切告訴你為什麽,但是我希望你再進去買一隻火雞、酸果蔓沙司、南瓜派或是其它你需要的感恩節食品。”我的心不禁一顫,流下了自卑的淚水。“一定要這樣嗎?”我問到。“是!買所有你想要的東西。再給孩子們買些給他力(一種飲料)。”當我再次返回去拿東西的時候覺得很尷尬,但我還是選了一隻新鮮的火雞、一些洋芋和土豆,還有孩子們的飲料。接著把購物車推到了先前的那個收銀員跟前。在我往櫃台上拿東西的時候,她還是用那雙含著淚水的眼睛溫和地看了我一下說到,“現在我可以告訴你了。今天早上我祈禱我能夠在今天幫助一些人,而你正好在此之列。”她從櫃台下面拿出了錢包取了20塊錢出來。她替我付了賬接著又把剩下的零錢遞給我。我又一次感動地落淚了。那個可愛的收銀員接著說,“我是個基督徒。如果您有什麽需要的話可以給我打電話。”她用雙手捧起我的頭在我的面頰上吻了一下說:“上帝保佑你,親愛的。”當我向車走去的時候,我內心充滿了對陌生人愛心的深深感激,意識到上帝是愛我家人的,他通過這個陌生人和我的教友們來展示他的愛。那年的感恩節,孩子們本該是和父親一起過的,但是由于患了流感,他們留在家裏和我一起度過了一個非同尋常的感恩節。孩子們精神一下好了許多,吃著可口的食物,我們都體味到了上帝的慷慨仁慈和社會的關愛。我們的心中真正地充滿了感激。