Stories of the heart can be very inspirational. They can also teach us. Here you can read stories others have left behind. You can also leave a story of your own to SHARE with others.


The Tablecloth
True Story - submitted by Pastor Rob Reid 

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 Dec 18 were ahead of schedule 
and just about finished. On Dec 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. 
She was captured, sent to prison and 
never saw her husband or her home 

The 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 sideof 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.