The following holiday story is true. I first saw a small segment televised on the “700 Club,” as well as Pax Network’s “It’s A Miracle” television program many years ago. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the actual names of the central characters, and attempts to get further details from the networks have proven unsuccessful – but God knows and so do the many other persons whose lives have been affected by the following true account.
Like many other young single and divorced mothers, “Alice” could only think about how to make it from day to day with her two small boys. Although she had two jobs, she simply could not make ends meet. Her abusive husband had long ago sent her packing out into the unknown and fearing for her family’s safety, she chose to leave with her two boys – alone and with no help whatsoever.
By the time November came around, she couldn’t buy the food and pay the small apartment rent as well. When Thanksgiving Day arrived, she couldn’t stand the thought of offering them what little she had to give them so she took the boys to the park and watched them play. She wondered what would become of them and their future.
Her Thanksgiving feast which she was going to give the boys consisted of four hot-dogs and left over KoolAid. But she was somewhat grateful even for that much. As she came back with her small sons to the apartment building and approached the first floor landing preparing to climb the stairs to their second floor refuge, she heard a sound. “Pssst!”
“A DIVINE APPOINTMENT WAS ABOUT TO TAKE PLACE!”
“Pssst!”She heard it again and looked downstairs. Out from beneath the stairway came a small elderly lady. Alice had never seen her before. “Oh,how wonderful!”, smiled the lady. “Would you please have dinner with me?” “Please?”
Alice was embarrassed. She was not accustomed to eating with strangers and besides, she was just too upset. “No thank you, I appreciate it but my sons are waiting for their holiday dinner.”
“NOT ALL ANGELS HAVE WINGS”
“Please, come and keep me company. I’m alone here by myself and this will be my first Thanksgiving alone you know!”, the lady pleaded almost insisting. Well, Alice thought, as long as the lady was alone by herself, it couldn’t be too bad, she thought. In went the small family to the tiny far-end apartment underneath the stairwell.
There was no furniture in the small apartment but the kitchen ware, dinette table and just three chairs, not the usual four. Yet, the apartment radiated a strange glow about it.
“Oh, goodie! Let’s say thanks!”, were the only words from the elderly lady inside the apartment. She never sat down. She was going to serve her guests no matter what! Then she proceeded to take out the food. And out came more food yet!
She stood the entire time serving Alice and her two small guests who were busily munching down everything in sight. A feast! A banquet! Then the weirdest thing happened. Out from underneath the dinette table came a bowl full of potato salad.
Strange, potato salad isn’t traditional Thanksgiving food, Alice thought to herself. But it was her very favorite food. “My, I just love potato salad,” grinned Alice.
“I know”, responded the strange little smiling lady – and she took out another bowl – once again, right from underneath the table. Now why would she know that? And why would it be coming out from underneath the table? Alice was still asking herself these questions as she began to get up from the table.
“Well, we have to thank you for such a wonderful time that we’ve had and I hope this will be the beginning of a lovely friendship, Mrs., Mrs.?”
“My name doesn’t matter dear, but just give God the thanks, just give Him thanks! And, please take all this food and use it with your family. It’s way too much for little old me.”
Being packed with food, Alice graciously thanked her hostess and left the strange little apartment with her the boys. She once again wondered as to why the elderly lady had made so much quantity of food – just for herself alone.
Several days passed after that Thanksgiving Day and Alice inquired about her downstairs neighbor as she hadn’t seen her since the holiday. As she knocked on the manager’s door and
he opened, she noticed there were no lights on in the lady’s apartment.
“Hal, have you seen the lady in 1A?” “Lady?” “What lady?” “There’s nobody been in 1A since August. It’s vacant. Go take a look yourself!”
Sure enough. An empty apartment. There was no little old lady or anyone else for that matter. Empty, totally empty! No dinette table, no three chairs, nothing at all. Yet, Alice still had left over turkey in her freezer upstairs, and dressing and trimming too. The potato salad was long gone though.
Since that Thanksgiving Day, many years ago, Alice went on to found a “Feed the Hungry” ministry in her city and other cities as well. Her one goal is to see that no one ever goes hungry again as far as she can help it. As a result, countless thousands are fed all year around with grocery bags full of food to temporarily help people in desperate situations.
I cannot remember the name of the ministry but it has the word – “Angel” in it’s title. And she is quick to tell anyone who will hear – “just give God thanks”. “just give Him thanks.” As she dispenses food bags with her volunteer helpers, Alice is frequently reminded of that Thanksgiving Day so long ago in which she realized that not all “angels” have wings.