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God Works in Mysterious Ways

The brand new pastor and his wife who had just been assigned to their first ministry to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn arrived in late October excited about their opportunity. 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 New Year’s Eve.

They worked hard repairing pews, plastering walls, painting and making many other repairs and just before Christmas they were ahead of schedule and were about finished.

Then on December 26 a driving rainstorm hit the area and it lasted for two days. On December 28 the pastor went over to the church and his heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked which caused a large area of plaster about twenty feet by eight feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit that began about head high.

The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor and did not know anything else to do but to cancel the New Year’s Eve service. On the way home he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity so he stopped in. One of the items for sale 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 the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.

By this time it had started to snow and he saw an older woman running in the opposite direction trying to catch the bus but she missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus.

The woman sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers and other things he needed to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle and her face was like a sheet. “Pastor, where did you get that tablecloth?” she asked. The pastor explained where he got it and then she asked him to check the lower right hand corner to see if the initials EBG were crocheted there and they were. Those were the initials of the woman and she had made the tablecloth thirty-five years ago in Austria.

The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told her how he had just gotten it. The woman explained that before the war she and her husband lived in Austria and when the Nazis came she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week but he was captured, sent to prison and she never saw her husband or their home again.

The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth but she made him keep it for the church. The pastor insisted on driving her home because she lived on the other side of Staten Island and she was in Brooklyn for the day for a house cleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on New Year’s Eve as 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 staring at the tablecloth. The man asked him where he got it because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria.

He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to leave and that he was to follow her but was arrested and put in prison and that he had not seen his wife or his home again.

The pastor asked the man if he could take him for a ride so he drove to Staten Island to the same house where he 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 saw the greatest New Year’s reunion that he could ever imagine.

This is a true story which proves that God works in mysterious ways when we put our faith in Him. So when the road you are traveling looks difficult at best put your faith in God during the New Year and He will do the rest.

 
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