A Christmas Miracle for a Mom and her two children
There is such an amazing miracle story that I want to share which involves a Mother and two children who joined us for the first time on Sunday, December 12. Fifty people boarded our bus in Chicago on that morning including a young mother with her two 8-year old twin boys. We rarely see children on our bus, and my heart ached as I thought of this precious family trying to navigate homelessness. I sat in the back of the bus and talked with them, and the Mom shared that they have been living in a shelter for the past 2 months (the shelter is closed during the daytime). Someone had just given me 3 McDonald's gift cards that morning, so I gave her the cards; and I told them that we have a clothing room and that I prayed that God would give them what they needed that day. One of the little boys immediately began to jump up and down in his seat saying, "Toys!!!???" And I said, " I'll pray that God will provide for you..." We never have toys and rarely have items donated for children because we usually don't see children on our bus, but all things are possible with God!
The Mom confided quietly to me that as they were waiting for our bus, they stood inside of the McDonald's and the boys both asked her if they could have a Happy Meal because they wanted the transformer toys inside the meal (Transformers are little robot toys). The Mom said she felt so bad, but said she knows God is good and she said to them, "God will provide" She told me she says that to them in everything, "God will provide" I was so moved by this woman's faith and her humility and gratitude to God because I cannot imagine living in a shelter with two small children. I thought it was pretty amazing that someone happened to give me exactly 3 McDonald's cards that morning...but the story gets much better than that!
When our bus arrived at Church, I walked ahead of the little family and ran into my friend Carolyn who was standing in the lobby of the church holding a casserole. Carolyn just hosted our last luncheon with her friends 2 weeks earlier, and I was very surprised to see her again so soon especially on such a cold day because she lives in Park Ridge and attends a different Church. She held out the casserole and said her husband and kids were waiting for her in the car but she wanted to give this to me; and then as she held up a cloth bag with a draw string and said, "Marian, I didn't know if you would have any use for toys." My jaw just dropped, and I asked her if they were toys for boys or girls. Carolyn responded, "They are for boys!" Again, I think I kind of screamed right there in the lobby of the Church, and the two little boys and their Mom caught up to me and I said to them, "Do you remember what you wished for when you were on the bus?" They began to jump up and down, and Carolyn then handed the boys the bag. As they both pulled open the strings and looked inside, they were absolutely yelling with joy ("Yeah..Yippee!!") as they both yelled at the same time, "TRANSFORMERS!!!!!" Yes, you read this correctly. There were 15 transformers inside of the bag.
The Mom began to cry and kept saying, "God is so good! I always tell my boys that God will provide and He keeps providing." I still cannot get over the way God provided for them so quickly and specifically! We were literally met at the door with this bag of transformers - and no one every donates toys to us!! Imagine that no one knew about this request outside of that bus other than God!
As I thought of this story and the countless other miracle stories we have seen from God, I realized that God lets us know that He is with us! Although this woman was still in a very difficult situation, God was letting her know that He is with her! It doesn't get better than that! The very special Christmas name, Immanuel, means "God with us." Jesus Christ is Immanuel, "God with us."