“It must be raining”
By Bob Perks
The images flash across my television screen
as I sit there in the comfort of my home.
“It’s that time of year again,” I thought to myself.
Then realizing how foolish that was to say, I sat
up in my chair and watched closer.
The news reporter was telling the story of one of
many food banks in our area that were serving
those in need of the basics for the holidays.
This particular place had both food and clothing.
Food for the body and warm second hand coats
“It’s that time of year again,” replayed in my mind.
I meant that throughout the holidays we
see such reports over and over, unlike the
other 11 months when the same people are hungry,
in need of clothing, basic services and a little help
Maybe I said it because I was becoming numb to it
all, like watching the same commercials a hundred
I was about to feel the real impact of it all.
I was sitting at the counter having breakfast at a
local diner the next day.
It’s a small “quaint” place. Local people, husband and
wife cook and serve.
A man walked in and sat next to me. There is little
elbow room as it is and he was a big fellow.
On top of the milk dispenser is a small television placed
there for both the customers enjoyment and the owners
when things get slow.
It just so happened that the news was on and once
again that same report on the food bank. This time
it included more information and a few interviews
of some of the people who participated.
There was a little girl looking through the coats.
The reporter asked her if she found something
She turned toward the camera and smiled. She
flipped her soft brown hair up over the collar as
she pulled and tugged at the front to make sure
it would zipper properly.
“I like this store. Mommy said I could have any
coat I wanted, but I’m getting this one for my
friend. Her daddy won’t come here. Mommy
says he’s too proud. Whatever that means.
All I know is Mandy needs a coat.”
Out of the corner of my eye I could see the man
next to me lower his head. Without looking up
he fumbled for a napkin and began to wipe his
“Incredibly sad, isn’t it?” I said.
He didn’t respond.
“Are you okay?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said quietly.
“Hey, don’t feel bad, I’ve shed many tears
through the holidays for those who don’t
have nearly as much as I and I am in no way
financially set for life,” I told him.
“I’m a writer. I live on my dreams,” I added.
He turned toward me. I could still see the
dampness of tear filled eyes. He raised
his hand to his chest and pointing at
himself he said…”I’m Mandy’s father. That’s
the first I’ve seen that. The little girl goes to
school with my daughter.”
Oh, my god! My chest tightened, my hands
shook and I shared in his tears.
“It must be raining,” he joked.
We spoke for a few more minutes about
how he felt and what he needed to do.
Turns out he’s unemployed for more than
a year now and doing odd jobs to pay bills.
We said our goodbyes and I approached
I whispered that I wanted his check.
“He only gets coffee,” she said.
“Well, here. This is for my meal,
his coffee and tell him this is for Mandy.
Many years ago I spoke at my friend’s
church in Atlanta, The Ark of Salvation.
A woman came up to me and said God told
her to give me everything she had in her wallet.
I was shaken by the thought and began to
refuse it. Things were better for me back then.
I couldn’t justify what she offered.
God spoke to me as I listened to
“It isn’t very much, but God said that it
would multiply. Please take it.”
I did. I shared the story with Nathaniel Bronner,
the pastor of the church and he smiled assuring
me I did the right thing.
It was $57. I always carry it with me until this
very day. I give it away and replace it. It
has indeed multiplied many times.
God is an amazing God Who has never failed
to replace that $57 each and every time I use it.
I turned to walk away and another man sitting
at the counter grabbed my arm and said…
“I overheard your conversation with that man.
I’ll help him, too.”
He then wiped his eyes and said, “He’s right.
It must be raining.”
You can visit the church website, view or listen to
messages… The Online Word.
There’s a lot of hope and inspiration there…especially when
“It must be raining.”
I wish you enough!”
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