Friday, December 21, 2001 11:50 AM
A rather long story, but well worth reading...
Bobby was getting cold sitting out in his back yard in the snow.
Bobby didn't wear boots; he didn't like them and anyway he didn't own
The thin sneakers he wore had a few holes in them and they did a poor
job of keeping out the cold. Bobby had been in his backyard for about an hour
And, try as he might, he could not come up with an idea for his
mother's Christmas gift.
He shook his head as he thought, "This is useless, even if I do come up
with an idea, I don't have any money to spend."
Ever since his father had passed away three years ago, the family of
five had struggled. It wasn't because his mother didn't care, or try, there just
never seemed to be enough. She worked nights at the hospital, but the small wage that
she was earning could only be stretched so far. What the family lacked in money and
material things, they more than made up for in love and family unity.
Bobby had two older and one younger sister, who ran the house hold in
their mother's absence. All three of his sisters had already made beautiful gifts for
their mother. Somehow it just wasn't fair. Here it was Christmas Eve already, and he
Wiping a tear from his eye, Bobby kicked the snow and started to walk
down to the street where the shops and stores were. It wasn't easy being six without
a father, especially when he needed a man to talk to. Bobby walked from shop to shop,
looking into each decorated window. Everything seemed so
beautiful and so out of reach.
It was starting to get dark and Bobby reluctantly turned to walk home
when suddenly his eyes caught the glimmer of the setting sun's rays reflecting off of
something along the curb. He reached down and discovered a shiny dime. Never before
has anyone felt so wealthy as Bobby felt at that moment.
As he held his new-found treasure, a warmth spread throughout his
entire body and he walked into the first store he saw. His excitement quickly turned
cold when the salesperson told him that he couldn't buy anything with only a dime. He
saw a flower shop and went inside to wait in line.
When the shop owner asked if he could help him, Bobby presented the
dime and asked if he could buy one flower for his mother's Christmas gift. The shop
owner looked at Bobby and his ten-cent offering. Then he put his hand on Bobby's
shoulder and said to him, "You just wait here and I'll see what I can do for
As Bobby waited he looked at the beautiful flowers and even though he
was a boy, he could see why mothers and girls liked flowers. The sound of the door
closing as the last customer left, jolted Bobby back to reality.
All alone in the shop, Bobby began to feel alone and afraid. Suddenly
the shop owner came out and moved to the counter. There, before Bobby's eyes, lay
twelve long stem, red roses, with leaves of green and tiny white flowers all tied
together with a big silver bow.
Bobby's heart sank as the owner picked them up and placed them gently
into a long white box. "That will be ten cents young man." the shop owner said
reaching out his hand for the dime. Slowly, Bobby moved his hand to give the man his
Could this be true? No one else would give him a thing for his dime!
Sensing the boy's reluctance, the shop owner added, "I just happened to have some
roses on sale for ten cents a dozen. Would you like them?"
This time Bobby did not hesitate, and when the man placed the long box into his
hands, he knew it was true. Walking out the door that the owner was holding for
Bobby, he heard the shop keeper say, "Merry Christmas, son."
As he returned inside, the shop keeper's wife walked out. "Who were you
talking to back there and where are the roses you were fixing?" Staring out the
window, and blinking the tears from his own eyes, he
replied, "A strange thing happened to me this morning. While I was setting up things
to open the shop, I thought I heard a voice telling me to set side a dozen of my best
roses for a special gift. I wasn't sure at the time whether I had lost my mind or
what, but I set them aside anyway. Then just a few minutes ago, a little boy came
into the shop and wanted to buy a flower for his mother with one small dime.
When I looked at him, I saw myself, many years ago. I too, was a poor
boy with nothing to buy my mother a Christmas gift. A bearded man, whom I never knew,
stopped me on the street and told me that he wanted to give me ten dollars.
"When I saw that little boy tonight, I knew who that voice was, and
I put together a dozen of my very best roses." The shop owner and his wife hugged
each other tightly, and as they stepped out into the bitter cold air, they somehow
didn't feel cold at all.
May this story instill the spirit of Christmas in you enough to pass
Have a Joyous and Christ-filled season