Angels Unawares: Sweets

Sweets

By Bob Cornner

I was eight years of age and my family had recently moved from Coffeyville, Kansas to Hermosa Beach, California. I found life along the beach to be fun and exciting. I even landed a job selling several daily news papers in downtown Hermosa Beach.

One Valentine's Day, I decided to buy my mother some chocolates in this rather large, bright red heart shaped box. I did not make much selling papers, so I knew it would be tough raising the funds I needed to buy that box of chocolates.

When I thought I had enough money I went to the drug store and asked the saleswoman if I had enough money to cover the cost of the candy. She looked at the pennies and nickels in my hand and told me I was going to need another $1.00 to buy the candy.

I left the store feeling pretty dejected. I really wanted to surprise my Mom and give her gift I thought would tell her how much I loved her. I traveled up and down the streets of Hermosa trying to sell my papers so I could earn the money I needed.

The sun finally dropped into the ocean and the wind chilled the air and I returned to the drug store with a few more coins. The saleswoman looked at the coins in my hand and said with a smile: "Well, it looks like you finally have enough money to buy your Mom that big box of candy." I gave her all my money and ran home to present my gift to my Mom with great joy.

At the age of 28, I was sitting with my Mom on another Valentine's Day. She asked me if I remembered the big heart full of chocolates I had bought for her twenty years earlier. I smiled to think that she would remember. She then told me a wonderful story about an old man, the local alcoholic who dressed up in his tattered suit each day and walked around the city. I remember seeing this old man. He was kindly, but very much alone.

My Mom told me that when I went into the drug store to see about buying the heart, the old man was watching from the back of the store. When I left, he told the saleswoman that he would make up the difference for whatever I lacked when I came back later to buy the chocolates.

When my Mom finished telling her story, I felt an immediate sense of gratitude and I hoped that in this old manís giving to a small child, he found the love God had for him.

God's Peace Out of the Depths,

Bob Cornner
Christ Episcopal Church, Redondo Beach, California


You are welcome to submit your essays for consideration for this series. Send them to lcrew@newark.rutgers.edu Identify yourself by name, snail address, parish, and other connections to the Episcopal Church. Please encourage others to do the same.

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