Sunday, December 23, 2012

Tender Mercies and St Nicholas

If you are looking for faith promoting stories, you may find them in the oddest places.  I've been invited to join a chapter of Toastmasters International, an organization that promotes the ability to speak well in public.  Like they could shut me up if they tried.  The first meeting I attended was fascinating.  One person was giving a prepared speech, and then there were opportunities for anyone to give a "Table Talk".  Random topics, 2 minutes in length with only a few seconds to prepare and/or screw up your courage.

One woman volunteered and was asked to speak about someone who had influenced her life, made an impression.  And this is her story.

Maria was attending nursing school, and living away from home for the first time.  It was December, Christmas was coming and she wasn't going to be home for all the family Christmas traditions.  It was December 6, as a matter of fact, and she wasn't home to put her shoes out for the feast of St Nicholas.  She was blue and told her roommates about it.  They laughed at her, they didn't believe that he came early and put candy in your shoes, they'd never heard of such a thing.

But Maria was sad and lonely for her family, so she decided to go with tradition.  She got out her brand new nursing shoes, never worn.  Polished them up and set them outside the door and went to bed, roommates still giggling.

You know the rest of the story, right?  She woke up in the morning, opened the door, and what to her wondering eyes should appear...  oh wait, wrong story.  There in her shoes were oranges, candy and brownies.

The dormitory housemothers had filled her shoes in honor of the Feast of St Nicholas.

To her it was a tender mercy.  She knew that there were good people around her, that family and tradition were understood everywhere, and that God loved her and was taking care of her.

I don't know what her roommates learned, but I bet they put their shoes out the next year!