Many years ago, Annie’s* great uncle, a furrier in the lower East Side of New York, was busy helping customers in his shop. The end of the day was coming quickly. Although eager for business, he was also eager to close his store, lock up and make his way through the crowds to his train. He was a man of precision and routine and always made a certain train. In fact, he always sat in a certain car. He would then take out his reading glasses, indulge in his daily newspaper’s late edition, relax and look forward to his loving wife waiting with a nourishing evening meal.
He had just breathed a sigh of relief as the last customer left, when an attractive older woman walked into the shop. Uncle Morris immediately felt a wave of anxiety. How could he be generous of spirit, perhaps give this woman all the time she needed, and yet still make his train? How could he explain that he needed to make his train? After all, a businessman is in business. She might only assume that one would stay open for a prospective customer.
Uncle Morris was plagued by these thoughts as he graciously began to assist the lady. Quickly it became apparent that this very lovely, older woman, beautifully attired in the finest woolen coat and hat, with fur trim and elegant long leather gloves was serious about a purchase of an expensive fur coat. She asked many relevant questions. She wanted to know the different types of pelts available, the styling that different pelts lent themselves to, the cost factor and the time factor in having a coat custom made.
Morris became more and more aware of the feeling of perspiration building up under his shirt collar. He was now acutely aware that he would probably miss his train. Suddenly, as he was feverishly working out the price of several different models for the customer, he looked up from his pad of paper. He noticed how much she resembled his dear departed mother. There was an uncanny resemblance. Something about her smile and her expression–especially the eyes!
Somehow this softened his heart as he felt a surge of love for his dear, departed mother.
His mood changed. He found himself intent upon helping this woman and quickly forgot his anxiety symptoms. He taught her a little bit about the different pelts. He showed her samples and gave her even more estimates. He stopped thinking about the time.
Ultimately she asked him to price a certain type of pelt in a certain style coat. She said that she would come back after he phoned her with the information and make the down payment. She gave him her phone number, thanked him profusely and left the store, with a smile and a nod goodbye.
As she left Morris glanced at his watch and of course without question, he had long missed his train. Still, he had enjoyed her company–and her smile! He put the information safely in a drawer, turned off the lights, double locked the door, brought down the steel safety window grid, set the alarm and walked to the train. He knew there was one in a half an hour that he would comfortably make.
He was astounded to find out that when he arrived at the train station that he would not be going home via the train. There were loud announcements telling people to go outside and instead take buses which would shortly be arriving.
Why? He couldn’t believe this. He was in shock as he learned that the train that he normally took, including the car that he normally sat in, had met with a terrible accident. There were many fatalities.
As he rode the bus home that night, he was trembling inside, so relieved to have been forced to take a later train ride.
A week or so later, Morris had checked on the pelts and the type of fur that the elegant, older lady had requested. He was ready to call her with the exact cost. He picked up the phone, dialing the number that she had left, only to be told by the operator that the number was not in service. "Oh well," he thought to himself, "perhaps one of the digits is off even though she wrote it down herself for me. Let me check her name and address."
He proceeded to do this and was told that there was no such address. He placed the receiver down, perplexed. He slowly formulated a thought that at first seemed impossible but then seemed close to probable. "That woman saved my life." He said to himself. "It’s very odd that now she doesn’t seem to exist. Also, if she hadn’t looked like my mother, I probably would have been less polite. I might have even rushed her out and made every effort to make my train. I wonder if she was sent here by God to protect me?"
Of course, we will never know. But it is a great story and helps us stay connected to the wonderment of miracles at this time of the year! Do you have a story to share? What appears to be a miracle in your life or someone you know? Please share the story with us! Send it to email@example.com.