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唯有上帝知道在哪裡

一對年輕牧師夫婦被派到紐約布魯克林區為一間老舊教堂重新開幕。 那老教堂的確很破落需要大力整修。 他們訂下一個計畫時間表,每天做一點整修,準備聖誕夜舉行重新開幕的禮拜。 聖誕節前一星期,所有的工作幾乎都照著進度差不多完成了。 但是突來連續兩天暴風雨。 聖誕夜的前三天,牧師去到教堂時,看見屋頂裂了一個縫,祭壇後的牆壁油漆剝落了一 大片,大概有二十呎長八呎寬。 牧師心冷了半截,把掉落地上的油漆掃乾淨,心裡盤算著該怎麼辦。 「是不是必須把聖誕夜的禮拜取消?把重新開幕的時間延後呢?」他想。 在他回家的路上,剛好碰到當地一些企業聯合擺攤子舉辦的一場像跳蚤市場一樣的義賣 會。他信步走進去瞧瞧。他注意到一張很漂亮的桌巾,象牙色的,桌巾中間繡著一個 大大的十字架。桌巾的大小剛好可以蓋住教堂牆上那片油漆剝落處。 他把桌巾買了下來,折回教堂去。 天空下起雪來。 一位老太太從對街跑來要搭巴士,但沒趕上。下一班巴士要再等四十五分鐘才來。牧師 請老太太到教堂裡等,避避風雪,也可溫暖一點。 牧師開始去搬梯子,把那張剛買的大桌巾掛到牆壁上,剛好蓋住剝落的地方。 「感謝主!簡直太完美了!」牧師看著掛好的桌巾,滿意極了!突然,他注意到老太太 走到前面來,盯著桌巾,臉色發白。 「牧師,你哪來的這張桌巾?」老太太問。 牧師把前因後果解釋給她聽。 「你可不可以看看桌巾右下角是不是繡有EBG字樣?」老太太聲音顫抖地問。這正是這 位老太太名字的縮寫。牧師檢查了桌巾的右下角,果然有這幾個字樣。 桌巾正是三十五年前老太太在奧地利時親手繡出來的。 老太太跟牧師說:「三十五年前,我跟我先生住在奧地利,家境富有。納粹來了以後, 我們被迫離開。我先走,我先生隔一個星期走。」 「後來我被送到集中營,再也沒看到過我先生,也從此沒再回家過。」她說。 牧師聽了,要把桌巾還給老太太,但老太太卻要牧師留著給教堂用。牧師於是堅持開車 送老太太回家。她住在史塔登島,只有每星期到布魯克林區做清潔工。 幾天之後,教堂順利地在聖誕夜重新開幕。整間教堂幾乎全部滿座。音樂及氣氛都很 好,很多人都說下星期天會再來聚會。 禮拜結束了。有一個鄰居的老先生坐著還不離開。牧師認得他。 「牧師,你這張桌巾哪裡來的?」老先生問,「我戰爭前住在奧地利的時候,我太太繡 了一張這樣的桌巾。世界上居然有兩張這麼相像的桌巾!」 他告訴牧師,三十五年前他跟太太是因為納粹入侵奧地利而分散的。他要太太先離開, 他隨後就走。沒想到後來他就被抓入牢裡去了。從此沒回家,也沒再見到太太。 牧師愣住了。 「您能讓我開車載您去兜兜風嗎?」牧師問老先生。 「好啊!跟你聊聊我的故事,如果你有興趣的話。」老先生答。 牧師把車子開到史塔登島一間公寓前,三天前他才送老太太回來的地方。他扶著老先生 爬了三層樓的階梯,在老太太的門上按了門鈴。 牧師親眼目睹了一場感人的聖誕團圓。 朋友!這是一位美國牧師敘述的真實故事。 上帝讓人團圓的方式實在大奇妙了!人海茫茫,尋尋覓覓,唯有上帝知道在哪裡。 人唯一能做的只有禱告,其餘的就是上帝的工作了。

1 thought on “唯有上帝知道在哪裡

  1. Anonymous

    THE TABLECLOTH
    The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October excited about their opportunities.
    When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve. They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc. and on Dec 18 were ahead of schedule and just about finished. On Dec 19 a terrible tempest - a driving rainstorm - hit the area and lasted for two days. On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high. The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home.
    On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover up the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church. By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later. She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry.
    The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area. Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet. "Pastor," she asked, "where did you get that tablecloth?" The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria. The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten the Tablecloth. The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria. When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. She was captured, sent to prison and never saw her husband or her home again. The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth; but she made the pastor keep it for the church.
    The pastor insisted on driving her home, that was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job. What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone
    at the door and many said that they would return. One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood, continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn’t leaving. The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike? He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety, and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home again all the 35
    years in between. The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier. He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman’s apartment, knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.

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