A desperate mother finds hope in the most unexpected spot.
- Posted on Aug 5, 2010
Liz had separated from her husband. She was emotionally devastated, and the reality of keeping her two preschool daughters fed and cared for had all but shattered her spirit.
She believed in God, but where was he? She felt so alone. Reluctantly, she applied to get financial aid until she could find a job.
A few days later, Liz realized that she had no money and no food in the cupboards. She checked her purse and pockets just in case, but there was no money anywhere, no way to buy even a small bag of groceries.
“I sent the girls next door because I knew my nice neighbor would feed them,” she recalls. “Then I sat on the couch and cried.” She prayed for just enough money to buy some groceries for the next week.
As Liz wept, her five year-old, Crystal, came back into the apartment. “Mommy, what’s the matter?” she asked. Not wanting her daughter to see her upset, she answered, “Nothing, honey. Why don’t you go outside and do something?”
“Like what?” Crystal persisted.
Liz wiped her eyes, thinking. “Why don’t you take out the garbage? That would be a big help.”
“Okay!” Crystal took the garbage bag and headed out to the apartment complex dumpsters. A moment later, she was back. “Mommy, can I keep this plastic egg that I found in the trash? I can put my Barbie doll clothes in it.”
“No, honey,” Liz murmured absently. “You’re not supposed to bring things in from the garbage. It might be dirty.”
“It’s not, Mommy. Please?” Crystal insisted. “I’ll keep the egg and you can keep the money in it.”
Liz’s heart seemed to stop. “What money?”
“Here,” Crystal said, and she pulled four twenty dollar bills out of the egg. Liz stared at the bills. The dumpsters were huge-—there was no possibly way she could find the owner of those bills. Did God mean them for her? Hadn’t she asked? “I will never leave you nor forsake you…” The comforting words from the Bible washed over her, and she understood.
“The money bought us groceries until my aid came through,” Liz says. “I found a job, and things are much better today, but I’ve never forgotten that moment, and the reassurance it brought me.” It wasn’t so much the money itself, she says, but the certainty that God was near and caring for her, answering her prayer in his own way, in his own time.
Some of my readers feel that Liz should not have kept the money, and I’m wondering if you agree. If you’d like to leave a comment, please do.