Angels on Earth editor Meg Belviso shares her favorite story from the past 15 years.
MUSIC PLAYING] This is one of my favorite stories. It's called the "Bargain Hunters," and it's by Jo Wright, who is from New Zealand. I think she's possibly the farthest away author that we ever had.
So the story is that she and her husband John run-- they have an antique stall in a big market in Auckland. So antique sellers get a lot of their stuff at sort of jumble sales and yard sales and things like that.
So one weekend they're driving along, and they pass this church that has a sign out that says that they're having a fair at like 9 o'clock, and it's about 8:30. So because they're professionals, they kind of have a lot of-- we'll call them tricks for getting all the best merchandise.
So they go up to the thing. And they pretend. They say, oh, we're on our way to the airport. We need to really come in. Can we come in before anybody else, before you're open?
So the minister lets them in. And he's sort of upset. When they get inside, there's all this stuff, but it's just all in a big pile. It doesn't look like a fair at all.
And the minister and his wife are just beside themselves. They're like, well, all these people, they volunteered to come and help set up the fair. And no one showed up. And it's too much for two people. We don't know what to do. We have to cancel the fair.
So Jo and her husband sort of look at each other. And they're like, you know what? Why don't you go have your morning tea. We'll work on it.
So they start putting together all the items. And of course, they have a lot of experience with this. So they can do it quickly.
But even so, they both feel like-- they both described it the same way, that it was as if time was expanding, because they didn't have that much time and there was a ton of stuff. But they were just working at a slow pace. And they felt like the displays were just sort of taking shape very quickly, as if they had all the time in the world.
And they even had time that they both noticed these two items that they really wanted. One was a folio of Chinese prints, and the other was a hideous vase that they knew that they could get a lot of money for at their stall.
So they put it all together. And it was about five minutes to 9:00 when they were finished. And the minister and his wife came in, and they were just amazed. And they said, for all your help, we'd like you to have something. Why don't you each choose something that you like? So of course, they grab the prints and the vase.
But they keep noticing that the minister and his wife are just looking at them like with awe. And they tell them, we didn't know what to do. And we prayed for God to send us help for what to do for the fair. And then you showed up.
And they just sort of felt kind of strange. And then they were driving away. And they both found out in the car that they both had this weird experience.
And they kept saying, it was strange the way they looked at us. Do you think they thought we were angels? And of course, they're thinking, we're nothing like angels. We came to not rip them off, but we didn't have the best of intentions.
So then the next weekend they're at their stall. And they both-- they sell the vase, and they sell the folio for more than they even expected. And she said, usually they were very excited when they made a good sale. But instead, they both sort of looked at each other, and they both put the money for those two things aside.
And they wound up going to the bank. And they put the money into like a cashier's check. And they sent it anonymously to the little church. So they ended up donating the money back to the church.