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Blessed Are You

Illustration
Stories
Teresa stood reading the new sign outside of the church.

“Nice sign,” Kevin said from beside her. “Where did they come up with those sayings?”

She turned to him. “They’re words of Jesus from the Bible called the Beatitudes.”

“Huh.” He squinted at the sign. “Usually I like what he has to say about love and all of that. These are just confusing. If I’m mourning or poor in spirit, how does that make me blessed?”

“I don’t know,” Teresa admitted. “I just remember them from when I was little. They’re part of what Jesus taught when he went up a mountain.”

“I just wish I never get in times like when I am sad or in need.” Kevin shrugged. “You going to the food bank today?”

“I am.”

“Wanna walk with me?”

Teresa nodded and they started down the road. “How’s your Dad doing?”

Kevin smiled. “He called me by name when I went to the old folks home.”

“They still treating him good there?”

“St. Anthony’s is a good place no matter what people say.”

Teresa tilted her head. “What do people say?”

“Some people think that because they let poor people like us stay there, that it isn’t a good place. You know though they treat Dad the same as they treat everyone else. He gets good meals and whenever I visit, they invite me to have lunch with him.” Kevin paused. “Thanks for telling me about the place.”

“You’re welcome, and I’m glad your Dad is doing okay.” Teresa stopped and shook a rock out of her shoe.

Kevin frowned. “Those shoes are no good for you.”

“I don’t have enough money for new ones.”

“Did you ask down at the thrift shop?”

“Why would I ask there?”

“Sometimes they have shoes that people donate and if they know you are looking for some, they will put them aside for you.” Kevin pointed at his feet. “That’s where I got these ones.”

Teresa whistled. “Those are nice.”

“Yeah, they are pretty sweet.”

“I’ll ask next time I’m in.”

Kevin opened the door for Teresa and followed her into the food bank.

“Hi Kevin, hello Teresa. How are you both today?” Charlie asked from behind the counter. “I’ll get some bags for you. Either of you have a microwave? Someone dropped off some popcorn and you’re welcome to it if you want.”

They both nodded and Charlie disappeared out back.

“You know I was thinking about those words,” Teresa said.

Kevin frowned. “What words?”

“The ones in front of the church. Remember? The blessed are you ones.”

“Yeah. What about them?”

“I remember my grandmother telling me that they are part of the Good News Jesus came to share.”

Kevin shook his head. “I don’t see how being in bad times is good in any way.”

Teresa took a deep breath. “My grandmother also told me that when you are in bad times then you find out what God can do more than ever.”

Charlie reappeared with the bags and handed them to him. He noticed Teresa squirming in her shoes. “Teresa, is it okay if I call down to the thrift store? I know they have some shoes that came in and I think they might have your size.”

“I’ve got to carry those groceries home so I’m not sure I can go today.” She sighed. “I don’t have the strength I used to have.”

Kevin lifted his bag. “I could probably carry yours if you want.”

“You’re got a bad back, Kevin.” Teresa shook her head. “I don’t want you to get laid up again.”

Charlie held up a hand. “Just give me a sec.”

Teresa and Kevin looked at each other as the man disappeared out the back again. He returned in a moment with a small basket on wheels. “Try this.”

Teresa put her bag in and pulled on the handle. “Hey, that makes things easier!”

Kevin nodded. “Now you can get your shoes.”

“Put your groceries in there too,” she said to him. “You don’t live too far from me and we could take turns pulling it.”

Kevin put his bag in and tried pulling the basket. “That does help.”

“Remember to bring it next time you come to the food bank,” Charlie said.

“Sure we’ll bring it back next week, Charlie.”

Charlie shook his head. “No, it’s yours to keep but if you bring it, the bags will be easier to get home.”

They both thanked Charlie and headed toward the thrift shop taking turns pulling the basket.

“I wonder if this is what those words mean,” Kevin said when it was his turn to pull.

“What words?”

“The ones on the church we were looking at, the Beatitudes you called them.” Kevin pointed at the basket, “We still have the same load to carry but because of what we’ve been given it’s easier to manage.”

Teresa looked at the basket and then at Kevin. “That makes sense. My grandmother always said God helps us when we are in need. So the words are Jesus telling us that even in bad times, God is there to help make things better.”

Kevin smiled at her. “Now that is what I would call Good News.”


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StoryShare, January 29, 2023 issue.

Copyright 2023 by CSS Publishing Company, Inc., Lima, Ohio.

All rights reserved. Subscribers to the StoryShare service may print and use this material as it was intended in sermons, in worship and classroom settings, in brief devotions, in radio spots, and as newsletter fillers. No additional permission is required from the publisher for such use by subscribers only. Inquiries should be addressed to permissions@csspub.com or to Permissions, CSS Publishing Company, Inc., 5450 N. Dixie Highway, Lima, Ohio 45807.
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