Monday, November 4, 2019

GIVE HALF TO THE CHURCH


Don't know if you are like me but each time I read about a specific case of selfishness, cruelty, greed or hatred--I just keep shaking my head and wondering,"What is wrong with people?"

Then the other day someone clicked on an old post of mine from 2011 so I went to read it for I couldn't remember it from the title.

This is for you and me--a true story about the best in people.

Years ago I worked in a bank and worked side by side with a teller named Margie. This is her's and my story. 

Social Security checks use to arrive all at the beginning of the month instead of staggered like they do now. So senior check day was really busy at the bank. That was when we saw some people for the only time all month.

Many seniors stuck in our minds either by sweetness, crankiness or quirkiness. Such was the case of two sisters in their seventies. The two widows were both sweet and quirky but we never saw cranky.

They cashed their checks together each month, giving us a list of specific denominations leaning towards a lot of ones, fives, and tens. Then they went to the center counter in the lobby to divvy up the money into their rigid budgeting system.



They did not have a checking account but instead put their money in separate envelopes marked, rent, groceries, bus fare, medical, etc. The dollar amounts they put in the envelopes was the total amount allotted for each expense for the month. This was how they explained it to us and it seemed to work for them.  Sometimes they even came out a little ahead.


We were busy so we paid no attention to the ladies after we cashed their checks. Not long after however, a favorite senior of ours named Ralph came up to Margie's window and said he had found a fairly large amount of money in two envelopes under the center counter.

By the writing on the envelopes stating “rent and groceries” we knew it was the sisters. They must have attempted to stuff them in their purses with the other envelopes and just missed the mark. We thanked Ralph profusely, got his phone number, then as soon as we went on break, Margie called the sisters.

They alternately sobbed and thanked God when she told them of the find. Then they said something that left Margie slack jawed and unable to respond. When she hung up quite stunned, she broke the news.

The sister on the phone said when they had gotten home and found the largest part of their budget missing, they were heart sick. They decided to pray for the return of their money, but were not too hopeful. They were desperate as those checks were their only income and their budget was tight.

She then told Margie, “I asked God that if he could help us get our money back, I would donate half of the money to the church.”

Margie then heard a gasp and the other sister in the back ground cried, “Oh dear no!! I promised the same thing.”

It was a rather dejected pair that came to collect the money that was now ALL promised to the church. This would be a bleak month for the widows who intended to keep their promises.

Margie convinced them to explain the whole story to their pastor before dropping the envelopes in the collection plate. Perhaps they could arrange a payment plan.

As suspected, the pastor refused the money and suggesting instead that the ladies bake a cake for all the church socials for the coming year. The pastor assured them that would please the Lord as much as the money and they would be square. The very clever pastor solved a sticky conundrum for the ladies.

The ladies called Ralph to thank him for returning the money. Turned out he was a lonely widower and pretty soon the ladies were fixing him regular dinners.


Ralph was still able to drive but had no car and they had a car they were no longer  comfortable driving. So from then on, they all three came in together to cash their SS checks. Pretty sure what money was formerly in an envelope for bus fares, went to feeding Ralph. Ralph maintained the car.

As far as we knew, none of the three ever escalated into a possessive relationship which pleased Margie and I. We would have hated for that really nice man to have split up the sisters.
 Perhaps they were able to remain just friends or perhaps they decided to practice "big love" like the TV show. We just knew it worked.  All in all, a really happy ending. 

True we usually only hear about the stories that make us shake our heads in despair but I'll bet there are many more out there like this one that would make us smile and warm our hearts.

Do you have any you might want to post about? Let me know if you decide to.

48 comments :

  1. None that I can think of but I love that one of yours.
    Would make a great pilot episode to a series about the two 'old ladies' and their male friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy,
      Thanks, glad you enjoyed.
      Ha ha, didn't they have a younger version of that in Three's Company?

      Delete
  2. I cried happy tears! Reading this made me once again realize there ARE good people in this world of ours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hootin Anni,
      Me too. There are mostly good in this lovely world, it's just the creeps get all the publicity.

      Delete
  3. That was a sweet story, especially entering the holiday season. Could be the subplot of a Hallmark movie if the man who found the money had a son who fell in love with one of the tellers.

    My mom had a book of envelopes made especially for dividing up money like those ladies were doing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jean,
      That wasn't all that unusual in those days for home grown banking.
      That would be a good movie. Since Margie was married and I was newly single, guess who gets the son?

      Delete
  4. A perfectly lovely story -- just what I needed to start the morning and the week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Olga,
      Thanks. So glad it kick started your day. It did mine too when I rediscovered it.

      Delete
  5. Patti, this sure was a wonderful read, "good things come to good people". We should all remember that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Doug,
      Thank you. If we would just ignore the news, think we would have no trouble remembering it. All we have to do is look around.

      Delete
  6. What a delightful story, Patti. I hope that those three went on to have many wonderful times together. I am really glad you shared this, it has made my day. I am now smiling as if it had happened to me! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Djan,
      So glad you got a lift out of the story. I truly believe it is more common than we think. Don't you?

      Delete
  7. Oh, that is a very sweet story....

    Thank you for sharing...

    🍁🍂🔥🍂🍁

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. wisps of words,
      Thank you and so glad you enjoyed.

      Delete
  8. I love this story Patti! Thank you for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peggy,
      Hope it makes you forget that beast of a woman you had to deal with. There are more people like these sisters than that crank.

      Delete
  9. I love this story. It reminds me of the goodness that really does exist in our world. Thank you for this, Patti.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. robin,
      Thank you and yes it does. We are so much better than what we read.

      Delete
  10. Solomon couldn't have come up with a better solution. Nice story!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tom,
      Thanks. I agree both Margie and the pastor handled it very well.

      Delete
  11. Love this story. God only expects a tenth of our income, so they went above and beyond. Glad it all worked out for them. There is good in this old troubled world and we should spread it wherever we can. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Snickelfritz,
      Thank you and I so agree about the good in the world. There is way more of it than bad but the latter gets all the press.

      Delete
  12. What a lovely heart warming story

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a wonderful tale of the best of humanity. That the three of them became good friends is icing on the cake.

    I can't think of any experiences like that in my life. I'll have to put my thinking cap on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eileen,
      Thank you and neither Margie nor I thought about that outcome. It really made our day. Three lives were made better.

      Delete
  14. Absolutely lovely story. Still smiling. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Such a wonderful story. I dropped my pay envelope once. It was my first job and they must have paid us our little bit in cash. I was walking from my job down the shopping center toward a store and never realized I had dropped the envelope. A man came up behind me and asked if I had dropped the envelope. I was so surprised and then so thankful that I could barely speak. I still think it was a blessed day for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barbara,
      Thank you and you had one of your own with that first pay check. Honesty shouldn't surprise us but it does. We need to hear more so it is considered normal.

      Delete
  16. Dear Patti, thank you for sharing this wonderfully delightful story from your life. The deep-down goodness of those three people just warms my heart. And I'm going to think back and find a story or two from my life and write them up for a couple of blog postings. Sharing the good is a way we can spread the good around and squeeze out the bad! Peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dee,
      Thank you. Ralph and the ladies made our day then and each first of the month there after. Hope you do post some sweet stories. I'll be there to read them and smile.

      Delete
  17. What a sweet and heart warming story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda,
      Thank you. I had a wonderful time living it and writing about it.

      Delete
  18. That is so sweet! It all could have so easily turned out so different for the sisters. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Terri,
      Thank you. I like to believe it is more common than we think, it is just that the bad behavior makes the headlines.

      Delete
  19. Oh, how precious! Sure makes a smiling week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan Kane,
      Thank you and so happy it gave you a smile.

      Delete
  20. Awwww... Wow! That is such a sweet, perfectly wonderful story. I can't think of anything like it. It's so terrific that everything worked out so well for the three of them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kay,
      Thanks. Ralph's honesty made three people very happy, plus Margie and I.

      Delete
  21. I'm so glad the Pastor was able to work out a fair solution for the sisters. I remember the days when I had envelopes for everything too, but I took the money home and divvied it up. I did ask the cashier for all the denominations I need though, even down to rolls of coins.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River,
      That use to be a fairly common practice and the sisters were the only ones I knew about to divide up the money at the bank.

      Delete
  22. I love this story sweet Patti, thank you for sharing it. Hugs

    ReplyDelete
  23. What a flat out lovely story. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mage,
      So glad you enjoyed and hope if for a moment it took the edges off this world we share.

      Delete