A true Christmas story…
Saturday the 12th of December dawned rainy and cold in our town. At 9:50 a.m. my four youngest children and I found ourselves temporarily stranded when we smelled burning and the transmission in our family car tried to fail. Letting us out at my request, my husband went on to check on it and to take my older son to work. The little ones and I began walking, mingling among the others seeking out the local color of Christmas celebrations, sure in the knowledge that, in fifteen minutes or so, we would be reunited with my husband. The minutes ticked by and still no dad. Somehow he went one way, we went another. Unknown to me, he now had no clue where we were. We do not own cell phones. The children and I headed towards Lowes, our original destination.
After walking for some time, we found ourselves in the parking lot of San Marcos. We had now walked over a mile and a half and were unable to safely go any farther. Thinking I would take them into Hardees to get out of the rain and warm up, we turned back towards it. Our plans were wonderfully changed when the kind folks of San Marcos came out to meet us. First a ride was offered, then the use of a phone. Then shelter and cookies and milk for the children. I called home and told an older son where we were. He informed me that his dad had been there to see if we had called but had just left to continue his search. Thanking the people for their kindness, I took the little ones back outside to wait. Moments later, the door opened and we were once again invited inside. It was still before 11:00 and officially the restaurant was not yet open. Sending my children inside to warm up, I waited outside to watch for my husband. A young man came out and brought me an umbrella. He offered me a drink.
Moments later someone came and asked if they could give the children cheese quesadillas. I said yes and thanked them. After several minutes, I finally saw my husband. Unfortunately, he didn’t see me. I tried to flag him down to no avail. I went inside to use the phone to check on things at home. Once inside, I was again met with offers of hospitality. This time I accepted coffee and went to sit with my children and wait. They were happily feasting on chips, queso blanco, beans, rice, cheese quesadillas and sprite. Moments later, I was approached: did I want food, salsa, drinks? more coffee? anything? Thanking them for their graciousness, I accepted the offer of water and salsa for the chips but refused everything else. Quickly I was served; refills were offered for my children’s drinks. Then, to my surprise, a smiling woman approached the table with a large plate laden down with rice, beans and a wonderful beef burrito. She admonished me to be careful as the plate was hot.
Once again we saw my husband’s car passing by as he searched for us. Confident that the God Who was providing for us would send Charles to us, we continued to eat and wait. Several minutes later, having called home to check if we had called, he pulled in and came inside. He was astounded at what he found. We were dry, warm and fed. We quickly compared stories and wondered at God’s graciousness. He went up front to pay for our meals and was told that it was all on the house. As a lovely send-off, one of the workers passed out packets of air heads candy to our little ones.
We’ve never before eaten at San Marcos but we’ll be back when we can. The food is marvelous, the lighting and decor very pleasant, the people gracious and caring. When no one else seemed to notice a mom and four little kids out in the cold and wet, the angels of San Marcos came to our rescue. They provided warmth, shelter, food and drinks. Most of all, in showing kindness to strangers, they showed God’s love. A sticker at their front door boldly sets out the invitation to salvation. More importantly, the folks of San Marcos lived God’s Word.
We’re a large family and my husband has been out of work for several months. Times are hard. The angels of San Marcos Mexican restaurant just made our Christmas a little brighter and our belief in mankind a little stronger. For this, we thank them.
–copy of my letter to our local editor
Until next time may the good Lord be pleased to bless you!
Soli Deo gloria!