Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Seeing Christ the Person in Others

I see in my neighbor the Person of Jesus Christ.
-Saint Gerard Majella

Yesterday, I heard Faith Hill’s “Where are you Christmas?” and I was moved to tears as I thought about the brutality, vengeance, and loss of life that so many in our country have experienced of late.  My heart was heavy with sadness for the victims and their families of these tragic and senseless killings, as well as for my own two little ones and the world that they are being raised in.

And then I got to thinking about the beautiful experience I had last week and the goodness  that can be found in others if we choose to see it, report on it, exemplify it.

G2179 Image:  Young Mother Sewing by Mary Cassatt

You see, my sewing machine was broken and after consulting with my mother, I decided to take her advice and get an estimate for its repair.

Imagine my disappointment when the manager of the service department at a large sewing machine repair/sales chain in the metro said that it would be between $120.00 and $150.00 to repair the part.  He went on to explain that while the part itself was not costly, the repair was labor intensive and was going to run up the bill.  My heart sank as I knew that I just did not have that kind of money to repair my machine; especially so close to little man’s birthday and Christmas.  He was kind enough to show me a brand new machine for $349.00 that could do “so much more” than my basic Singer school model.  Hmmmm…

My mother encouraged me to get a 2nd estimate, this time from a Singer sewing machine store.  Not surprisingly, there are no longer “singer” only stores in the metro, but there are several “certified” singer repair shops inside of various sewing shops.  So, I took my “school model” basic machine in for a 2nd opinion.

As I explained to the kind gentleman behind the counter, what exactly the problem was and how I understood the labor-intensiveness of the repair, he stood there shaking his head “no” at me.  I was befuddled.

He quickly explained that not only was the part not expensive to replace, but that the repair was quick and easy and for his shop’s standard flat rate of a minimum $40 repair fee and a  15 minute wait he could have the machine fixed SAME DAY!

It was then, that I realized I was experiencing Christ in action.  This kind gentleman, rough and rugged, hands worn from 30+ years of sewing machine repair, seeing a frazzled and run-ragged stay-at-home mom with two tiny tots in tow, knowing the value of this machine to me and my children and the significance behind repairing objects rather than purchasing new in our throw-away society, made my day.  Made my week! 

He was, as Saint Gerard Majella would say, “the Person of Jesus Christ, in my neighbor.”

And the twist to this story?  This gentle man suggested that I take my little ones to the thrift store in the strip mall while we wait as they have “great toys.”  The thrift store was  TurnStyles operated by one of my most favorite charities and not for profits…Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.  As we perused the shelves of children’s toys, my sweet daughter, spied an unopened, brand-new children’s SEWING MACHINE!  With the money I saved on repairs and/or not purchasing a brand new machine, I gladly handed over FIVE DOLLARS to this wonderful charity to purchase her this machine.  And yes, it really does work!


IMG_1356Mary’s new sewing machine. 

May you have a blessed day and see Christ the Person in those you meet!


  1. Oh, what a neat sewing machine! Your daughter must be excited!

    It is always a wonderful feeling to feel the love of Christ through another person. I'm glad you were able to get your machine fixed for such a great price and from a kind man!

    So what will you be sewing now?

  2. Hi Morgan!

    Glad to see you dropped by!!!

    I am creating pillowcase dresses for Mary. With a limited budget for new clothing and loads of "old" unused pillowcases in my linen closet, I have set out to create some new dresses and tops for Mary. I spent a few dollars on ribbon and elastic for the neckline and I am set to sew!

    Now I just need to make the time! Maybe after this weekend and little man's birthday party.


  3. That sounds neat! I had heard of pillowcase dresses, but I've never tried them.

    My youngest's birthday is in a few days too!

    Have you written the story of how you found out you were pregnant with him? You guys must have been so incredibly surprised after going through so much to get your daughter! I love stories like that!

  4. I don't think that I ever have written down the story (blogged or otherwise). I probably need to do that. His future wife would more than likely appreciate it! LOL

  5. Valerie, thanks for the comments on my blog. For starters I did not design my new blog, Kelly over at Two kids a minnie van and A lot of love did it for me. She did a great job.
    Second. I'm so sorry to hear about all of your struggles. What a blessing to have been able to have two so far. Your not to old to stop. If you want more, maybe God will bless you again.
    My husband was tested and he came out all good. So I'm not really sure why our eggs just halted like they did. I have a feeling it has to do with me though.
    We will definitely try IVF again. It was the beautiful miracle that made us be able to have our son and for that it was all worth it.
    I will pray for you and your family, hopefully God will grace your life with another little angel baby.

  6. Hello--

    I bet Mary is sooooo excited to have her own machine and that it works to boot!
    You both will have so much fun.
    When you said Turnstyles did you mean the one on 87th St. if soo
    you were sooo close to my neighborhood!!!!!!
    Can't wait to see what you two seamstresses make!


    PS:It sure makes you wonder why such a price difference for the

  7. What a great story! I love happy endings. That Mary Cassatt is one of my favorites, too.

  8. What a beautiful story.

    It's amazing how we can see Jesus when we are open to Him.

    I love the way this man helped you and how you can continue to enjoy your treasure.

    (sweet little pink machine)

  9. Hi Meant to Be a Mom.

    You are so welcome for the comments! Who knows what God has in store for you, but I'm sure that it will be many blessings regardless of how many children you end up having!

    You'll have to tell your blog designer that I think she did a great job!

  10. Hi Melinda.

    YES, I am talking about TurnStyles on 87th St.!!! Glad to know sort of where you are located.

    I have a strong attachment to TurnStyles as I am a former employee of Catholic Charities (before I got my teaching degree). Working for them was one of the most peace-filled positions I ever had!

  11. Hi Janie B.

    Agreed! Happy endings are best! I think that Mary Cassatt painting is beautiful, too!

  12. Julie,

    It was a truly wonderful day...that man was Jesus in Person for sure. He was so kind, so HONEST...he had no intention of ever taking me for a ride.

    If I hadn't called my mom after the first visit to the repair shop, I probably would have purchased a new machine this winter.

    Hmmm.... Glad there are still honest and beautiful people in the world!

  13. I loved this post. So often these moments are overlooked. So often these people, doing the kind little things, are the ones that don't see. Often we don't take notice of the true heroes in the world, the individual that has developed their entire livelihood at the service of others while taking care not to take advantage. Thank you for sharing the one that caught your eye.

  14. Shannon,

    I'm so glad you enjoyed this post! I hope it was a little pick me up after these past few weeks of loss that you have been experiencing.

    Blessings my "new" old friend!

  15. hi Valerie, thanks for your visit to my blog. I enjoy reading your beautiful post, it sure reminds me to always be grateful as God Himself could touch our hearts through anyone. Thanks and warm regards from Singapore :)


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Your kind words are appreciated! As Mother Teresa said, "Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love."