It was the night for everyone to share their gifts, and Lucy Boyd relished in it. As she put together the dinner for the single moms of the church, she remembered the days when she had stood in their shoes. The aroma of the breads she had baked for these special ladies comforted her in the memories she had of three years separated from her George while she raised her two little daughters by herself. How well she had known the burden of working all day and then coming home to parent and manage a household at night, all on limited funds. She hoped the single moms at the dinner found comfort this night, not just in the fragrance of the variety of breads, but in everything her Bible study had worked to set up for them.
It was the fire in the fireplace and the cinnamon apple tea that comforted her with the coziest memories of all, because it was with these treats that she and George had spent their glorious reunion. It had happened unexpectedly, had truly been a God-thing.
For three years, George had played the single, foot-loose-and-fancy-free life, while Lucy had stayed home and held everything together. But then one December evening, quite like this one, he’d shown up on their door step, with a box of chocolates, looking like a lost puppy, and she’d had to let him in.
But that didn’t stop her from wapping him with a couch pillow as soon as he stepped in the door. “George Boyd!! What on earth have you been thinking, and why have you shown up now?!” she demanded, hands on hips.
He looked sheepish and humble and ready to take as many hits as she would give him, as he should. When he looked up at her, there were tears in his sea blue eyes. “Christy told me what you did.” He had no shame. He wiped away tears with his shirt sleeve.
Her heart absolutely would not melt, not yet. “Just exactly what do you mean?”
His intent eyes met hers, and she knew what he was talking about before he spoke. “You made her move out. After all the low-down scummy things I’ve done, you still stood up for me for the girls’ sake. You made her move out.” He broke down and wept.
He was talking about Lucy’s mother. “’Course I did. She had no right to bad mouth their daddy that way. You should know I wouldn’t stand for that, not after spending my life listening to her do it to my daddy.” Lucy was adamant.
George lifted his gaze and met her eyes. “Thank you, Lucy.”
Her heart melted. Before she knew it they were sitting in front of the fire sipping cinnamon apple tea, and her days as a single mom were over.
From that day forward, every minute of every hour of every day was a gift she would never take for granted. Rather, she took every opportunity to share the comfort and joy she had been given with others.
The clatter of silverware brought her back to the dinner from the memories, and with a lingering grin, she allowed her eyes to travel around the room. She saw one single mom, sitting off by herself, studying a small box, wiping tears from her eyes. Lucy moved toward the younger woman and sat down next to her.
“You all right?” she probed gently.
Angela Wuetherle sobbed.
Lucy rubbed her new friend’s back and silently prayed for her. How well she knew the tears of a single mom. Sometimes a comforting touch and loving presence was all that was desired.
Gradually, the tears subsided and Angela looked up as she fingered the box. “My little boy made this for me in the children’s room tonight.”
“What’s in it?” Lucy queried.
Angela handed it over. Lucy read the card that was attached, “Here’s a box of love for you, Mommy. Love Nicholas”
Once again, Lucy’s heart melted. Banana bread, cinnamon-apple tea, a fireplace, a box of love….they did it every time.
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