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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Poor (10/25/04)

TITLE: Jeans for Jesus
By Hope Horner


I walked into the fast food restaurant at around nine in the morning and ordered my usual dose of healthy breakfast food—a bacon croissant and an order of greasy hash-browns. When the cashier asked if I wanted coffee or orange juice, I somehow felt better about my meal when I asked for orange juice.
After paying for my meal, I walked away from the counter and plunked down in the first available booth to wait for my food. I looked out the window, and noticed the streets were bustling with city life this cold autumn morning. Cars slammed one after the other through a large, muddy puddle left over from a rainstorm two days ago. The sun blazed just above the mountains in the light blue sky, daring the city inhabitants to come outside without a jacket.
My peaceful observation was interrupted abruptly by a loud voice.
“My name is Berta!” a woman boomed with a slight slur, pointing her finger up in the air as she came through the front door of the restaurant. Her slate blue eyes peered out from her dirty face and her hair was badly matted. She looked as though she was wearing a huge pile of soiled laundry. Her jeans had two huge black spots over both knees and her shoes were untied.
Seemingly content with her loud introduction, she meandered slowly across the front of the restaurant toward the coffee machine, mumbling all way. Once there, she pulled a small, plastic cup out of her coat pocket and began to pour hot coffee into it. The young man who brought me my food pretended not to notice that Berta was helping herself to coffee—on the house.

About a minute later, the front door of the restaurant swung open again and in walked a young lady who looked as though she had just stepped off a motorcycle—her hair was wispy and she wore blue jeans and dark leather boots. She peered intently around the restaurant, her eyes searching for someone or something. I dabbed my hash-browns into the pile of ketchup on my tray and pretended to mind my own business.

“Oh, there you are!” The young lady exclaimed and then smiled like she had spotted an old friend. I looked around, trying to figure out who she was talking to. To my amazement, she ran right up to Berta who was now slowly stirring cream into her coffee.

“I was hoping you’d be here today!” she said with genuine excitement. “I brought something for you that I know you are just going to love!” As soon as Berta put down her coffee, the young woman held out a pair of folded up jeans.

“For me?” Berta asked in bewilderment. Her blackened fingers picked nervously at the pockets of her worn winter jacket.

“Yes, for you!” the young woman said as she handed Berta the jeans. “I no longer wear them, and they are in perfect shape, so I thought I would give them to you. I’m sure they’ll fit you!”

Berta seemed shocked at her new gift at first, but then once it sank in, a huge open-mouthed smile crept across her face—showing off the five teeth she had left in her mouth. Slowly, she took the jeans and carefully unfolded them as though she were opening a present on Christmas day.

“They’re perfect for me!” she said joyfully, as she held them to her waist. Then quickly, Berta pulled them up tight up against her chest as though she thought someone was going to take them. The young lady patted her gently on the shoulder and said, “I knew you would like them!”

I put down my breakfast croissant because I could no longer see it through my tears. The kindness of the gift-giver and the tender spirit in which her gift was given was more than my heart could bear. My vision was blurry as I put on my coat to leave, but it was clear what I had just witnessed:

This young lady, whether she knew it or not, had just given out jeans for Jesus!

“Then the good people will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you without clothes and give you something to wear?’ And the King answered, “I tell you the truth. Anything you did for even the least of my people here, you did for me.” Matthew 25:38-40 (NCV paraphrased)

Hope A. Horner, 2004

Member Comments
Member Date
Corinne Smelker 11/01/04
If this is a true story, then you surely were witness to the love of God in action, and you portrayed it very well, I could picture this in my mind. Well done.
Lynda Lee Schab 11/01/04
Another wonderful entry, Hope! The title sparked my interest and the story kept it.
Thanks for posting. Great job!
Blessings, Lynda
Deborah Anderson11/01/04
Awesome story. God bless you.
Mitzi Busby11/01/04
Beautiful story Hope!
Marcell Billinghurst11/02/04
A very touching tender story of a lady who was willing to accept someone else for who they were, regardless of outward appearance and circumstances. To be willing give to her in an act of real sincere love. It was touching to see the response to her gift. Well Done.
Hope, your story was well-written and kept my complete attention. Nice job. Hope to read more from you.

Lois Jennison Tribble11/02/04
A very convicting story with convincing observations. I loved your description, "She looked as though she was wearing a huge pile of soiled laundry." It rang true.
Lois Jennison Tribble11/02/04
A very convicting story with convincing observations. I loved your description, "She looked as though she was wearing a huge pile of soiled laundry." It rang true.
Glenda Lagerstedt11/03/04
Great article. Exceptionally well written with a most important message.
Norma OGrady11/03/04
well written
great story
Yeshua bless you
Melanie Kerr 11/04/04
Wonderful heart-warming story with a an edge. It made me think about how I see people and how I could reach out to help.
Debbie OConnor11/04/04
Very good. I could see everything taking place in my mind. Great message.
Verlie Ruhl11/05/04
I don't have time tor read all of the entries, but picked yours out because of your great title. After I read it, I was glad I did! Beautifully done.
Roberta Kittrell11/05/04
Hope, you were well named. The Blessed Hope was in the Jean Girl as she reached out to Bertha. If it wasn't true, it could have been. I've witnessed and experienced this for years in street ministry, volunteer chaplain in the jails, ministering to inmate families, and being employed for a while by The Salvation Army. Also, I did, and now do minister to older persons who usually are on one minimal income and are frequently just over the maximum income for the poverty level. I know how that can hurt; if we know Jesus, He can stretch our little into much; the blind materialistic world just can't see.

So well done. Please let us have more.
Rita Garcia11/06/04
Hope, a heartwarming story, and a reminder that we can always find ways to make a difference. Blessings, Rita
Kathy Cartee11/07/04
Beautiful story.

Being in prison ministry myself, I know what a blessing it is for those often forgotten to receive a gift of love.

very well expressed and captured my attention from the title to the end.