"A Heavenly Voice"
(By Lissa M. Lee - woolyspecial@yahoo.com)

4-23-2009 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #536

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Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week [“SOW Seeds”].

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Patije

Story of the Week
A Heavenly Voice
(By Lissa M. Lee - woolyspecial@yahoo.com)

Last week at work, a dear friend of my boss dropped by and related this story.

His company had been toiling and negotiating on an offer for months. It had become the obsession of his office. They finally had a realistic proposal, and he was sitting across from his customer.

"Thanks, Dave," he said, "but we'll have to pass this year."

He was devastated. How could he face his employees? The loss of this million-dollar deal would result in layoffs. His stomach, initially tied in knots over presenting the bid, was now wrenched tighter. He simply could not understand how the client could afford to refuse their offer. He dreaded returning to the office.

Pulling into a truck stop, he ordered coffee before returning to the office. His waitress was friendly, although slightly distracted. As she poured the coffee, he nonchalantly said hello and asked how she was. He fully expected the traditional Southern response, "Fine, and you?"

"Oh, I've been better," she began. "My husband abandoned me and the kids after Katrina. Left us stranded here, and this is the only job I could find. It ain't too bad, mind you. The boss lets me work around my kids so they ain't at home alone. But yesterday someone stole my purse. It had everything in it: birth certificates, shot records, social security cards, everything I had evacuated with. And every penny we had, $300 was in there. Now I don't so much mind they took the money, it's just money, but all those important papers… I need those for the kids and their schooling. I don't even know if I can get new papers with New Orleans being in such a mess."

He bobbed his head, feigning interest in her conversation. He wanted to interrupt her and point out that she had only lost $300, while he had just lost millions. Before he could reply, she turned to another table.

Sipping the warmth, he thought about their dilemmas. Both of them had been dealt a raw deal, but self-pity made him feel that, somehow, his loss was greater. Proportionally though, their losses were probably equal.

As he drank his coffee, he flipped his cell phone and attempted to scan e-mails. No reception. Shutting it, he sank into the comfort of the red plastic-padded dining booth and stared aimlessly. His daze was interpreted by the newly familiar voice.

"They found it!" She squealed with delight. "They found my purse! All our important papers were still there. We're gonna be all right!"

Everyone in the truck stop applauded.

She came to refresh his coffee. He declined the offer and congratulated her good fortune. She was gracious and told him to have a nice day as he took his ticket and headed for the cash register.

"She's still out $300," the heavenly voice whispered.

"Okay," he acknowledged. "I'll leave a $20. That's a 1000% tip."

"She's still out $300," came the voice again.

"All right," he moaned, "I've got $50 in my wallet, I'll leave that."

"She lost $300," repeated the voice.

"Look, God," he began. "I just lost a million-dollar deal. Have a little sympathy for me!"

"She lost $300," the voice insisted.

"All right, all right," he grudgingly relented. Taking out his American Express, he paid for the coffee and wrote in a $300 tip.

Walking through the parking lot to his car, he tried his cell phone again, still no reception. He got in his car and headed for the office, trying to think of a diplomatic way to break the bad news.

When he opened the door to his office, his secretary practically leapt from her desk to greet him. "Mr. Smith," she bubbled, "You'll ever guess who just called!"

"Do I have to?" he asked.

"Oh, no, sir, I was just so excited I couldn't help myself," she beamed. "Mr. Jones called right after you left. He tried getting you on your cell, but he said he couldn't reach you. Must have been in a dead zone, right, sir?"

She inhaled and continued at lightening speed, "Anyway he said he went over the figures you gave him with his sales and production staff after your meeting. They decided to double the order. Can you believe it! Doubled the order! Our price was just too good to pass up. They have faxed over the signed contracts! Isn't that fantastic? The contracts are on you desk."

Stunned, he looked at his secretary in utter disbelief, "He said what?"

She slowly repeated the telephone conversation. He could not believe it. He walked into the office to examine the faxed contracts for himself. He noted the time on the fax and the American Express receipt. They were the same.

[Lissa is a storyteller from South Louisiana. This is true story, though the names have been changed.]

Pastor's Quote of the Week
The Master was always generous. He never grew weary of saying, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." Said he, "Freely you have received, freely give."

(From: The Urantia Book - Paper-100 Section-7 )

The Prayer
Dear God,        
        Whenever I feel like I have nothing left to give, show me the truth.

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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