June 2, 2009
COLUMBUS, OH (AP)–33-year-old local woman, “MT,” stood inside her front door stunned this afternoon after a trip to the mailbox.
Her day began normally enough, she told reporters. Her husband walked their older two children to the bus stop, then left for a day at “the office.” A self-employed work-at-home web designer, he spends Tuesdays doing work for their church in Dublin. MT recalled spending time in prayer after he left, “asking God to provide in a big way for our needs.” She referred to it as “believing big” during times when finances were especially tight.
“I hate that I still get worked up when things get hairy, ” she said. “I, of all people, should know better. Why should this day, after a million and one days of timely provision, be the one day that God can’t pull through for us?”
She was doing fine until she checked their online banking statement after lunch. Back in March, her husband’s check card had been replaced due to “suspicious activity.” This messed up several automated payments that came out of their checking each month. While gallivanting around in Texas (or was it Oklahoma?) in April, the couple’s cell phone/internet payment wasn’t deducted from their checking. It came out today instead.
Long story short, they had insufficient funds to cover the withdrawal. There was still some money in the account but only because their most recent check hadn’t cleared yet. Ironically, it was a “tithe” check written to their aforementioned church. If the church treasurer cashed the check, it would bounce.
MT panicked. She prayed. She told God she believed Him for a miracle. Did she really? She took a deep breath, pulled out her Zoo Fund Envelope, and fingered some bills that had been given to her by a generous couple. She sighed, yelled to her 3-year-old daughter to put her Crocs on and drove to the bank.
Upon returning home, she put her daughter down for a nap, and checked her online account once again, horrified to discover something else had come out. Another panic. More prayer. She let her daughter sleep for an hour, grabbed the remainder of the envelope’s contents, and headed back to the bank, miserable. Their Zoo Fund was depleted, and it still wasn’t enough.
“I came home and tweeted, asking for prayer,” she told reporters, “and people prayed.” (It is not clear what “tweeted” means. It appears to have religious overtones.)
A short time later, she went to the mailbox, deflated and discouraged. Among a slew of circulars, there was a plain white envelope addressed to her. She opened it. There was a card (with religious overtones), a typed letter, a $50 bill.
Her jaw went slack, then “Praise You, Father. Praise You, Father. Praise You, Father.” She wanted to cry but grinned instead. And upon reading the letter, she grinned even bigger.
She gave us permission to quote it (in part) here.
Here’s a small contribution to the zoo fund. Sorry I’m always anonymous–it’s just who I am. I do have to mention this… When I sent you the $ for your Pei Wei fund, the next day my Grandma sent me a sweet note with a $20 bill in it–for no reason. When I sent you the Victoria’s Secret card, during the following week, I got not 1, not 2, but 3 free panty coupons from VS! CRAZY! … Anyway, I would have sent you the cards, but about that time, the whole fiasco with your blog comments started, and I didn’t want to make the situation any more chaotic… The money I’m sending you now is something else that just landed back in my lap… So, though it’s not enough for the whole westward trip, it’s a start. It’s way more fun to give than receive–especially anonymously!
When prodded, MT refused to comment on “the whole VS blog fiasco” but told reporters that this has been a most uncomfortable year in many ways. She reflected back on times in the not-so-distant past when she and her husband were the ones sending gifts to others. “I agree with ‘Vicki,'” she said. “I want to be the one giving, not receiving. But God has stretched me and grown me–and humbled me–in a zillion ways in the past few months, and looking back, I can’t say that I’d change a minute of it.”
Her husband got home at 5:00 p.m., she relayed the day’s saga to him, he checked his e-mail and found a “random” $50 payment from his internet hosting company. The phone/internet bill is taken care of. Coincidence? MT thinks not.
“It’s manna, I tell you,” MT said. “It falls from heaven. Just the amount we need, right when we need it. Sure, there are lots of times when we get sick of manna and long for the food we ate back in Egypt, but what a privilege to get your daily bread directly from Jehoveh-Jireh Himself. We’ll take that over leeks and cucumbers any day.” (It is unclear what MT means by “manna.” Apparently, it is a biblical reference.)
A week ago, her husband got a phone call from the church he grew up in. They want a new website, and they’ll pay half upfront next week. The Zoo Fund will be restocked–all $170 of it + Vicki’s $50. The family of five will pile in their mini-van once more and head east, trusting God will be there waiting with His manna.