Man shall live forever more…

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 3, 2005

A few years back, while living in Georgia, I was out shopping for Christmas gifts. I was in the big box store and couldn't find one particular gift for one of my nephews.

Being rather tall, I spotted what I wanted on the top of the shelves. Not thinking about it, I simply stood on my tiptoes, despite my seeing the sign that said to ask for help, and I pulled the item down.

Suddenly a woman behind me rudely told me not to do that. I wheeled around and saw that she was an employee.

Email newsletter signup

I sorta let her tone pass with a raised eyebrow.

"Fine, would you get a ladder and get it for me then?" I asked.

"Sir, those items up there are for display," she said.

Well having worked in some retail establishments I pretty much know that if it's on a shelf, it's for sale. I pointed this out to her and she and I exchanged words.

Finally, I just said I'd get a manager.

The woman began to cry and that is when a manager walked up and asked what was going on.

She was apologizing before I could say anything.

I finally told the manager that I wanted an item on the top shelf but if it wasn't for sale, then I'd be fine with it. Right in front of me, he chastised the woman for telling me something like that and that she had been warned about telling others that as well.

When he called her by name, I realized who she was.

Her husband had been killed a few weeks before in a hunting accident.

My paper had covered it.

From what I understood, her insurance company was waiting for some type of report before life insurance paid out.

One of my coworkers had told me about how she was working at a local store in order to buy her children's Christmas gifts.

Suddenly, I felt like a heel. I told the manager to back off that she had done no such thing.

I took the Tonka truck to the front and paid for it.

During the manager's chastisement I had discerned that the lady was hiding back a few items for her to buy for her children.

I figured the truck was for her now fatherless son.

I saw the manager and asked for him to get the lady.

When he did, I handed her the bag and simply said, "No boy should go through life without a Tonka truck."

She then realized that I understood what was going on with the gifts and she began to cry again.

And yes, to all the big and tough people in this town, I broke down myself. Even the manager seemed a little misty.

As I turned to leave, the local high school choir began singing "Mary's Boy Child." They sang so majestically that I simply stood and listened to them.

I realized then and to this day, I don't want to be recognized for the good I do.

And by no means did I share this with you for that. I shared this with you because quite often, I have to share the bad news of the world with you.

And the best news that I can share with you is simply, "Hark, now hear the angels sing, a king was born today, And man will live for evermore, because of Christmas Day.

Mary’s boy child Jesus Christ, was born on Christmas Day.

Oh a moment still worth was a glow, all the bells rang out there were tears of joy and laughter, people shouted 'let everyone know, there is hope for all to find peace.'"

Merry Christmas!

Jay Thomas is managing editor of the Greenville Advocate and can be reached at 382-3111, ext. 136 or via email at