A Christmas Toy Search

Bob was on a mission. One of the grandkids wanted a specific toy for Christmas, and they were having a hard time finding it. His wife had searched the internet for it and had come up empty-handed. Every place she looked it was on backorder. Finally, in frustration, they began calling toy stores and the big chain retail stores that started with a W, a T, and an M.

After spending all morning on the phone she found one. It was at a store in a neighboring town. She asked if they would hold it for her and they laughed at her.

“Lady, you gotta be kidding. It’s the most popular toy out there this year. I can’t guarantee it will be here if you come. The store is packed. It’s up to you,” she was told.

“Honey! I found one. Will you go after it please?”

He glared at her. He’d rather go through a lobotomy without anesthetic than go shopping on Black Friday.

She knew how he felt. She didn’t enjoy it either. But they had to try and find it if they could.

“Please! I’ll have something good to eat ready when you get back,” she offered.

“Pork chops?” he asked.

“Pork chops it is,” she promised while kissing him goodbye. She was sending him into a war zone, and silently prayed for his safety, and his temper.

He knew he was in trouble when he pulled into the parking lot. It was completely full. Cars were making laps around the lot, waiting for open space.

After his fourth lap, he got lucky. He watched an elderly couple get in their car and back out of a space. It happened right in front of him. He whipped into the spot and endured the hateful looks, blaring horns, and obscene gestures from other frustrated drivers.

Entering the store he stopped and stared. It was a madhouse. People were banging their shopping carts into anyone in their way. He saw an elderly lady knocked down by a teenager and nobody was helping her. In fact, they were walking around her like she was something nasty to step in. Going to the lady, he bent over and helped her to her feet.

“Ma’am, Are you all right?” he asked.

“I think so. What happened?” she asked while checking her purse.

“A kid knocked you down. Do you need help?”

“No, I’ll be alright. I just have to get out of here before something else happens,” she answered.

“I’ll walk you to the door,” he offered.

“Thank you. You’re very kind.”

After seeing her to the door, he fought the masses to the toy department. It was a shambles. Toys were thrown on the floor, and empty shelves, and the department employees were completely overwhelmed. He watched as two women fought over a doll. The language would have made a sailor blush and it finally ended when the doll broke into pieces.

Cornering an employee, he asked her about the toy.

“The last one just flew out of here.”

“Oh! No! Now what am I going to do?” he moaned.

“We’re expecting delivery sometime today. I’ve heard there are supposed to be some of your toys in this shipment. I have no idea when it will get here. You would have to wait,” she said.

“I have no choice,” he answered.

“You had better stay in the department. If they come in they’ll go fast.”

“Thank you. I will,” he replied.

The things he saw that day defied description. He didn’t think humanity could stoop so low. Arguments, pushing, shoving, and obscenity were common. He backed himself into a corner and prayed.

“Heavenly Father, please help these people. Show them the real meaning of Christmas. In this insanity please make your presence known. If I can, help me show your love. I pray this in Jesus’s name.”

A calm settled over him and he began helping people. He got toys down from top shelves, helped people find what they were looking for, and directed people toward the restrooms. More than one asked him if he worked there. He had helped a little old lady to the restrooms and came back to the department. The employee came rushing up to him.

“The truck came in and your toy was the first off the truck. My supervisor grabbed them and set them out. Hurry before they’re all gone,” she shouted.

“Hurrying, he got to the display and saw the last one grabbed off the shelf. Stunned, he stood there in silence. Slumping his shoulders, he nodded to the employee and headed for the exit door. On the way, he took out his phone and called his wife. He told her what happened and apologized for not getting the toy.

“Honey, it’s ok. If I know you at all, I know you were probably helping people,” she consoled, “we’ll find something else.”

As he was walking through the door he heard someone call out.

“Young man!”

He almost didn’t hear the voice. He was a grandfather and didn’t think of himself as a young man.

“Young man!” came the voice again.

Turning aside, he saw it was the elderly lady he had helped up off the floor.


“Come here, please. I have something for you,” she beckoned.

Curious, he approached her. There was a sack clutched tightly in her hands.

“Ma’am, Are you all right?”

“Yes, I’m fine. My nephew is with me. He was able to get the toy all of the kids are wanting this year. He was in the toy department when the shipment came in. He was able to grab three of them,” she said.

He glanced into her sack and saw that it was what he was after.

“This may sound strange to you, but the Lord spoke to me. He told me I am supposed to give one of them to you. I have been a Christian most of my life, and I believe I know His voice when I hear it. I have learned not to question it and obey it. And I am obeying it right now. Please take it. Not only because God told me to give it to you, but also for your kindness earlier.”

He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. With tears in his eyes, he spoke, “I came here looking specifically for this toy. I got busy helping other people, and when the shipment came in they were gone before I could get one. I thought I had lost my chance of finding one. Thank you. I can’t believe this. Again, thank you so much.”

Turning his face toward Heaven he spoke, “Thank you, Jesus. Just when I was beginning to think this world had gone completely mad you proved me wrong. Forgive me for my unbelief.”

“The Lord works in mysterious ways,” she smiled.

“Yes, He does,” he replied while thinking about what had happened, then he looked at her and spoke.

“Merry Christmas!”

“Merry Christmas!”

November 28, 2020