Poor Soldier

It was 6:25 pm, I had a kitchen table full of friends (if three of us can make a table that seats six full), Tim was out of town, and I wasn’t expecting company.  The doorbell rang.

A nervous young girl stood on my doorstep.  She was studying at the University of Richmond.  Her parents lived just down the street.  She was selling magazines to help fund an upcoming semester abroad in London.  If I didn’t need any myself, I could pay for a subscription of my choice to a soldier overseas.

Apparently she missed the ‘no soliciting’ sign glued to the storm door by a previous tenant.

But, since Tim and I have been talking and praying about how to become more involved in our (secular) community…I invited her in.  “Smells like cookies,” she said, and I should have offered her one, but I was too busy scanning the list.  “The most popular mags for the guys overseas are Sports Illustrated and Playboy,” she offered helpfully.  “The girls really like Elle.” 

Great, I am thinking.  Just great.

I ask her name again, find out a few details about her trip just to buy myself time.  I realize the list of available magazines continues on the back of the little card she gives me.

“How much is this one?” I ask, pointing.

She checks her cheat sheet.  “$36 for a two year subscription,” she replies.  Okay.  I think, I can handle that.

I pull out my checkbook.  She doesn’t meet my gaze.  “There’s a small fee for shipping and handlingsoyourtotalcomesto$51.45.”  I gulp.  But I’m committed to this.

She is elated.  “I’ll send you a postcard from London!  I’ll stop back by and show you pictures!  You can check online in a few weeks to see the name of the soldier that gets your magazine!  It’s tax deductible!  I’ll send you that postcard!!”

I say a prayer that God will send my magazine to just the right person.  That He’ll use my blundering efforts and foolish mistakes to His glory.  He’s sovereign.  He knows that somewhere, someone overseas could use a good, healthy dose of Guideposts…right?

Right?!?!

Sorry, soldier.  I know it’s not Playboy…better luck next time, eh?

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  1. #1 by Sally on November 6, 2010 - 10:27 pm

    You are one KIND soul. People who have as much lack of consideration as to come to my door or call my phone when I’m trying to get supper on the table, kids are fussing, baby is crying, my nerves are stretching and thinning, do not get extra charity or extra of my time!! Period! The phone call had better be an emergency and tell me as fast as possible and hang up. The door thing, I state I’m not interested (have a whole cow in the freezer, (often they’re selling beef) whatever) and that’s the END!
    Sometimes I wonder WHAT people are thinking to do this stuff at meal times!!!!
    O.k., now you know what gets my ire up. (Ringing my doorbell at 2:00 p.m. will light my fuse too. Doesn’t everyone know that is universal nap time for kids? I stuffed cotton balls in the ringers to deaden the noise. Now it’s a quiet “clunk, clunk” when someone pushes the doorbell. But, it will still bring Paul running to see who is there.)

    • #2 by Cristy on November 12, 2010 - 12:20 pm

      Ugh. You are smart, to muffle the door bell like that! Necessity is the mother of invention!

  2. #3 by Anna C on November 7, 2010 - 2:11 pm

    You have to be careful what you buy from a door-to-door also.. Nathaniel bought a magazine once and we never heard anything more about it:(

  3. #4 by Rachel on November 11, 2010 - 12:57 pm

    You are doing that soldier a wonderful thing!! He doesnt need playboy!! I’m sure the Lord will use your simple act of buying a magazine to lead a solder to Him! 🙂

    • #5 by Cristy on November 12, 2010 - 12:14 pm

      Thanks, Rachel! That’s what I’m praying for, even though I second guessed myself later.

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