Gloria received her first whole paycheck in months, with back payments included. Her employer had fallen behind in paying staff because of the pandemic. Finally, he had caught up.
The delay had stretched her resources beyond their limit, but Gloria didn’t complain. She liked the job. It was light work, and her boss was a good guy.
Gloria knew once she got the check, it would cover everything.
She cashed her check at the bank, put the money in her wallet, and the wallet in her purse.
As Gloria left the bank, a masked man ran by, snatched her purse, and took off like a rocket.
At first, Gloria panicked. Her money was gone! Then she took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and prayed.
"God is in control. Maybe that guy needed it more than I did," Gloria thought. "God knows what He’s doing. Jesus said to forgive 70 times seven."
“I forgive you, Mister Masked Man,” she announced.
Gloria called her five faithful friends: Mary, Bill, Adrian, Lynn, and Doug. They pitched in enough money to pay her past due and current rent and court costs, to stop the eviction.
“No need to repay it. We're blessed to have it to give,” said Gloria's friends.
Her elderly neighbor Gordon gave her the $100 grocery store gift card he had received as an incentive for getting his COVID-19 vaccine. Then he invited her to his apartment for Thanksgiving dinner with his wife, children, and grandchildren.
“Always room for one more,” Gordon said.
Gloria was grateful and ecstatic. She’d be able to stay in her apartment for Thanksgiving and Christmas, enjoy a family dinner gathering, and buy groceries until next payday.
Monday, November 15.
Gloria’s landlord accepted the money and dismissed her eviction proceeding.
But Gloria didn’t have anything left to pay the $490 past due on her power bill.
Tuesday, November 16.
The power was scheduled for cutoff by 5 p.m.
Gloria had candles, matches, and a flashlight ready for her return home from work Tuesday night. She opened the door, prepared for darkness.
There was light.
Wednesday. Thursday. Friday. Saturday. Sunday. Monday.
Tuesday, November 23. The eighth day.
There was light.
Gloria left for work.
When she returned home, she saw a note from the power company taped on her door.