Let us then with confidence draw near to the
throne of grace,
that we may receive mercy and find grace
to help in time of need.
The Throne of Grace
by Anna Popescu
“That will be ten dollars.” Miriam looked expectantly down at her customer, who couldn’t have been more than five years old.
The tiny girl carefully placed several coins on the counter. “Is that enough?”
Miriam could see right away that there was not nearly enough to pay for the pink slippers. What to do now? She looked down again at the little girl. Her simple sundress was clean but neatly patched in several different areas.
“Who are these slippers for, sweetie?”
A bright smile lit up the girl’s face. “It’s my Mommy’s birthday.” She stroked the slippers with her index finger. “They’re so soft. Maybe now Mommy can walk.”
“Oh, I’m sure your mother will love these.” Miriam frowned. “Does she have trouble walking?”
The little girl shrugged. “She sits in a chair with big wheels.”
“You mean a wheelchair?”
The little girl’s face brightened. “Yeah, a wheelchair! I forgot the word.” Then she frowned. “I got enough money, don’t I? I saved it from my ‘lowance for three whole months.”
Miriam looked around. “Did you come here alone?”
“Yep.” She nodded. “It’s real close. I got a tire swing in front of my house!”
Miriam raised her eyebrows. She knew which house the little girl was talking about, a tiny bungalow a few doors down the street with a wheelchair ramp down one side of the front steps. The house was in desperate need of repair. In a small town like this, everyone knew that the Clarks had been going through bad times since Joe Clark’s warehouse job had been eliminated. He had been looking for work for the last six months.
“I’ll tell you what,” Miriam made a quick decision. “Since this is a birthday present, I’ll wrap them up for you.”
The little girl watched in fascination as Miriam placed the slippers in a box and deftly covered it with wrapping paper and ribbon. “There, all done.” She handed the package to the little girl, who hugged it close to her body.
“Thanks, Lady!” She took a few steps but then frowned and turned back. “It’s enough?” She pointed to the money still on the counter.
Miriam smiled. “It sure is. Now why don’t you get that present home to your mother?”
The little girl’s face lit up and she thanked Miriam again before leaving the small drug store.
Miriam picked up the thirty-seven cents’ worth of coins and stared at them for several seconds. Then she reached into her purse under the counter, drew out a ten-dollar bill and stuffed it and the coins into the cash register.