Open Letter of Thanks

This woman touched my heart 17 years ago when I was 9. I have never forgotten what she had done for me, but I couldn’t remember who she was until she came back into my life a couple months ago and gave me a donation for my Brazil mission trip.

Dear Fiesta Texas Lady,

I can only remember meeting you once. I was in 3rd grade and my family spent the summer driving across the USA to meet with the people who support us as missionaries. I met a lot of people that summer who knew my parents—one of my dad’s old girlfriends, the family that my mom had lived with in high school, people with faces I can’t remember and histories I never knew.

I remember your house in Texas. I remember watching your backyard for birds and seeing your room full of teddy bears. I remember watching Men in Tights for the first time on your TV. You took us to the Alamo. I loved that.

You took us to Fiesta Texas. I don’t remember much of that one. The only thing I do remember is that my little brother, Jordan, played a game at a booth and won a stuffed animal. I threw a fit.

I’ve never thought of myself as a brat before, but that incident was pretty bratty. I thought it so unfair that my brother played a game and won a toy and I had nothing. I cried and wailed. Then you bent down and told me that when we got back to your house, you’d let me have one of the teddy bears from your collection.

That shut me up fast. All the way home, I was feeling good. My brother was playing with his stuffed animal, but I didn’t care because I’d get to pick one out that would be better. I was feeling superior.

But when I walked into the room with your collection, I felt very different. These weren’t toys for sale; these were yours. And you were going to let me have one. For what? Being selfish? All my greed vanished.

You asked me which bear I would like. I picked a small one, but a unique one. You took him down off the shelf and gave him to me. He was a gift that I didn’t deserve.

I have never let him go. He stays with me as a reminder of love and kindness. I don’t know if you intended this, but you have become one of the most memorable examples of God’s love for us—despite our brattiness.

I’m not sure if I ever properly thanked you for him. Either way, I want to thank you again 17 years later. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. It may have only been a stuffed toy, but it has had a huge impact on my heart. I will always remember you for that.

With love in Christ,

Jacki

Polar Bear

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