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Monday, 13 December 2010

Well With My Soul

By Herchel Newman aka Herm

No one told me to, but I was having a good day all by myself. I had a snappy howdy-do for everyone I met. It was a beautiful day to be off work - and it was payday. All was well with my soul.

I went to the bank to deposit my check and on to the credit union to deposit a few others from my modest photography business. I put a few dollars in my wallet and noticed there was a check I'd missed. I didn't want to get back in line, so I held it for the next time I was there.

Each time I looked at it I said I was going to go cash it and perhaps spend the $123.00 on something I wanted - something for fun - but I kept putting it off. I carried that check for a month. It was actually $123.39.

I came home one day close to supper time. Sweet Lonnie came in and started preparing supper right away. As we discussed the menu and whether I was up to cooking on the grill, the phone rang.

"I'll get it," I told her. "Hello!"

"Hey HerCHel! This is your father." He always said that as if he needed to introduce himself.

"Hey Dad! Wazup?"

"Son, I really hate to make this call but I need a favor and I can't put it off any longer."

"Just name it, Pop."

"Okay. I've got a utility bill I need to pay right away and I just don't have the money. I was hoping you could float me a loan."

This is the man who had floated me from birth to manhood and I was still floating on the waves of his prayers.

"How much ya need, Dad?"

He was having a hard time saying, "It's $123.00."

I began to laugh then suddenly realized I may be embarrassing him. "Dad, I'm not laughing at you. It's just that there’s a story here and a picture to go with it. I'll be right over. I think you're gonna like it."

"Okay, I'll be here. Bye."

"Lonnie, that was Daddy. He needs a hand. I've got to go, but I shouldn't be long."

"Go ahead. This will be a while yet anyway."

We lived close so it was just a few minutes from door to door. He heard me and beckoned, "Come on in." His curiosity showed as he sat up in his chair.

I told him about a time a month ago when I was having an especially good day. I shared about the check I'd forgotten to cash and kept putting it off. He listened intently.

"You said the bill was $123.00?"


As I reached for my wallet, I asked if he rounded it off. He said that was the exact dollar amount. He said, "There’s thirty-nine cents, but I've got that much." We laughed together.

I opened my wallet, pulled out the check and told him, "Here, look at the picture on the front of this."

He took the check from my hand while keeping his eyes on mine. I motioned for him to look. He dropped his gaze and focused. I watched his eyes scan. He began to shake his head as in disbelief. Being a man of great faith, it was more like amazement.

"Dad, that's why I laughed when you told me the amount. I immediately knew why I hadn't cashed this check. I'm as amazed as you seem to be.”

He called Mother in, "Sport, come here please and bring that bill sitting on my dresser."

Mother came in and we kissed a greeting. She handed him the envelope and he removed the statement. "Here," he said, "Take a look at this."

Her head kept going back and forth between the bill and the check. It finally sunk in that the check was made out to me from someone else and her mouth fell open.

"Herk said he's been carrying that check around for a month."

Before she could speak, I told them, "So, you see, I can't loan you the money because it was never mine. It was always intended for you.” We all grinned so hard, it was like I did spend the money on something for fun.

Mother at last had an opportunity to say something. "Bless the Lord! Thank you Jesus and thank you, Herky."

I left them laughing, cooked on the grill and Sweet Lonnie and I had a fine meal.

It was well with all our souls.

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


What a great story, and so well told. Our lives and our minds are full of mystery, if we occasionally cede control. This is a really nice story that will stay in the back of my mind, I hope, for a long time to come. God work. <-- (I was trying to type 'good work,' but when I looked up, it hadn't come out that way!)

Hi Herm,

What a great story....What loving relationships you have with your family.

I will never forget the time you gave your wife the same greeting card from the year before and the whole family got involved with the card and the money that was enclosed. I enjoyed that story,too.

Funny how Steve's typo turned out to be so accurate. Giving your parents the $123.39 and making them so proud and happy WAS God's work.....

and following your intuition kept you in the flow and ready. yes, indeed: God work. good, too.

Oh, I'm just sitting here grinning. What a lovely story!

Dad's been gone a couple years now. Funny how getting the electric bill in the mail brings back such a great memory.

I thought I'd share it with you here. So glad you appreciated it. That's God work too.

Nancy, my wife got a big kick out of you bringing to life again the Valentine card.

You're a great group.

Loved the story and the tender family bond it demonstrated.

Thanks, Herm, for your perfectly timed CHRISTMAS story.

Fabulous. What are the chances!!

This story has to be titled the Miracle on whatever street you live on. It's a beautiful story about mysterious ways.

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