The Crocheted Tablecloth


This is a true story told by Pastor Rob Reid.

The new pastor and his wife were working to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn.  They were to have their first service on Christmas Eve.  On December 19 a driving rainstorm lasting for two days caused a large area of plaster about 20 by 8 feet to fall just behind the pulpit.  He stopped at a flea market and found a beautiful, handmade, crocheted tablecloth with a cross embroidered in the center.  He bought the cloth and headed back to the church to cover where the plaster was missing.

An older woman running to catch her bus, missed it and the pastor invited her in to wait for the next bus.  As she waited inside, the pastor hung the tablecloth, which covered the entire problem area.  “Pastor, she said, “Where did you get that cloth?”  She then asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials ‘EBG’ were there.  These were her initials.  She had made the cloth 35 years before in Austria.

She told him, she and her husband were wealthy people in Austria but she was forced to leave and her husband was to follow the next week.  He was captured and sent to prison.  She had not seen him since.  The pastor drove her home to the other side of Staten Island.

After the Christmas Eve service, an old man from the neighborhood, continued to sit in the pew and stare.  The man asked the pastor where he got the tablecloth because it was identical to the one his wife had made years before when they lived in Austria.  He had never seen his wife since he was arrested and imprisoned 35 years ago.

The pastor asked him to take a little ride.  They drove to Staten Island, climbed the three flights of stairs to the woman’s apartment, and knocked on the door.  He witnessed the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.