This story is true, as I know this person personally -Â€Â“ though the names are changed. Every Saturday morning, a group of 5 boys, between the ages of 8 and 12, walked into Mr. Berkman's neighborhood variety store. [spacer] Their goal was to fill their pockets with penny candy. [spacer] This was back in the day when there was such a thing as Â€Â˜penny candy'. I know that might be hard for some to believe these days! ;) "Hello Mr. Berkman!", they would all excitedly yell. [spacer] "And a good day to you gentleman", he responded as he went about his business of stocking and straightening shelves. Going to the store first thing on Saturdays was all the boys could think about the entire week of school. [spacer] Four of them were brothers and the other one might as well have been. [spacer] 'Mama' wouldn't let them go to the Â€Â˜corner store' for candy during school. [spacer] So Saturday's came with great anticipation. [spacer] During the summer months, it was not unusual for them to stop in the store several times a day. Their money came from returning glass pop bottles they collected to try to keep their Riverdale, south Chicago neighborhood cleaned up of debris. The candy was always in a big divider in a center display of the store. [spacer] The variety was awesome! [spacer] It looked like a gold mine to boys of this age. [spacer] They would put their candy in a self serve bag and take it to the counter with their pop bottles in exchange. [spacer] All they had to do was tell Mr. Berkman how many pieces of candy was in the bag and he would count the money owed on the refundable bottles. The Lynch brothers grew amazingly to adulthood without major concerns considering their tough environment. [spacer] Especially considering they, with their 4 sisters were being raised by 'Mama' who worked two jobs to support the family since their father had left home. The oldest son, Kevin, eventually joined the Air Force and was serving in Spain when he accepted Jesus as Savior through a street ministry. [spacer] God moved powerfully in his life and he became one of the countries leading prophetic evangelists once discharged from the Air Force. [spacer] Though traveling world wide, he welcomed an opportunity to return back to Chicago as a guest minister once. [spacer] Since 'Mama' and all the siblings had not lived there for a number of years, he hadn't been back for quite a while. One of the first things he wanted to do was visit the old neighborhood where he had grown up. [spacer] He couldn't believe it when he saw Mr. Berkman's Variety Store still there! When he walked inside, he was even more shocked! [spacer] There was old gray haired Mr. Berkman, holding a cane in one hand while straightening the shelves with the other. As soon as Mr. Berkman recognized him as the oldest of 'Â€Â˜Mama Lynch's boys', they began to reminisce about the 'Â€Â˜good old days'. [spacer] Kevin said one of the things he wanted to set straight was to apologize for all the penny candy they had stolen as kids. [spacer] "Aw, you don't have to apologize son! I knew you boys were sticking a few extra pieces in your pockets all the time." [spacer] Kevin asked why he hadn't said or done anything about it all those years. [spacer] The old man said, "Son, it wouldn't have amounted to that much. And, the LORD has always taken good care of me." Kevin's shocked face resembled anger mixed with confusion, "You mean you knew about Jesus and didn't share Him with us when we were young?" Shift with me to a current event my husband and I experienced a couple of evenings ago. [spacer] We had our two grandsons with us at a restaurant we were visiting for the first time. [spacer] I ordered a combination dinner that included a small steak Â€Â“ their favorite! [spacer] When it was served, it was almost raw. [spacer] After being recooked, a manager brought it to our table and SAT WITH US until he made sure the steak was to our liking. The place was quite busy, but the waiter was diligent about making sure everything was going well for us throughout our dinner. When it came time to bring change from paying the bill, there was an extra receipt for a different amount. [spacer] Brought it to the attention of the waiter in case it was a bill for someone else. [spacer] He promptly told me that was just a receipt for my change?! [spacer] When I looked at it closer the change had been rounded up to an even dollar amount! Needless to say, there were several things that happened that night that has NOT occurred in our dining experiences before. [spacer] Especially all in the same restaurant! [spacer] And with traveling extensively, we have had some extensive experiences! My husband began commending the waiter who by now had squatted down by his side. [spacer] Without hesitance, the young man told us, "I cannot take credit at all for who I am or what I do, it is to Jesus, LORD of my life, that I give all credit and where all credit is due! [spacer] Without Him, I am nothing!" One guarantee...we will be back and we will always ask for Corey as our server! - that's his real name :) [spacer] Please keep this young man in your prayers that he continues not to be ashamed or negligent of this Jesus! As for Mr. Berkman - Matthew 10:32 "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven" What a valuable opportunity he missed in teaching a biblical truth to those boys at that time. This has been around for quite a while, it certainly wouldn't hurt to see it many times more. But, if you have not seen it, please get this movie and watch it - AWESOME message!
Good story and I love the picture; love those ol' Norman Rockwells!
Yes, may all of us never neglect to tell others about Jesus and about our faith. God forbids that we hide Him under the table or refuse to acknowledge Him before men.
I want to tell others about Jesus more and more, may the Lord anoints my lips and to guide me to speak to the right person at the right time,
Blessings always, sister
But he did share Jesus with them didn't he?
Is it always in words and is it always in a way we expect.
Did Kevin share this later with his siblings and no doubt with others too.
If so seems Mr. Berkman's testimony of love is doing well.
He just shared it with us through you.
A wonderful way to remind us to do what is so much a part of our walk.
Thanks for sharing.