The Jacket Fit Perfectly, Like A Hug

Today we share with you a story from a very special friend – Jodie Gill.  She has been used of God to encourage me so many times.  She tends to find herself in places which surprise even her; places where she meets someone in need of encouragement and a warm hug.  We recently read the following account she posted on her FB page.  We asked her permission to re-post it for you. It is a moment Jodie says she’ll never forget, nor will we.  You may want to grab a tissue for this endearing story of lasting love.

Today at work I had an interaction with a precious elderly woman that completely left me undone, and reminded me of what’s truly important.

Photo Credit: LizzieNayman

She came into the boutique mid-afternoon, alone and moved quietly about the store looking at the clothing we had on display. She stopped and touched the sleeve of a jacket on a mannequin. So I approached her and asked “Would you like to try that on?” She nodded yes. The jacket fit her perfectly. She asked if I had slacks that would match? So I proceeded to make selections, just then her cell phone rang. She said “I must take this call”, and quickly stepped away. I was focused on finding the items she wanted and didn’t hear her conversation. When she finished the call, she returned to see what I had as options. Next she pointed to another mannequin and asked to try on the blouse on display. I removed the garment, and was preparing to take everything back to a fitting room for her when I noticed she seemed distraught. I asked if she was okay? She replied, “Actually no. I’m buying clothes to wear to my husbands funeral, as he’s in the last stages of dying. We’ve been married 54 years” At that very moment, tears welled up in my eyes. I placed my arm around her and hugged her. She was possibly in her mid-seventies, a petite woman so her small frame barely was at my shoulder.

I then looked her in the eye and said, “I’m thankful God brought you here so I could give you a hug.”

We walked to the back of the boutique, and I placed the three items she wanted in a fitting room. I was so moved by what had taken place, I went to the employee break room to gain my composure. When I returned to check on her, the slacks fit beautifully as did the jacket she initially tried on. She said, “I’ll take these” and said she’d be out in a moment to complete her purchase.

She brought me the slacks, blouse and jacket and while I prepared to ring up her sale, she walked through the boutique one more time. I was amazed that NO-ONE was with her, she was alone! Instead of adding one more item to her selections (which is the norm); instead I went to find a free gift to give her. Something that would make her feel special amidst the sorrow she was facing.

I wrapped her garments in tissue paper and placed them into a boutique bag complete with the traditional ribbon on the handle. I walked around the counter to hand her the bag. I thanked her for coming in and bowed down to look her in the eyes. She placed a kiss on my cheek and thanked me for the kindness. I watched her walk out the door, and I could barely move from where I was standing.

Time Stood Still, photo: Eva Fuka

At that very moment, time stood still. For I believe with all my heart this was a moment I’d always remember. My Heavenly Father kindly brought that woman into the store where I work, and placed me where I’d see her touching that jacket. It was His loving care that allowed us to interact.

So I must ask, have you had something happen recently that reminds you of what’s important? If so, may it produce a gratitude for the love, health and blessings you’ve been given from our amazing God.

About Debi Walter

Tom and Debi have been sharing encouragements through their blogs for many years. Marriage, Reading God's Word and documenting family history is our focus. Growing in our relationship with the Lord is primary in all we say, write or do. We are grateful for all who desire to join us in the same endeavors.
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3 Responses to The Jacket Fit Perfectly, Like A Hug

  1. Sharon O says:

    Beautiful story, and sad too, it speaks of compassion for others in the midst of sorrow.


  2. I have learned long ago that giving hugs may be considered gauche in this society, but I do it anyway. The power of a hug, a caress (non-sexual), and the touching of the hand are known to promote profound mental changes.
    To be frank, I started doing it after my third life-threatening event, when it was clear to me that age has nothing to do with how long we stay here…


    • Debi Walter says:

      Yes, hugs have even been proven to help an aging person who is declining in health improve simply by being touched. This is why social media can never replace real relationships. We need to connect with people face to face, or hug to hug.


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