This is a true story. It took place on December 6, 1998.
It happened at our local Service Merchandise story outside of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Last week we received a frantic call from a dear friend, Karen, who lives in West Hazleton, Pennsylvania. Karen is the mother of five children — four 1-1/2 year old quadruplets and one delightful three-year old “big sister” named Amanda.
It seems that Amanda has been a good girl all year and all she wanted for Christmas was the “Barney Banjo.” Her mother had called all the stores in their area, but no luck. Her mother had also visited dozens of internet sites in search of the magic banjo, but still, no luck. Karen then began asking all her friends to help in the search.
A local department store flyer was advertising them, so we bypassed Bible study on Sunday, and headed for the store. We stood in line in summer like weather outside of the store.
After we entered the store, I looked up and down the toy aisles, and although the Barney Banjo had been advertised in the flyer, I could not find any.
Then, this clerk came walking around the corner holding a Barney Banjo and presented it directly to me without saying a word. I said thank you, but she remained silent. I noticed her name tag said, “Karen” which kind of surprised me.
My fiance Susan and I went up to the register to purchase it and all the clerks looked at us with awe and disbelief, asking us where we found the Barney Banjo. They said the store had been sold out of them for days.
Then things became very mysterious. Not only did the clerks claim they had run out of the product, but they also looked puzzled when we mentioned “Karen,” the clerk in the back, who gave me the Banjo. No one knew her.
Moreover, Susan never saw Karen, the clerk, but explained how she had seen a flash of light go by her as she walked up and down the aisles on the other side of the store while she was looking for the banjo.
We excitedly called our friend Karen and told her the good news so that she would not have to tell her daughter that Santa could not get her a banjo this year. Karen was so happy. We could feel her smile through the phone lines. That was when we told her the story about the clerk named Karen that no one else saw and she started to cry. A mother’s love knows no distance.
We believe it very well may have been a Christmas angel. (Honest!)