The leather jacket ( a true story)


It was a normal spring day in Tennessee. The weather was still trying to make up its mind what season it was. I was doing the proverbial spring cleaning, hoping I had something to trade in at the trendy second hand shop.

I pulled out two ribbed turtlenecks and hoped they were enough to trade for something nice. Planet Exchange is a local thrift shop that hires people who look like they belong on TV. The clientele there are usually wealthy, so a person can buy mall clothes at Wal-mart prices. Being a Wal-mart beauty queen, I always feel a little dowdy when shopping there.

Anyway, I was standing in line, waiting to show the freshly-tattooed shop guy my shirts. There were 2 people in front of me. The lady next in line was a nurse and around the purple comic book walls and Hawaiian shirts she looked a bit out of place. But no one was noticing her, we were all watching the handsome Asian-American man try to trade in a shiny, black leather jacket.

The shop-guy: "This is a great jacket. I don't think we could trade it in for more than $20. If I were you I wouldn't trade it."

The jacket owner: " What can I do? I need the money. I paid nearly $200 for it."

The shop-guy: "Well maybe you could take it to a pawn shop. They sell used leather jackets."

I had a brilliant beyond brilliant idea. Even though it made me feel stupid, offered this suggestion.

Myself: "The church I go to is having a coat drive. You could donate your jacket. I would take it for you."

The jacket owner: " A what drive?"

Myself: " A coat drive, they give coats to the homeless at the shelter. I go to church on a poorer side of town. They distribute the coats to the homeless up there."

Like I said, I felt very stupid. Why would he want to give such a beautiful jacket away, when he could sell it at a pawnshop? He ignored my comment and left the store in a huff.

I waited my turn and showed the shop guy my shirts. He told me they were out of style and he couldn't use them. I picked up a few small things, paid for them and left. I walked outside and my eyes adjusted to the sunlight. I was heading to the car when I heard someone say ...

The jacket owner: " Excuse me, but do the jackets really go to people who need them?"

Myself: "Yes they will. There are some extraordinarily honest people there."

The owner held the jacket out to me and said "here."

I took the jacket and showed it to my mom who was shopping with me, but decided to wait the car while I traded the shirts.

Mom: " He pulled his expensive car out of the parking space like he was angry. Then he stopped for a minute and pulled back in. I was wondering what he was waiting for."

I was still in shock concerning what the young man did. I had never seen such a deed of kindness and trust before. Of course I took it to church and told half of the congregation about how I acquired such a nice jacket. I hope it went to someone who would really love it.

I never saw the young man again. If you are reading this story now, I hope you know, it was donated to charity. I would not, and could not keep such a wonderful sacrifice.

I believe and have always believed that God blesses, at least ten times more, back to the giver. I hope that the man who gave me the jacket got more that 1,000 times what he gave. Because he had faith that I would do what I said. That took a lot of courage. Whoever you are thank you!


2001 Copyright held by the author.




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