This is a true story. It took place on December 6, 1998.
It happened at our local Service Merchandise story outside of
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
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
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
We believe it very well may have been a Christmas angel. (Honest!)