Heaven sent

Ortonville- Angels are found not only atop trees or on nativities at this time of year.
The nuns of Mt. Thabor Monastery encountered one at the village post office on Monday.
Sisters Anne Mary and Mary Saima stood before Clerk Jodi Thom and asked for 500 religious stamps and a sheet of 10 international stamps, which they would use to mail their Christmas cards. As Sr. Anne passed over her credit card to pay the $257 bill, a voice behind her politely said, ‘I’ll take care of that, sister.?
The nuns, as well as post office employees and customers standing in line, were stunned as they watched the man step forward to pay.
‘It’s too much, that’s quite a few stamps,? protested Sister Anne.
‘That’s all right,? he said.
‘Do I know you?? she asked.
‘No, I’m just an old guy trying to get into Heaven,? answered the stranger and laughter erupted from onlookers.
He gave his name only as Scott and as he paid cash for the stamps, Sister Anne told him she would pray for him.
‘I was overwhelmed,? she said on Tuesday, back in the monastery in Groveland Township, surrounded by her sisters. ‘When we go out for our doctor appointments or to get food, people will sometimes pay for our groceries, or a meal, but whenever it happens, it’s still overwhelming.?
The Dominican nuns of Mt. Thabor are cloistered, meaning they do not leave the monastery, except for necessities like medical care and food. They do not watch television, except for major news events (election of a new pope; inauguration of a president). They have taken vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and dedicate their lives to prayer, going to their chapel several times a day to do so.
On Monday, they went out with the intent of buying stamps to mail their annual newsletter and Christmas greetings to their many friends, family members and benefactors and instead, met a new friend who delighted everyone with his giving spirit.
‘It was wonderful,? said Thom. ‘It gave me goosebumps. I’ve never seen like that happen before and I’ve been at the post office a long time. Mondays are bad here, but it gave me a really good feeling.?
Postmaster Dianne Teregan agreed.
‘We were almost crying,? she said. ‘All day, we were just like, ‘I can’t believe it.? The people behind him were saying the same thing? everyone was freaking out. All we ever hear are these terrible things happening like Paris (terrorist attacks) and no one ever hears about the good things people do. I’ve been with the post office for almost 30 years and have never seen anything so awesome… We’re grateful that everybody hasn’t lost the true meaning of what Christmas is and how we should treat each other year-round.?
For Sister Anne, it just shows that there are still plenty of good people in the world and reinforces that when you reach out to help, it comes back to you. Besides their post office errand, the nuns had also been on another mission on Nov. 30? to send money to a 20-year-old man who recently suffered a spinal injury in a roof collapse in Pakistan, the native country of Sister Saima. The man required surgery, but did not have the funds to pay for it. The sisters had been discussing the amount to contribute for the man’s medical expenses and made their decision on the way to the post office. The stranger’s gift of paying for their postage reaffirmed their decision.
With each Christmas card the nuns send, they said they will think of their anonymous donor. Although they have no name or address to enable them to send him a greeting, Sister Anne still has a message for him.
‘Thank you and God bless you and your family. We will remember you in our prayers.?