The Ninth Caller

by Melanie Ellis
Alabama, USA

Ninth Caller

My friend Barb is probably one of the busiest people at church. You can always count on Barb to run people around on errands, babysit the kids, pick up stuff, help plan parties and so on — what she does for everyone is seemingly endless.

A few months ago, she called me on a Tuesday afternoon. After the usual exchange of pleasantries, she asked me if we had any plans for the coming Friday evening. No, I told her, nothing going on. “How would you guys like to go to Disney On Ice?” she asked. One of the touring Disney ice skating productions was in town for that weekend only; going to it would be fun, but tickets were out of our budget.

At first, I supposed Barb was inviting us to go with her and her husband; my first thought was, that would be nice, but we can’t afford it. My second thought, well, of course she already knows that! And I’m not letting her or anyone else pay for our tickets!” Little did I know what she had up her sleeve.

Well, I sputtered, that would be nice, but, “Good!”, she interrupted. “Because I just won four tickets, and I’m giving them to you guys!” WHAT?! I gasped.

“Oh yeah, I do silly stuff like this constantly. One of the radio stations was giving tickets to the ninth caller. I called, and won. I know you guys don’t usually have money for things like this, so I want you to have them.” Turns out Barb and calls in for other contests all the time. And this time, she won! “I’ll bring the tickets to church Wednesday night, okay?”

Wednesday night she brought the tickets in a cute envelope with stickers all over it. Not only had she gone down to the radio station to get them, but she also went to Ticketmaster, because the radio station was just handing out passes that had to be traded at Ticketmaster. She told the ticket lady to be sure to give the best seats she could, because they were for two special kids.

For two kids aged 4 and 7, this was a special gift indeed. It was even cool for us grown-ups. Our kids especially had a blast watching beloved Disney stories come to life with real actors and awesome skating. Our kids now have two special memories to last them for a long time: the memory of an awesome show, and the memory of the kindness that made it possible.

The best thank you would have been to be able to see our kids’ eyes shining with delight that night, but since that wasn’t possible, passing along this story will have to do. So, for all you do, and especially for being the ninth caller, thank you. By the way, Barb, they were great seats, too!

Originally published as HeroicStories #461 on Nov 13, 2003

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