A poor schoolboy whose single mom was in a coma hid his empty lunch box every day and pretended not to be hungry. But when he unexpectedly found them filled with food every day, he decided to find out who was behind it.
Every morning Stuart begged his grandmother not to send him to school with an empty lunch box. “I’m tired of pretending I’m not hungry when I am,” said the 10-year-old, grinning.
“It’s better if I don’t go to school because someone is pranking me by hiding food in my empty lunch box… I’m not sure who is doing this.”
Stuart went to school every day with his backpack and no food. None of his classmates knew that he had nothing to eat because he always pretended not to be hungry.
However, whenever he returned to class, the boy found his empty lunch box filled with good food. One day he decided to find out who did this and was horrified when the truth came out…
“Hey, look… the lonely kid in our class!” Stuart heard someone say as he walked down the hall after lunch.
“Why isn’t he eating with any of us?”
“W-what’s up grandma? What happened to mom?” the boy gasped through tears. “I’m scared… Is she alright? Tell me what happened?”
Stuart was used to hearing such remarks. So he had begged his grandmother not to send him to school until her financial situation improved.
Stuart’s mum Jane was involved in an accident on her way home from work three months ago. Although she survived, she has been in a coma since the tragedy. The loans she and her mom Edith had taken out made it difficult for them to afford basic necessities. So Stuart was sent to school without lunch and only ate breakfast and dinner.
“Not again… I’m sick of seeing my empty lunch box, grandma,” Stuart cried. “Do I have to take one with me if I don’t have a use for it? I could save more room in my bag than lugging this empty thing around.”
Edith was depressed because she had to do this every day. She didn’t want the other kids to make fun of Stuart for not having anything to eat. “Just a few more days honey…I promise I’ll cook you something nice when you get home.”
Edith planned to borrow money from her neighbor to buy groceries and cook a nice dinner for her grandson. “And have you found out who is hiding the food in your lunch box?”
“Not yet, Grandma. But I’ll try to find out today.”
Heartbroken and full of hope, the little boy went to his school. It was soon lunchtime. While the other kids got out their lunch boxes and ate their food, Stuart took his lunch box and hid it under the desk.
“I’ll go for a walk and sit in the grotto,” he murmured. But he wanted to return before the bell rang to see who had put food in his lunch box.
The Grotto of the Blessed Virgin Mary at school was Stuart’s favorite spot during lunchtime. He sat there and prayed that his family’s condition would improve. He did the same that day.
“Please, Holy Mother! Help us… I don’t want to pretend anymore. I’m hungry and want to find out today who put food in my lunch box.”
Suddenly it began to rain. Stuart rushed to his class to avoid getting soaked. He ran into the classroom and saw that his classmates were still eating. There was still plenty of time before the break was over. He marched to his bench and grabbed his lunch box to check it. Again he felt something inside.
“It was empty when I parked it a while ago…” he murmured. Curious, Stuart opened the box and was stunned to see three sandwiches, an orange, grapes and dried fruit.
“How did they get here? Who put them here? Shall I eat them?”
He looked around to see which kid was eating a sandwich. Then he saw Catherine, his only good friend in class, eating a similar sandwich on a bench behind him.
“What? What’s going on here?” Stuart exclaimed. “Did you do this?”
He turned and saw Gareth, a classmate, eating grapes. Both children smiled at Stuart and he realized it was their doing. The boy got tears in his eyes, and as he sat in silence, his friends came up to him to cheer him up. It was here that Stuart began to regain his confidence.
“Hey, why are you crying? We just wanted you to be happy because we know how your mom is,” Catherine said. “I’ll bring you lunch every day… You no longer have to pretend or stay hungry.”
“Me too! I’ll keep bringing you fruit and juice,” Gareth added.
Meanwhile the whole class came up to Stuart and said that they would support him until his mum got better. The boy couldn’t believe his eyes and was delighted that they were kindly standing by his side. Then he looked at Catherine and asked her how she did it all, to which the girl revealed something surprising.
“My dad is very fond of your mom… It was he who advised me to share my lunch with you… So I convinced the whole class to help you.”
“That’s strange. But why does your father want to help us? And what do you mean he ‘likes’ my mother?”
But Catherine had no answers to Stuart’s questions. “I don’t know… But he told me he likes your mother.”
Confused, Stuart let the matter rest for a while. He was glad to get help from his classmates and friends, but something about what Catherine had said bothered him.
One evening, Catherine’s father visited Joseph Stuart and his grandmother at their home. “If you need anything else, please don’t hesitate to ask,” Joseph said, handing them some food and clothing.
Stuart was puzzled by the man’s sudden interest in his family. Waiting for the right opportunity, he ran outside to speak to Joseph before driving away in his car.
“Mr. Joseph…wait, I need to talk to you for a moment….”, the boy said, panting.
“What’s the matter, my son?”
“What is it? Catherine said you told her you ‘like’ my mother… Is that true?”
There was silence for a few moments. Joseph didn’t really want to tell the boy, but now he felt it was important for him to know.
“I don’t just like your mother… I love her!” he said, smiling, driving past the confused boy.
Stuart angrily stormed over to his grandma and told her what Joseph had just said. But to his surprise, Grandma Edith hugged him and said he should count himself lucky to have a good father like Joseph.
“Grandma? But… he’s my girlfriend’s father… How can he be my father?”
At that moment, Stuart learned the unthinkable. It turned out that Joseph and Jane had been good friends at school. Although Joseph had harbored one-sided feelings for Jane, he had never expressed them.
As fate would have it, she had married another man and had a child with him. But things took a different turn when Stuart’s father left his mother and never returned.
In the meantime, Joseph had married a woman and had a daughter by her. His wife had died of an illness and he had remained single ever since. When he’d seen Jane at a parents’ evening three months ago and learned about her past, he’d decided to rekindle their friendship.
But since Jane was in a coma from the accident, Joseph had decided to take it easy until she recovered. When he found out about her family’s financial crisis, he made it his mission to help her. Stuart now knew the truth and dealt with his feelings.
Two weeks later, Stuart’s grandmother received a call from the hospital.
“Are you serious? Oh, God… Is that true… It can’t be!” she cried.”Ist das Ihr Ernst? Oh, Gott… Ist das wahr… Das kann nicht sein!”, rief sie.
“W-what’s up grandma? What happened to mom?” the boy gasped through tears. “I’m scared… Is she alright? Tell me what happened?””W-was ist los, Oma? Was ist mit Mama passiert?”, keuchte der Junge unter Tränen. “Ich habe Angst… Geht es ihr gut? Sag mir, was ist passiert?”
When they arrived at the hospital, the doctor came to them with a message that made Edith burst into tears.Als sie im Krankenhaus ankamen, kam der Arzt mit einer Nachricht zu ihnen, die Edith in Tränen ausbrechen ließ.
“It’s a miracle! Jane is conscious now… You can go see her.””Es ist ein Wunder! Jane ist jetzt bei Bewusstsein… Ihr könnt sie besuchen gehen.”
Edith and Stuart were thrilled that Jane was able to move and talk again after three long months.
“Mom! I really missed you… I love you!” Stuart cried in her arms.
Jane was released the next day after Joseph offered to pay her hospital bills. She later learned how he had supported her family in her absence.
Slowly, Jane began to see more than just her best friend in Joseph. The two began dating and were married shortly thereafter in an intimate ceremony at the church.
Stuart was glad that their situation had improved in such a short time. He remembered his prayer in front of his school’s grotto. Immediately he went there with Catherine and quietly wept in front of the Virgin Mary.
“Thank you, Holy Mother!” he sobbed, lighting a candle as his best friend and now stepsister Catherine hugged him.
“Let’s go home, brother!” she said, and the two walked to her house together!
What can we learn from this story?
Good deeds make the world a better place to live. When Joseph found out about his best friend Jane’s family and her poverty after she went into a coma, he decided to help her. He asked his daughter Catherine to share her lunch with Jane’s son Stuart and did his best to make the boy’s family comfortable.
Believe in miracles and pray because they are more powerful than you think. On his lunch break, Stuart would often sit in front of the grotto at his school, wishing for the betterment of his family and his mom’s health. His prayers were answered overwhelmingly.