Love in a Brown Paper Bag

I had no idea that my daughter, Amy, would weep when I shared a tidbit from the book I was currently reading.  She was driving on the interstate climbing a mountain and passing semi’s when I thought I better change the subject because her eyes were full of tears.  She made me promise that I would write a post about this and tell everybody what I shared with her.

An Invisible Thread is a true story about Laura Schroff, a successful advertising executive, who meets eleven-year-old Maurice, a panhandler.  When he told her he was hungry she took him to McDonald's and a life-long friendship evolved.  The book is chock full of life’s lessons.  My favorite was the one I shared with Amy about the brown paper bag. 

Maurice, raised in a drug infested home was rarely fed and mostly hungry.  Laura wanted to provide lunch money so at least he could eat one meal a day at school.  He said he didn’t want money.  He wanted lunch in a brown paper bag.  He said the kids who had their lunches in bags were cared for by someone and he wanted to feel like one of them.  So every morning she prepared his lunch in a brown paper bag that he would pick up at the concierge’s desk at her condo.  The great lesson here is that her consistency shaped this young man’s life giving him hope and security.

When I look back to the past and think about the plenteous brown paper bagged lunches I sent off with my children to school, I contemplate the power of the ordinary.  I need to tell young moms that the ritual is so much more meaningful than we think at the time.

This book was a gift I received last week from my sister.  I devoured it and am so grateful for it.  It did for me what the author intended; I realize more than ever that friendship is a gift built on unconditional love and trust.  What is important in life is being thankful, taking nothing for granted!


  1. This made my teary-eyed too. The things we take for granted.. I pray that I'll never let an opportunity pass me by.

    Blessings, Debbie

  2. A sweet post ~ I believe I saw those two people on Huckabee. :)

  3. Wow! I can see why she teared up. That truly is inspiring. And it does make you look at things a bit differently.
    Thanks for sharing Mary.

  4. Beautiful post.Something that might seem ordinary, can be something extra ordinary.God's love works in many ways.

  5. Brown paper bags mean someone cares for you! How wonderful. We were cared for too by our precious mother, and I did the same for our children. They had milk money but those healthy lunches were in brown bags. Not even a lunch pail that they would need to carry back home. Just a simple bag. Thank you for this lovely story and a nice recommendation for a good book at "Tell Me a Story."

  6. Beautiful post. I just ordered the book, I beieve God has someone for us to up somewhere in our life, sometimes more then one. It's the passing on of the Love of Christ. It is usually the small things that touch hearts the most...for we have to reach past all the huge things that take our time to even see the small thing. Blessings my sister.

  7. I was strangely moved by the brown bag lunch being such an important sign of love. When we live with these 'ordinary' gestures daily, we so often miss their value. Thanks for this beautiful post. You make me want to go out and buy the book, too.

  8. Wow... I remember feeling like one of the poor kids who had a brown paper bag while all the other kids bought their lunch. It's all about perspective isn't it?

    That is an eye opener and we're all called to make a difference in this life tending to the needs of others.. What a perfect design of redemption.

  9. What a beautiful story of unconditional love and compassion for another human being....We never know what small things mean to others when done in love...

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us....I am glad you daughter insisted you share it...

  10. I never stopped to think of a brown paper bag in that light before! This book sounds wonderful... I’m going to add to my library list for sure!


  11. As a mother who prepares sack lunches not only for son but also hubby, I don't see anything extraordinary until after reading the power of such a simple "brown bag" could do to a person's heart. I never took notice when my son would tell me how his friends loved looking at what goodies he has inside the bag. But he knew, the extra goodies were meant to be shared. I wonder how many lives in the prison would never be there only if they had "unconditional love" growing up? Thank you for this beautiful story sister Mary. Thinking of you in prayers. Blessings and love.

  12. Yes I do believe there are so many routine things we do that would be precious to others! And I love it that this author took the time to do it for a stranger. We should learn from her example. God bless her! Patsy

  13. I will have to look for this book.I will never look at a brown paper bag in the same way. I want to thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a many just pass by and I never get to find there lovely blogs. I am now a new follower:) Dee

  14. I bought this book after reading your post...going to give it as a gift to a few people. Blessings


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