This email, “A Little Girl’s Gift*,” from Joni Eareckson Tada (quadriplegic www.joniandfriends.org) was forwarded to me yesterday, and I thought it was wonderful.
A gift opens the way for the giver and ushers him into the presence of the great. Proverbs 18:16
When I wheeled up to the cashier’s counter in the airport gift shop, I asked the clerk to reach into my handbag behind my chair, open up my wallet, and take out the correct currency and change. “Sure,” the clerk replied. And so, while standing next to me and holding my wallet, she began to count out the bills and coins, laying them on the counter one-by-one. Suddenly a little girl darted up and-clink!-dropped a penny into my change purse. Then she ran back to her daddy. “What was all that about?” the clerk said with surprise.
Then I put two and two together. The child, who must have been watching me the whole time from behind her daddy’s legs, saw the clerk rummaging through my wallet. She must have thought I was poor and didn’t have enough money. Should I go over and tell that little girl the truth? Should I say, ‘No honey, I don’t need your pennies. I am a self-sufficient person’?
I wheeled over to the child, smiled, and said, “I want to thank you very much for helping me. You have the wonderful quality of Christ like compassion, and if you don’t know what that means, ask your daddy.” Her father gave me a wink. As I left the store, I realized it wasn’t only the right response, it was the only response. God must have been looking down and smiling. A child’s generous spirit was reinforced, her compassion encouraged, a father was made proud, a proud person was made humble, and God received the glory. A little penny opened the way for a young girl to be ushered into the presence of God, the giver of all gifts.
Today, reinforce the gift of compassion and generosity in the life of someone who has been kind to you – no matter how small that gesture of kindness.
Father, I humble myself in your presence. Show me how to humbly receive, and to encourage hearts with my gratitude.
*From her Pearls of Great Price –a devotional by Joni Eareckson Tada