Lindsey spread out on her dorm room bed stressed by the closeness of finals and the lack of funds she needed to get through the week.
Lindsey needed a break from her studies, so she hopped up and checked her purse to see how much money she had left to spend on food.
Four dollars and fifty-eight cents did not sound like a lot of money considering there were three days left before she got paid.
Lindsey devised a plan to budget the money and opted for a trip to the corner market for a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter.
Grabbing her coat, Lindsey headed out the door and down the stairs hoping she did not pass anyone she knew along the way.
She arrived at Al’s Market just before closing, checked the prices to make sure she had enough money, and headed to the counter with her purchase.
To save a few steps in the biting wind, Lindsey decided to leave by the back door instead of the front.
As Lindsey stepped into the alley, she jumped as a nearby noise frightened her.
“Oh, don’t be alarmed, Miss. Howie and I were just looking through the garbage cans trying to find something to eat. We won’t hurt you.”
Lindsey turned to see a couple of elderly men in raggedy clothes, and the one who spoke to her tipped his soiled hat and smiled as he spoke.
Lindsey looked at the two men and then at her sack.
“I just realized I don’t need this. Could you two gentlemen use a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter?”
“Could we? Are you sure you don’t need it, Miss?”
“Oh, positive. I just realized I already have some at home. Here, take it, and let me see if Al has a knife you can use.”
“Why that is very kind of you, Miss. God bless you.”
Lindsey retreated into the store, secured an old knife from Al, and returned and handed it to the homeless man who spoke to her.
“Here you are. Well, I must be on my way now.”
“Thanks again, Miss. You are much too kind.”
Lindsey headed out of the alley and back to the dorm, more full in the heart than empty in the stomach, and not yet thinking of how she would survive the week.
“Excuse me, Miss, but I think you dropped this,” said another elderly man as he handed her an envelope.
“Oh, no this isn’t mine,” Lindsey replied, as she turned to return the envelope to the elderly gentleman, but he was nowhere in sight.
“Where could he have gone?” Lindsey wondered.
Lindsey opened the envelope and found a note inside.
“For as much as you have done unto the least of these, you have done unto me.”
Inside the note Lindsey found two one hundred dollar bills upon which she deposited a few tears.
Can you imagine being so down that you relied on garbage cans for your source of food? In this country that has so much wealth there are people who scour the garbage in order to have something to eat.
While the college student in this story did not change the lives of two homeless men, she did make their lives a little more palatable for a day or so. When is the last time someone made your life a little better for a while, and when is the last time you improved someone else’s life?
Let’s take a moment to look at the characters in this story. There are a couple of amazing things about this college student. Even though she was hungry and knew of no other way of getting food for the rest of the week, she was willing to give all that she had to two homeless men. Does it remind you of a woman in the Bible who gave all she had?
The other amazing thing about this young lady is that she gave without being asked. She saw their need and met it. She even went the extra mile by going in and getting the two men a knife to spread the peanut butter on the bread. In other words, she treated these two men with respect, even though few other people would have done the same thing. Do you treat all people with respect?
How sad that this girl stands out in a country of plenty! Many have deep pockets, but still are hesitant to give to those in need. Even though we are told to those that much is given, much is expected, few practice that axiom.
An elderly gentleman saw that this young woman who was willing to give would not go hungry. Who was the elderly gentleman? Merely an elderly gentleman? Someone who knew the young lady? Or the angel of the Lord?
We are called to freely give and we are told that God will provide. We are even told to test Him on this. How’s your giving this year? If you are like most of us, your giving is equal to your trusting?
Copyright 2002 Steve Demaree More Stories From The Heart Expanded Version
Always Be Humble and Kind
My twin brother and I were raised by our grandparents. They have taught us so many things about life, but the one thing that has always stuck with me is to always be humble and kind no matter what you do in life. My grandpa always told us no matter where life leads you, always remember your values and where you came from. He was a colonel in the Air Force for 20 years, and then became a lawyer and owned his own law firm for another 20 years. Today, at age 83, he is a cashier at Walmart and you would never know what all he has done because he is that humble. People go to his register to see him because he always puts a smile on their face. He has taught us that it doesn’t matter what you do or have done, it’s about who you are and your character. He really does teach by example.
My Support System
Ever since I was young, my parents and older brother have always cheered me on – whether it was at a dance competition, piano recital, or an academic accomplishment. They were there even when I attempted 1 of 10 sports, only to later realize I just wasn’t that athletic. Point is – they never stopped to tell me I couldn’t do something or to quit. They encouraged me every step of the way, and went the extra mile to be the parent that was the volunteer soccer coach or would rearrange their hectic schedules for my passions and growth.
My family became a main value through these childhood moments, and are also integral to every other value I hold important – whether it’s learning persistence or respect for others. They have instilled in me these values from a young age, and continue to help me abide by them. At every major turning point in my life whether its choosing a college or a full time job, I rely on them for their advice, and consider how to maintain this value while being away. In 5 years, I know family will be of equal importance to me and will always strive to make it known to them that they are my greatest value.
Submitted by Ayeesha
Poem of Peace
Our nation’s innocence is lost,
Stolen by acts of hate.
Helpless people paid the cost,
For them it is too late.
Daughters, sons, husbands, wives,
Sisters, friends and brothers.
All of them have lost their lives,
To senseless acts of others.
New York’s city has been defaced.
Bodies lay in rubble.
They can never be replaced.
But war won’t end our trouble.
Angers only escalate,
As we point out the guilt.
Violence will perpetuate.
While we dig through the silt.
Cries of anger, cries for war,
Echo in the air.
As if our bombs and missiles soar,
It will make it fair.
People claim “eye for an eye”
Our nation wants to fight.
If their innocent people die,
Then will that make US right?
Punishment surely must take place.
These murderers must pay.
But they are groups and not a race.
Keep liberty in mind, each day.
We are people of goodwill,
Of truth and love and light.
Please give thought before you kill,
Take heed before you fight.
We ask, what do we tell our children?
How do we give them ease?
Reactions set examples for them,
Should we not teach them peace?
Optimism – The Difference between Optimsts and Pessimists
In order to better understand people’s views of the world, a researcher once placed two children, one a pessimist and the other an optimist, alone in separate rooms.
The pessimist was placed in a colorful room full of all kinds of imaginative toys…the optimist was put in a room filled with horse manure.
The first child played in the room for a little while, but soon came to the door asking to leave because the toys were boring and because they broke too easily.
Likewise, the young optimist soon came to the door…but rather than asking to leave, she asked for a shovel.
Of course, the researcher asked the child why she wanted a shovel.
She replied, “With all this manure around, I know that there must be a pony in here somewhere.”
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