The Cost Of A Gift

December 27, 2005

2 Corinthians 9:15 – Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift. (KJV)

She was dressed in shabby clothes, with a blanket across her lap. Her long thin fingers, rough and red from the winter's cold, clutched a small can filled with pencils. Every work day, this lady, perhaps in her thirties, sat in front of a department store in a wheelchair.

It was 1971, and I had just entered the workforce. With little money of my own, I sadly watched as people rushed into the store to buy their morning coffee and pastry, and then hurry past her, diverting their eyes. Occasionally I would hear the tinkle of coins as they were tossed into her can. She would smile and give a hearty "Thank you". I contemplated many times buying a pencil, but — I didn't need one, I didn't have much money — maybe tomorrow, I reasoned in my youthful ignorance. Then one day she was gone.

Now looking back at that time, I realize the opportunity of giving which God had presented to me. I could have purchased a pencil now and then, taken time to smile and speak to her, or perhaps even bought a cup of hot coffee for her. But I let the opportunity of giving slip away because I thought that my gifts were too small and that someday I'd have more to give.

When I think of the indescribable gift God gave to us — the cost of it — I am ashamed that I held back those little gestures of goodwill that might have made a difference in that disabled lady's life — even for one day.

Prayer: Father, thank You for Your unspeakable gift. Help us to give cheerfully and share with others regardless of the size or value of the gift, for You can multiply it and put it to good use. Amen.

About the author:

Shirley Tye <va3sst@rac.ca>
Little Britain, Ontario, Canada

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