Years ago, a 10-year-old boy approached the counter of a soda shop and climbed on to a stool. “What does an ice cream sundae cost?” he asked the waitress.
“Fifty cents,” she answered.
The youngster reached deep in his pockets and pulled out an assortment of change, counting it carefully as the waitress grew impatient. She had “bigger” customers to wait on.
“Well, how much would just plain ice cream be?” the boy asked.
The waitress responded with noticeable irritation in her voice, “Thirty-five cents.”
Again, the boy slowly counted his money. “May I have some plain ice cream in a dish then, please?” He gave the waitress the correct amount, and she brought him the ice cream.
Later, the waitress returned to clear the boy’s dish and when she picked it up, she felt a lump in her throat. There on the counter the boy had left two nickles and five pennies. She realized that he had had enough money for the sundae, but sacrificed it so that he could leave her a tip.
(From “Lifetime of Success”, by Pat Williams)
I first read this little story years ago and was moved to tears then. Just the other day I reread it and once again, felt that lump in my throat. I don’t know about you, but I personally can relate to that waitress. Oftentimes, I too am impatient and feel annoyed, sitting on my high-horse when these simple acts of love – often hidden and unexpected, and always undeserved – touch me, fill me with gratitude, and humble me. This has been God’s way with me; allowing gentle stumbling blocks to wake me up. And he uses those closest to me to bring me back into his loving arms. Nothing moves me as deeply to respond as a genuine act of love…and He knows that oh, so well.
My mom recently returned home from a three-week missionary trip to Korea. I had asked her to bring back ________ as wedding favours (it’s a surprise!), but didn’t expect all the other wonderful gifts and trinkets she brought back! It wasn’t so much that they are all so beautiful (which they are) that touched me as much as the love behind it. Behind every gift was the time, thought, love, effort spent…and especially during these hard economic times. There was no earthly reason for her to get those things for me. I did not ask for them nor did she have extra cash to spend. It was simply out of love. And that love permeating through those gifts, makes them that much more precious to me. I love her so much!
Although I am physically far from home, it doesn’t feel like it too much here. Brendon’s family has welcomed me with open arms and so much love. Here, I have found another family to call my own (in 78 days) and it’s such a blessing to feel like family already. From family dinners to watching movies together with homemade popcorn, to cleaning and putting away dishes, to cooking and baking together, I have felt at home here. Of course I still get homesick from time to time, but God has been so good to be in blessing me with wonderful in-laws to be! For example, the other day, my soon to be mother-in-law brought home a box of dark chocolates for me (it wasn’t the first either…hee hee…I’m spoiled! ^_^) after a shopping trip.
So despite the trials of everyday, I’ve come to realize that love really is all around us. Be it small and hidden, or overwhelming evident…it is powerful enough to soothe all our hurtings, sweeten any bitterness, and bring out the best in us. I know I am loved. Immensely so. First by God, then my dear fiance and family, and then my friends, and even by strangers. And that is something wonderful to be thankful for…something worth smiling about.