Since today's meditation is inspired by my interaction with Chloe, I considered it important to pass along to her the $30.00 stipend that I received, thus completing the premise that our Lord returns in some measure the generosities that we display to others. Below is a copy of the letter that I gave to Chloe. It explains the details of my intentions with her. As an elementary educator for 33 years, I have been compelled to maximize those teachable moments....whether it be with an entire classroom or with a single person as in this case.
I am happy to share with you the fact that the story of your heartfelt generosity has been published in The Upper Room, a Christian magazine that is circulated all over the world! I knew that day that you had done something special in God's eyes — something worthy to share as an example to other people. The true spirit of giving is not when you expect something in return but when it comes unselfishly from the heart (Acts 20:35).
I'd like to give you a Bible and the copy of The Upper Room in which your story appears. Maybe you could read a little each day about the messages of God's love for us. Also, I'm giving to you the $30 I received as payment for the story. After all, if it wasn't for you, the story would not have happened. I'm including a copy of my original, unedited version because it drew attention to the amount of your giving — just like it did in Jesus' parable of the woman with the two copper coins (Mark 12:41-44).
Remember, Chloe, the Lord will return things to you when you give to others in need — maybe not in the same way — but perhaps in other measures (Luke 6:38). So now, people from not only across the United States but in many nations around the world can enjoy the example of Christian love and giving demonstrated by a young lady from a little town in Pennsylvania.
John A. Marcolini, Sr.
"Many of us are used to the idea that we might speak to God or to Jesus. Maybe at times it feels like shouting into the darkness or whatnot, but it’s not hard to do—at least as an imaginative exercise. What’s harder—even imaginatively—is to try to hear Jesus speaking to us. Are we just making things up? Are we just using Jesus as a puppet to say whatever we want to hear?" READ MORE