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.
Beatrice Smith delivers copies of The Upper Room daily devotional guide to a retirement home in Cape Town, South Africa. "Residents are delighted to receive the magazine," she says of a recent visit. Learn more about the international editions of The Upper Room here.