A Gift From the Heart
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Cor. 9:7, NIV.
Ashley was just 3 years old, and it had been a very difficult few weeks for her. The diagnosis of an extremely rare condition and the need for immediate surgery were tough to handle.
Her surgery went according to plan, but fear and uncertainty filled the days following it. The painful treatments were difficult to understand, and her budding faith in God suffered some painful setbacks.
Two days after surgery Ashley got a new hospital roommate. Hillary was 8 years old and wore a worn-out baseball cap to hide her bald head. She was in the hospital for her chemotherapy treatment for bone cancer. Her mother was not able to stay with her, because she had five other small children to take care of. During the night Hillary received her dose of chemotherapy, and by morning she was feeling very ill. Ashley noticed the change in Hillary's condition and was concerned about her new friend.
Sometime during the next morning Ashley received a large bouquet of mylar balloons with a card saying "Get Well Soon." She had never seen so many large and shiny balloons together before. "Are these for me?" she asked tentatively.
"Why, of course!" I answered. "Your friends are thinking about you and wanting to cheer you up while you are in the hospital."
A short time later Ashley requested some help to get out of bed. She asked if she could share her balloons with Hillary, because the other girl was sicker. It took quite an effort to help the frail little girl down from her bed and get her tubes and IVs arranged. Tears rose in my eyes as I watched my child make that walk to the next bed. She was in pain but was able to muster the strength to visit with her new friend and present her with a selection of balloons from her bouquet. I will never forget the joy Hillary expressed as she realized that the balloons were for her.
The incident reminded me of the beauty of unselfishness. "Freely you have received, freely give" (Matt. 10:8, NIV).
What gift have you received that would bring cheer to someone else if you were to pass it on?
Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.