Monday, April 03, 2006

57 Cents

We often hear about huge monetary gifts that make things happen.

We probably wonder whether it is worth giving our few pennies to a cause.

Will our small effort make any difference whatsoever in the great scale of things?

Well …. YES is the answer

Annie and I were listening to a story the other day that illustrates powerfully how every last penny (or cent) is important. Annie subsequently found the story on the Web and I am so impressed with its simplicity and its profound message that I want to reproduce it on my Blog.

Some of you may have seen this before – apologies if so but I think it contains many massages.

A sobbing little girl stood near a small church from which she had been turned away because it was too crowded. "I can't go to Sunday school," she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by. Seeing her shabby, unkempt, appearance, the pastor guessed the reason and, taking her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her in the Sunday School class.

The child was so touched that she went to bed that night thinking of the children who had no place to learn about Jesus.Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings and the parents called for the kind-hearted pastor who had befriended their daughter to handle the final arrangements.

As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled purse was found that seemed to have been rummaged from some trash dump. Inside was found 57 cents and a note scribbled in childish handwriting that read, "This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday School." For two years she had saved for this offering of love.

When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do.

Carrying this note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion. He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building.

But the story doesn’t end there! A newspaper learned of the story and published it. A business man who read it offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands. When told that the church could not pay so much, he offered it for 57 cents.

Church members made large subscriptions. Checks came from far and wide. Within five years the little girl's gift had increased to $250,000.00—a huge sum for that time (near the turn of the century).

Her unselfish love had paid large dividends.When you’re in the city of Philadelphia, look up Temple Baptist Church, with a seating capacity of 3,300, and Temple University, where hundreds of students are trained. Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday School building that houses hundreds of Sunday scholars, so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday school time.

In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of the sweet face of the little girl whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history.

Alongside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor, Dr. Russell H. Conwell, author of the book, Acres of Diamonds.

Goes to show what God can do with unselfish love for others and 57 cents


Rosa Say said...

What a wonderful story Trevor! I had not heard it before, so thank you for sharing it with us.

Rocky said...

I had not heard that either. It is a wonderful story. I really like Russell Conwells acres of Diamonds. I think both stories teach a real lesson of what love can accomplish.