One day a poor boy, who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, when a lovely young woman opened the door, he lost his nerve and instead of asking for a meal, he asked for a drink of water.
The young lady thought that he looked hungry, so she brought him a large glass of milk instead. He drank it very slowly, and then asked, “How much do I owe you?”
“You do not owe me anything,” she replied. “Mother has taught us to never accept pay for a kindness done.”
“Then I thank you, from the bottom of my heart,” he said.
As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was also strengthened. He had been ready to give up and quit, but was given the courage to go on.
Years later that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled, and they finally sent her to the big city where they called in specialists to study her rare disease. Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for consultation.
When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room. Dressed in his doctor’s gown, he bent over to look at her, and he recognized her at once. He returned to his office determined to do his best to save her life.
From that day on he gave special attention to the case, and after a long struggle, the battle was won. On the day that his patient was to be discharged from the hospital, Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked it over, then wrote something on the edge of the bill and sent it to her room. She was afraid to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for such a long and expensive hospital stay as hers had been. Finally she could endure the suspense no longer, and she opened the bill. Something scribbled in the margin caught her eye, and she read these words: “Paid in full with one glass of milk.” And it was signed by Dr. Howard Kelly.
Tears of joy flooded her eyes as her happy heart prayed, “Thank You, God, that Your love has spread abroad through human hearts and hands.”
Each day as we pass through our humble lives, we never know when a kind touch, a word of encouragement and cheer or a humble act of generosity might give a discouraged, hurting human being just the lift that will make the difference in his or her life. We must remember, also, that our harsh words, our criticism and coldness can also destroy someone who is already hurting, and can be the final straw to make him or her lose all hope. Let us remember to share love, as Jesus shared love, always lifting each other up, and pointing the way to heaven.