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 happy that they found room for her, and she went to bed that night thinking of the children who have no place to worship Jesus.
Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings. Her parents called for the kindhearted pastor who had befriended their daughter to handle the final arrangements. As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled red purse was found which seemed to have been rummaged from some trash dump. Inside was found 57 cents and a note, scribbled in childish handwriting, which 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 does not end there...
A newspaper learned of the story and published It. It was read by a wealthy realtor who offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands. When told that the church could not pay so much, he offered to sell it to the little church for 57 cents. Church members made large donations. 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 are in the city of Philadelphia, look up Temple Baptist Church, with a seating capacity of 3,300. And be sure to visit Temple University, where thousands of students are educated. Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday School building which houses hundreds of beautiful children, built 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. Russel H. Conwell, author of the book, "Acres of Diamonds".
This is a true story, which goes to show WHAT GOD CAN DO WITH 57 CENTS.
Keep the inspiring emails coming George, never more than now I need the sound of encouraging words to keep my steps strong. I am caught in a spot, at the moment, that is keeping me from much forward motion. Fractured focus makes even the simplest task doubly hard. But the story above says it all. I will take comfort from that and struggle on with my Dime Store dreams.
Friday, June 17, 2005---Fall seven times, stand up eight. Japanese Proverb
I'm sure that the number of times I've fallen far exceeds that number, especially if I add the occasions I was knocked down to the final answer. I keep getting up, and I suspect I always will. The cost of staying down is just too steep. To strive is to risk failure, but it also promises success.
Saturday, June 18, 2005---We spend most of our time and energy in a kind of horizontal thinking. We move along the surface of things?[but] there are times when we stop. We sit sill. We lose ourselves in a pile of leaves or its memory. We listen and breezes from a whole other world begin to whisper. James Carroll, O Magazine, October 2002
Our senses record memories precious to them, with such clarity, then place shortcuts upon the desktops of our minds. Anything can trigger a magical slide show that returns you, for a time, into vivid moments of long ago. But the triggers are always of the senses, time machines fueled by sound, taste, smell, sight, and touch. The trip usually begins with one, but involves them all to vivid degrees once the memory unfolds fully.
Monday, June 20, 2005---And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. Anais Nin US (French-born) author & diarist (1903 - 1977)
I reached that day long ago, yet I struggle for its reality every day. The right to blossom belongs to every human, but you often have to fight for your fair share of sunlight. The fight has been worth it a million times over, so bloom with gusto, in the brightest color of happy, it's what I'm busy doing even in this shady place.