Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Envelope, Please


You might think this is about the Academy Awards but it isn't. We will begin our Honduras collection again for the 17th consecutive year at Westbury Christian School after Christmas. We now split our proceeds with an adoption agency in Haiti. It's part of our school tradition/culture. Yesterday at WAL_MART, one of our first grade boys gave me the two pennies his mom got as change! Chris, whose story is told below, graduated from WCS in 2010. He is still an outstanding young man and as you will find out, a very generous and compassionate one as well. This is from May 10, 2007.

I was standing at the doorway to my classroom yesterday with Lisette, one of my student aides, when Chris walked up and put an envelope in my hand and walked away without comment. My name was penned on the outside but there was no hint of the contents. I opened it and found three one hundred dollar bills. I showed them to Lisette, neither of us quite knowing what to say. We are in the middle of our coin counting for Honduran orphans and the kids are bringing in their pennies-nickels-dimes-quarters to bless little ones they are strangers to. Chris was in my class last year but not this. He was an excellent student, one of the best in my tenure at Westbury Christian. Like others of our student body, Chris is in charge of a younger sibling in the morning before school. He gets here when it is still dark, with first grade sister Alyx in tow, always making sure she has her breakfast and gets to where she needs to be on time. I found Chris this afternoon in the library to thank him. Needing to know for a possible tax receipt, I asked and Chris told me the gift was from himself and not his parents. I didn't inquire if the money came from a Christmas/birthday present or if it came from money he had worked for. It doesn't matter; it came from the heart.

I can tell my students the per capita income of Honduras is $600 but that doesn't faze them. What pierces their shell is pictures and stories from my trips. Maybe that's what got to Chris last year as he sat in the row nearest the window. That empathy enabled Chris to part with the equivalent of half a year's wages in the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. He did it in the manner Jesus instructed.

"But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (Matthew 6:3,4)
No one was witness to what Chris did except myself and Lisette, and they don't know each other. Chris gave in secret, the way Jesus taught. He didn't donate for show or honor and probably not even for the reward the Savior promised. I would be surprised if any of his friends know, maybe even his parents. But, in an era of look at me, the Father knows....and now, so do you.


Applicable quote of the day:
"The living need charity more than the dead."
George Arnold



God bless,

Steve
Luke 18:1

http://www.hawleybooks.com/
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

4 comments:

testglobaltraffic said...

he is nice man

Laurie said...

What an amazing young man.

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

What a blessing for me to find your site tonight. I so enjoyed reading this post and several others and I am looking forward to being a follower of this site.
Take care
Maggie

Velvet Over Steel said...

That is so wonderful! What a terrific young man. Love how you wrote this and your blog. I am following now and will be back often! :-) ~ Coreen