Wednesday, April 27, 2011

To Give and Receive

By Ginger Lingo, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

More than anything I wanted a new bike. I dreamed about it every day while walking to school. My father was a pastor so we didn’t have much money. The only way I was going to get that bike was to earn my own money for it. So I worked hard, doing
odd jobs like babysitting, weeding and raking leaves. I stashed every penny I earned from those jobs and my allowance in my piggy bank.

Then one day at Sunday school our teacher told us of a letter she had received from Chile about a boy who had hepatitis. His missionary parents said he was recovering, but his spirits were still low. “Can you think of anything that might cheer him up?” our teacher asked us.

“A new bike!” the whole class exclaimed eagerly, and we agreed we would raise the money.

All week long I agonized over what to do. My conscience could only come up with one answer—give up my savings for the boy in Chile. So I emptied out my piggy bank and brought every cent to Sunday school. It was the hardest thing I had ever done, and maybe that’s why it felt so right.

In college years later I found myself praying for something even harder than I had prayed for the bike—a man meant just for me. All my friends were dating. Why wasn’t I?

Was God asking me to wait again?

At last I met someone named Steve. We had a lot in common. He went to the college where my father taught, and my roommate was engaged to his best friend. He was earnest, smart and hard-working. But I couldn’t help wondering, Is he really the one?

One evening our families got together for dinner, a chance for everybody to get to know each other better. Over dessert and coffee Steve’s mother talked about some of the places they had lived when they were missionaries. “Once when we were in Chile,” she said, “Steve got hepatitis. You know what cheered him up?”

Of course, I knew. He got a bike—my bike. And I got the husband I have been married to for 29 years.

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