It was a plain bar of milk chocolate, but it may have been the “sweetest” candy I have tasted.
No, it didn’t physically taste any different than any of the chocolate we can buy here in the States. The “sweetness” came in the process through which I had come into possession of the chocolate bar.
“I just wanted to say, ‘Thank you!’ for coming down to help us and for all the work you have done. I hope you enjoy it.”
A Peruvian young lady of about 20 years old chose these English words to explain the reason behind the gift. She worked as hard as any of us in the optical department of our medical campaign. She sat for hours each day, translating the patients’ questions from Spanish to English, and then our responses from English to Spanish. Yet she did not want credit for the work she had done. She just wanted to say, “Thank you!”
Each of us received this same type of gift expressed in different ways. The spontaneous, fervent hug a physical therapist received from the mother of a small child who is confined to a wheel chair, after the therapist had shown the mother therapeutic exercises which will help the child develop. The bright smile those in the “lentes” (lenses) department witnessed when a patient received a pair of glasses which corrected his extremely poor eyesight. The voluntarily offered hand of a child who felt safe and loved in the presence of strangers who had invaded his neighborhood.
This morning, I thought long and hard about the chocolate bar.
I sat in a plane seat clutching a small bag of pretzels, waiting for the stewardess to pour me a cup of soft drink. I expected this refreshment. It was a part of my airfare. I had paid for it. I would have been disappointed had I not gotten it. Those pretzels and that cup of liquid were a symbol of the commercialized, materialistic world we live in; a world where almost everything is for sale, and very few things come without a price.
At that moment, I once again looked into the eyes of an energetic, smiling young lady as she sweetly explained, “I just wanted to say, ‘Thank you!’ for coming down to help us and for all the work you have done. I hope you enjoy it.”
That was the one of the “sweetest” chocolate bars I have ever tasted.
“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38) ESV
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