Enote 121                                                                 May 30, 2016

Surprised By Gratitude

Dear Friends,

Some time ago a very old friend of mine took a vacation with his wife and another couple. They were visiting a ‘developing’ country when they all came down with some minor ailments, one respiratory, another intestinal ... They visited a doctor who sat them all down in her office and interviewed each listening carefully to their complaints, and then she prescribed a medicine for each. "Six dollars and fifty cents is the charge and thank you very much", she said.

Six dollars! That’s cheap, much too cheap. I can and should do better than that he thought. So my friend returned the following day to give the doctor fifty dollars. Her overwhelming gratitude for a mere fifty dollars, took my friend by complete surprise.

You’ve heard me say before that there is a cold cruel calculus that dominates and dehumanizes the lives of the very poor. When money is freely given in such circumstances it comes as a new and radiant release from that burden; it helps to restore our faith in one another. The poor having nothing to give in return, can only respond in gratitude.

Liz and I have seen it many times. I can remember a young girl; her English was insufficient to express her gratitude, as she was leaving the room after our interview her eyes welling up in tears she did the only thing she was capable of doing, she turned around and opened her arms to Liz who came and hugged her.

We of course are deeply and sincerely grateful every day for your continuing gifts to our work, but you know our gratitude. If you think you might like to be really surprised by gratitude, I encourage you to travel to a developing country of your choice, visit the poor and freely give to someone who is truly in need. The result will be worth much more than your cost.

Jungle Karen Girl with baby

Hill-tribe Karen Girl with baby

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Best Wishes to all,