“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” – Acts 20:35
Or – in the case of this memory from my growing up years – it was beautiful selfless gesture by my mother.
“Do you remember the time mom gave away her shoes to a refugee woman?” I texted my older brother.
“I don’t remember that at all.”
My brother has a steel cage for a memory.
“Come on, you remember everything!” I wrote back.
“Haha. Not that one.”
My brother talks about getting up late at night and having doughnuts with my parents (which I have no recollection of). But this one, has escaped his memory.
I was 5 years old at the time and my parents were quite involved in our church. My father was a Sunday School teacher and well-respected elder. My mother – known for her gentle spirit and tender heart – always lent a helping hand to those less fortunate and showed care to the “least of these“.
On this occasion, my parents took us to an apartment that was home to a refugee family newer to the country. They didn’t have much. We had brought them a few gifts – including some toys for the kids and they were very appreciative. I got my picture taken with one of their boys in my 1970’s plaid pants and striped polo.
It was summer and my mother was wearing a pair of clogs she had recently purchased.
“I love your shoe!” said the refugee mom in broken English.
“Oh – thanks. Would you like them?”
“No – no!”
The next thing I knew, my mother slipped off her shoes and handed them to the woman.
“Please. I want you to have them.”
The act was small. But it was beautiful. And, 30-some odd years later, I still can picture it as if it was yesterday.
To mothers everywhere who give sacrificially daily: may God richly bless you.
Your little ones are watching.