The Cost of Hope
woman in financial despair discovers the joy of giving to
someone else in need.
Danielle sat down with a sigh,
discouraged and exhausted. The day had proven frustrating.
With only forty dollars left in her wallet, she desperately
needed to find a bank to cash her paycheck. She was living in
a new city with no local bank of her own - and the banks were
not eager to help her. For more than two weeks, she made
attempt after attempt - to no avail. With her cash supply
dwindling fast, she had no other resources. How could she
continue to support herself and her two children? She wondered
just how much longer she and her children could get by on the
little money they had left.
Taking a break from her struggles, Danielle
decided to attend a meeting at the local women's resource
center. The women there had been a strong source of
encouragement since she fled her home in fear for her safety.
Her thoughts were far away as she settled into a chair in the
meeting room. In deep despair, she longed for renewed hope
that she could make it as a single mom.
Live life more consciously
by reaching out
afternoon, everyone," a voice said, breaking Danielle's
thoughts. It was the leader of her women's group. "Does anyone
want to start?"
Sitting next to Danielle, Amy cleared her
throat. "I would," she said. Amy began to share the details of
her desperate situation. She had run into severe personal
struggles and was just days away from losing her home and her
car. Her phone and electric services were both scheduled for
disconnection. Her husband had gambled away their money. What
little she had tried to squirrel away, he had used to support
his drug habit. Their relationship had deteriorated to the
point where she feared for her very safety. The last of the
money she managed to tuck away allowed her to buy food for her
children and diapers for her baby. She had nothing left.
described the extent of the situation, Danielle heard God's
soft whisper in her heart: "After the meeting, give Amy twenty
dollars." Danielle immediately thought, But I can't. I only
have forty dollars. She heard the order again. It was
unmistakably clear. Danielle knew she needed to comply. When
the meeting concluded, she reached into her purse and quietly
slipped twenty dollars to Amy. Knowing Danielle's situation,
Amy was reluctant to accept it at first. But as a crowd of
women came to give Amy hugs of support, Danielle told her that
God wanted her to have it. Then Danielle left.
As Danielle unlocked the
door to her car, she heard someone call her name. She turned
to find Amy walking toward her. Tears filled Amy's eyes as she
began to speak. "How could you have known?" she asked. A large
tear rolled down her cheek and dropped onto her shoulder as
she reached into her purse. She pulled out a small amber
prescription bottle. "I took the last one yesterday." She
pointed to the bottom of the label. "I'm a
medication-dependent diabetic. I need this medication every
day. I had no idea what I was going to do." Another tear
rolled down her cheek as she pointed to the refill cost
printed clearly on the label: $20.00.
It was at that moment that Danielle was
renewed with a sense of hope and peace. She told Amy that she
did not know, but God did. While Amy's situation seemed to be
a mountain before her, God alone could help her navigate every
step and meet every need to move beyond that mountain, one
step at a time. The words of hope that Danielle spoke to Amy
that day were the very words of hope she herself needed.
Now with just twenty
dollars left in her wallet, Danielle decided to try cashing
her paycheck at just one more bank before heading home. While
she anticipated the rejection she had received at so many
other banks, she was somehow filled with renewed confidence
and optimism. With hope in hand, she walked into the bank
adjacent to the women's center. Moments later, the bank cashed
her paycheck with no questions asked.
Beaming, Danielle returned home. While she
knew there would be days ahead that would certainly hold
challenges, her newfound hope inspired her. She never did see
Amy again, but she continues to rest confidently that God is
still looking out for her and is meeting her daily needs, just
as he continues to look out for Danielle and her two children.
As for Danielle, it has been three years since that day. While
she realizes true hope has no price tag, she continues to be
thankful for the lifetime supply that she received for the
price of just twenty dollars.
© Chicken Soup For The Soul
Links for you to
Just For Fun
I didn't know if my
granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided to test
her. I would point out something and ask what color it
was. She would tell me, and always she was correct. But it was
fun for me, so I continued. At last she headed for the
door, saying sagely, "Grandma, I think you should try to
figure out some of these yourself!"
Wonderful Fall Recipe
Cheese-stuffed Meat Loaf
tablespoons olive oil |
finely chopped onion |
finely chopped celery |
minced garlic |
minced Italian parsley |
teaspoon pepper |
teaspoons chili powder |
teaspoons cumin |
pounds lean ground beef or a mix of lean ground beef and
ground turkey |
bread crumbs |
sliced mozzarella cheese
1. Heat the oven
to 350º. In a skillet, sauté the onion, celery, garlic, and
parsley in the oil over moderate heat until softened but not
browned. With a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a
all remaining ingredients, except cheese, to the vegetables.
Mix well with your hands.
3. Transfer half the mixture to a 9- by
5-inch loaf pan. Place mozzarella slices on top, then cover
with the rest of the meat mixture. 4. Bake for 75 to 80
minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 170º. Cool and
chill. Wrap tightly in freezer foil. Place in a resealable
plastic freezer bag. Label and freeze. To serve: After thawing
and unwrapping, bake in a covered pan at 400º for 20 to 30
minutes. Serves 5 to 6.
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