That Beautiful Christmas Gift. How The Lord Used It.
A lady and gentleman were walking up Madison avenue, New York City, from
church, when incidentally the lady said, "We are trying to get up
Christmas decorations and entertainment for our Mission School."
"_Well, put my name down for anything you like_," and then came into his
mind a certain sum to give.
A day passed on, it seemed forgotten; but a note from the lady reminded
him of his promise, and he responded, giving the exact sum originally
thought of, $25. Notice, now, the most singular disposition of it,
which, by the hand of Providence, was made to go on its circuitous way
to meet those who needed it most.
The next Sabbath, the lady and gentleman again meeting each other, she
said, "Your gift was too large. I cannot take so much from you. I shall
give you back part."
"But I won't take it."
"Well, you must. I can't keep it."
It resulted in the lady taking $15 from her muff and forcing it back
into the gentleman's hand.
The gentleman felt badly. "_I intended this for the Lord, and now it is
refused. It is the first time I ever heard that money ever given to a
Sunday school was not wanted. I meant the whole for the. Lord_. If she
don't want it and wont keep it, I will give the rest away. _It does not
belong to me_." Before night he had enclosed it in a letter and sent it
out of the city to an invalid as a _Christmas present_. He had occasion
not long after to visit the invalid, and was fairly astonished at the
extraordinary circumstances connected with its use; and this is his
story, told in his letter to the lady who returned the $15.
"The sequel to the $15 is far more beautiful and wonderful than anything
I have ever known. This invalid had been praying for some money for a
needed article of dress to protect her from cold. _The_ $15 _came the
very next morning in answer to her prayer. But it was more than enough_.
As a consistent Christian, having asked the Lord only for enough to meet
but one need, she felt as if the rest belonged to the Lord and must be
used for Him. So in wondering how to use it, she thought of a poor woman
who needed a new calico dress, and at once bought it and gave it to her.
She had but $5 left. A dear friend was in distress; his horse and
carriage had been seized for failure to pay the livery bill of their
keeping; he could not collect any money of the debts due him, to pay his
bill, and had nothing. His wife and children were in New Britain, and
here he was, no means to get there. The little Christian invalid sent
him her $5, the last money she had, not knowing where her next was to
come from, with these words: "_The Lord has sent you this_," and though
he offered to return, or use only part, she said, "_No, the Lord meant
this for you_. You must keep it, I will not take it back." Now see how
beautifully all these incidents have been made to work for the good of
many, by the managing hand of Providence.
"My original gift of $25 to you was _more than enough_. You did not need
it all for your Sunday-school, and the Lord made you force back the $15
upon me. I could not keep it, because I felt, it belonged to the Lord.
So I sent it to the little invalid.
"She, too, had only needed a part, and used only what she asked the Lord
for, and then she, in her turn, gave the rest away. The most wonderful
part of it is, that the money you gave back to me, and I gave to the
Lord, was _three-fifths of the amount you received_, and the money the
little invalid gave away _to the Lord_ was also _three-fifths the amount
she received. The money which you kept for your use was just two-fifths,
and the money that the invalid kept for her own use was just two-fifths
also. The very next day after she had given her money away_, a lady
called and gave her some money, which _was precisely the same amount_
which _the poor woman's calico dress_ had cost, (though she knew nothing
of the circumstances), and in return for the $5 which she gave her
friend in distress, and refused to take back, the Lord remembered her
and gave her a good home.
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