by Calven Celliers
I was recently touched by a testimony that I read, by Hollywood legend, the late Katharine Hepburn, who shared the following account in her book Everything Good in the World –
“Once when I was a teenager, my father and I were standing in line to buy tickets for the circus.
“Finally, there was only one other family between us and the ticket counter. This family made a big impression on me. There were eight children, all probably under the age of 12. The way they were dressed, you could tell they didn’t have a lot of money, but their clothes were neat and clean.
“The children were well-behaved, all of them standing in line, two-by-two behind their parents, holding hands. They were excitedly jabbering about the clowns, animals, and all the acts they would be seeing that night. By their excitement you could sense they had never been to the circus before. It would be a highlight of their lives. The father and mother were at the head of the pack standing proud as could be.
“The ticket lady asked the man how many tickets he wanted? He proudly responded, “I’d like to buy eight children’s tickets and two adult tickets, so I can take my family to the circus.” The ticket lady stated the price. The man’s wife let go of his hand, her head dropped, the man’s lip began to quiver. Then he leaned a little closer and asked, “How much did you say?” The ticket lady again stated the price. The man didn’t have enough money. How was he supposed to turn and tell his eight kids that he didn’t have enough money to take them to the circus?
“Seeing what was going on, my dad reached into his pocket, pulled out a $20 bill, and then dropped it on the ground. My father bent down, picked up the $20 bill, tapped the man on the shoulder and said, “Excuse me, sir, this fell out of your pocket.” The man understood what was going on. He wasn’t begging for a handout but certainly appreciated the help in a desperate situation. He looked straight into my dad’s eyes, took my dad’s hand in both of his, squeezed tightly onto the $20 bill, and with his lip quivering and a tear streaming down his cheek, he replied, “Thank you, sir. This really means a lot to me and my family.”
“My father and I went back to our car and drove home. The $20 that my dad gave away is what we were going to buy our own tickets with. Although we didn’t get to see the circus that night, we both felt a joy inside us that was far greater than seeing the circus could ever provide. That day I learned the value to give.
“The importance of giving, blessing others, can never be over emphasized because there’s always joy in giving.”
Isn’t that just such a lovely, inspiring testimony? In closing, here’s a thought to reemphasise the point of what Miss Hepburn shared. In Acts 20, we read the apostle Paul’s closing address to the elders at Ephesus where he says, “35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Even secular researchers have found that these words of Christ, “it’s better to give than to receive”, bears absolute truth: giving to others puts a bigger smile on your face than doing stuff for yourself. Some even conclude that this is the ‘path to happiness’.
It would certainly seem that in the Kingdom economy we’re rewarded not by what we get, but by what we give away. Living by the Kingdom economy is a major part of being a disciple. We are blessed to be a blessing. So, count your blessings, and flip your blessings by blessing others and let the Lord do His work through you.
Yours in Christ,