By Carol Round, Special to ASSIST News Service
CLAREMORE, OK (ANS – December 6, 2015) — “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it”— 1 Timothy 6:5-7(NIV).
Picking up the raggedy teddy bear, the elderly woman clutched it to her chest.
“I need him!” she exclaimed to her companion, also elderly, and leaning on a cane.
“Put him down Sophie,” she said. “He’s a mess and only has one eye.”
Holding out the stuffed animal to examine him, Sophie said to the bear, “Oh, I know how you feel, you poor thing.”
Drawing him to her chest, she wrapped both arms around him, nuzzled his neck and said, “I love you, love you.”
Sophie then placed the well-worn bear back into the toy box at the thrift store where the two were browsing. Her eyes were rimmed with tears.
A Facebook friend shared the above scene she witnessed at a Missions Thrift Store recently. She overheard the two chatting and was still perusing the books when the women were leaving the store. However, before they reached the door, she saw the clerk rush over to them.
“You forgot this,” the clerk said as she handed the bear to Sophie.
Sophie’s companion replied, “We don’t want him—we don’t have money to spend on a battered old bear.”
With a smile, the clerk said, “A woman paid for him. She asked me to tell you to make sure he got hugs like that every day.”
As the elderly women exited the store, Sophie wrapped her arms around her raggedy bear once again.
After reading this story posted on Facebook, I wanted to share it with my readers. It’s a wonderful reminder of several things we should consider during this season of shopping and giving.
• Contentment doesn’t come wrapped in a shiny package. The person who purchased the worn-out toy for Sophie knows this. Her satisfaction came from blessing another.
• The raggedy bear is an example of our own discontent. We often discard objects, people and the simple things in life to pursue the latest and greatest gadgets and what we think will make us happy.
• Don’t overlook any opportunity that comes your way to bless another—and not just during this wonderful season of joy. Each day, if we choose to be aware of our surroundings, we can find someone who needs something we have to offer.
We might think we have nothing to offer; however, we can give our time. In Jenny Santi’s book, “The Giving Way to Happiness,” she writes, “Spending time on others makes you feel more effective, capable and competent.” (I would add that it also leads to more contentment in our busy lives.)
In “Love Beyond Reason,” John Ortberg wrote, “All day long we are bombarded with messages that seek to persuade us of two things: that we are (or ought to be) discontented and that contentment is only one step away: “use me, buy me, eat me, wear me, try me, drive me, put me in your hair.”
For Sophie and her benefactor, contentment was just one step away in the guise of one shabby bear.
Photo captions: 1) It is important to spend time with others. 2) Carol Round.
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