Paid in Full With a Glass of Milk

The story below was inspired by true events:

One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door!

Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it so slowly, and then asked, How much do I owe you?

You don't owe me anything, she replied. Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness.

He said ... Then I thank you from my heart.

As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.

Many years later that same young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease.

Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes.

Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room.

Dressed in his doctor's gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once.

He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to her case.

After a long struggle, the battle was won.

Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it and wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words:

Paid in full with one glass of milk

(Signed) Dr. Howard Kelly.

Tears of joy flooded her eyes as her happy heart prayed: Thank You, God, that Your love has spread broad through human hearts and hands.

- o0o -

The obvious lessons from the story are (1) learn to look back and give thanks to the people who contributed to your success and (2) always have a helping hand without expecting anything in return.

But since the two mentioned lessons are elementary, I'll go for the hidden lesson behind the story: Never see the person based from what he has - because you might just miss seeing what he is capable of.


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  1. Harold ManabatAugust 29, 2014

    narining ko na to dati pero di ko lam na true story pala. hehehe

  2. nice story..worth sharing :))

  3. I've heard this before but after reading it again here, I felt the same warmth and joy. Kindness pays, indeed! :)


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