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Only a Biscuit
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Twelve-year-old Jake stood in the school yard and tried to ignore the hunger pains that gnawed in his empty stomach. Maybe his older brother and he should have given more thought to forfeiting their school lunch. But remembering the look on his mother’s face as she had tried to divide the meager amount of food between his younger siblings, told him he’d done the right thing.

Things had been fine until their father had died, leaving their mother with nine children, one only six months old. Their mother and the older children had done all they could to save and earn money but now the family was destitute.

A tug at Jake’s sleeve interrupted his thoughts. “Jake, do you want my biscuit?  My mama gave me two and I can’t eat them both.”  Jake looked down at curly headed Marci. “Thank-you Marci,” he answered his mouth watering as he looked at the white, fluffy biscuit filled with a large wedge of cheese.

Jake held the food in his hand and without hesitation went in search of his brother. Together they divided the biscuit and ate.

Jake was my father. Some seventy years later we took him to see his brother. Both men, now in their eighties, sat and reminisced. There had been hard times—their father’s death, the great depression and a world war. There had also been good times – marriages, children and grandchildren to enrich their lives. They laughed at family antics and told stories on each other. They spoke of God’s leading through it all, but the story that brought tears to their eyes and touched my heart was when my uncle started telling how Jake shared his biscuit.

I'd Never Known

“You could have eaten it all and I’d never known,” he said with a trembling voice.

“It was just a biscuit,” my Dad replied.

“But you were hungry and it was all you had,” his brother replied.  “I’ve always thought about the goodness of what you did.”

My Dad sat still for a moment, “You were my brother,” he said quietly.

How much do we love our brother or sister; our children and spouse; our friends? The ability to love unselfishly is a gift that God can give us if we ask.

Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends”(John 15:13). Not many of us have to choose whether to die for someone or not. But we can lay down our life in other ways. A phone call, an unexpected visit, a kind word, or a gift that comes from the heart may cost us effort, time and sometimes even a biscuit, but it will be remembered for a lifetime.

Perhaps God will impress you to share a biscuit with someone today. How will you respond?

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By Rebecca Grice. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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