Monday, August 20, 2012

A Gift From Lithuania

By Mary Vee

Lithuania is a country west of Russia and sets on the Baltic Sea. Many residents live in crowded apartments with cracked wallpaper and few amenities. 

A couple, she a PhD chemist, he a PhD biologist live in a four-room apartment with their two children and the grandmother. They ride the trolly to work and hope the electrical black out time doesn't come while dinner is made.

They take their meager earnings, stand in line at the market, and hope there is food on the shelf when their turn comes to buy.

One day a letter arrives from the United States announcing a visit from his brother and ten family members. Money would be sent ahead for food, the family would stay in a hotel, and all expenses for sight seeing would be covered. 

Excited to see his brother after more than twenty years, the man writes back welcoming his guests but refuses the financial help for food. He and his wife pull together every penny from savings and stand long hours in line at the market for several days to buy enough food.

When his brother and his family arrive they squeeze around a table along with other invited Lithuanian relatives for the special meal. In typical fashion, the Lithuanians speak at the same time, sharing stories for hours. Non Lithuanian family members from American watch and laugh.

The man's smile rose and fell with the laughter and serious conversation. He never left the room to take care of business. Didn't have a television to watch. He didn't check facebook or anything else on the Internet during the entire visit.

He and his wife had sacrificed much to welcome his brother and would have to live without much for many days to come. A gift he would gladly give again.

Receiving a gift of great value sticks in the memory forever. I especially like when God sparks the memory for me to relive. When He helps me remember the great gifts of others, I also remember the greater gift He gave me.

 And maybe when I give a gift of great value, maybe someone else will remember what Jesus did for them as well.

Have you received a really special gift? 

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