Some people do not realize this sacrifice and therefore do not appreciate the gift these people have given to their children. But at least one man does. He is a strawberry farmer. As far as I know he is not famous or wealthy. He is a Christian who recognizes the sacrifices of others and takes upon himself the responsibility to reward them and encourage them in whatever way he can.
Every spring he drives his truck to Florida College and gives each employee an entire flat of fresh strawberries. Every March I see the pictures of my son and daughter-in-law washing, capping, and slicing bowl after bowl of bright red berries, their little boys with red lips and bulging cheeks as their parents work, always saving a few bags for us as well. One flat of fresh strawberries may not be worth much in today's economy, but add up one for every employee and suddenly this is a generous gift of his means, one that will be remembered all through the year, every time someone pulls a bag of strawberries out of the freezer or a jar of jam off the pantry shelf. He could have sold this part of his crop and made more, but he chose instead to give it away, to use it to say thank you.
And I imagine that man will be remembered for his generosity for decades. Long after he is gone, employees and their children will miss "the Strawberry Man," especially if no one else steps in to fill the shoes of this open-hearted man who recognizes the sacrifices of others and gives what he can to say thank you.
Will anyone miss you in a similar fashion after you are gone? Is there anything you are known for among your group? How sad if not only no one misses you and your deeds but they are actually sighing with relief when you are gone! Are you known for complaining? For whining? For finding fault? For gossip? For causing uproars? For raising "foolish and ignorant questionings" in Bible study?
Or are you, like the Strawberry Man, watched for anxiously, greeted with smiles, and remembered constantly because of your kindness and your awareness and consideration of someone besides yourself? In the spirit of the widow's mite, God expects us to match the man who gives what he has, as much as he has to give, to encourage and enrich the lives of others, one strawberry shortcake at a time.
It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice. For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. (Ps 112:5-6)