Russia: Captain Marco
“What is it?” Soviet Captain Marco snarled at the young boy. “What do you want?”
The boy, only 12, swallowed his fear as he stood before the Communist officer.
“Captain, you are the man who put my parents in prison. Today is my mother’s birthday, and I always buy her a flower for her birthday,” said the boy. “Since my mother taught me to love my enemies and to reward evil with good, I have brought the flower instead for the mother of your children. Please take it home to your wife tonight, and tell her about my love and the love of Christ.”
Captain Marco, who had watched unmoved as Christians had been unmercifully beaten and tortured, was stunned at the act of love of this boy.
His tears fell as he slowly walked around the desk and grabbed the boy in a fatherly embrace. Marco’s heart was changed by the gift of Christ’s love. He could no longer arrest and torture Christians, and soon he himself was arrested.
Only months after the boy’s visit to his office, Marco slumped in a filthy prison cell surrounded by some of the same Christians he had previously arrested and tortured.
He tearfully told his cell mates of the young boy and the simple gift of a flower. He considered it an honour to share a cell with those he had previously hunted and attacked.
Generosity is second nature to the believer. Jesus taught that others would recognize real believers by their demonstration of love. And not just for those who love us in return. Oftentimes, generosity toward strangers and even enemies is the best application of Jesus’ teachings. Witnesses to our acts, if not the recipients themselves, are befuddled at the sight. Imagine a wounded Christian worker who prays for the boss who unjustly fired him or her. Picture the impact of grieving parents who give the gift of forgiveness to a drunk driver. The world doesn’t understand generosity. However, it is affected by it all the same. We find we are never more like God himself as when we give generously to others. God gave his only Son to demonstrate his love for the world and purchase our salvation. What could you give today that might open someone’s heart to God’s kingdom?