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Giving Makes the Heart Glow

Story ID:10809
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Writers Conference:My Favorite Holiday Story
Location:Caldwell Idaho USA
Year:2015
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Would you give the shirt off your back?
I would.
On a cold night, soon after Christmas 2015, I sat outside talking to my next-door
neighbor. I looked down and saw he was barefooted. “I thought you were going to get new
slippers? Aren’t you freezing in these temperatures?”
He looked up at me. “We were going to get me slippers, but something always seems
to come up. Maybe next month.” There was a sadness in his voice, the sadness that comes
to people who struggle to get financially through another week.
I’ve been there. I heard my own voice in his.
I replied, “I know. You have it tough.” I looked down at my feet. I had on an
old but perfectly good pair of slippers. Inside my apartment, I had a new pair Ginny
gave me for Christmas. Without hesitation, on this frigid winter night, I slipped off my
slippers and handed them to him. “Take these. They’re used, but have lots of life left
in them. The lining is ratty, but the soles will last for years.”
He looked at me in amazement. “Are you serious?”
“Dude! I have new slippers inside. Take these and keep your feet warm. You
don’t want to get sick and not be able to take care of your family.”
He slipped them on his feet. The expression on his face was as joyful as I imagined
his feet felt, protected from the cold concrete.
Giving makes my hearts glow.

Michael T. Smith