An anonymous story which I have read several times is a supreme example of sacrifice!
* It has challenged me and blessed my life and I’d like to pass it on to you to close this message.
B) In a very large city there was a little newspaper boy, whose name was Johnny!
* Early one chilly spring morning, he was dashing down the street, delivering papers.
* His bare feet were patting on the cool pavement ... His ragged trouser legs were dangling around
his ankles ... There was no shirt on his back .......
* And one strap over his shoulder was holding up his pants.
* His hair was uncut and shaggy ... His hands and face was smeared with the ink off the papers.
C) Tucked away under one arm were the newspapers in a paper pouch and with the other hand,
he was jingling a bit of change he had saved in his pocket!
* He seemed in an awful hurry today. * He would give somebody their paper, speak politely, take
the pennies and rush on down the street.
* People were just plain old folks this morning ... That is, all except one particular person, and she
was something special ... That was his mother.
* His mind was occupied with her, so much that he barely spoke to those whom he met on the
street. * When he reached the corner, he turned quickly into the florist’s shop.
D) The man behind the counter said, “I’m sorry son, I don’t want to buy a paper today.”
* “Mister, I didn’t come in here to sell you a paper, I came in here to buy something from you.”
* Wondering what such a filthy little boy could buy in this expensive flower shop, the man asked
the question, “Son, what could I do for you?”
* The boy told him this story ... He said, “Mister, today is my mama’s birthday.”
* “I’ve got to buy her something ... I take her candy sometimes, but today’s special.”
E) “I’ve been saving pennies for weeks and weeks, and I’ve got 32 of them and one nickel .......”
* “I want to buy mama some flowers, Mister. Daddy’s dead now and my sister died too, and
there ain’t nobody left but mama and me .......”
* “And if I don’t remember to get her something, nobody will.”
* “This won’t buy much, but if you could give me just a little flower, I’d be mighty happy.”
* It broke that florist’s heart ... He wiped a tear off his cheek, and said, “Son, your mama will
have the best bouquet of flowers that money could buy.”
F) In a few minutes, the skillful hands had woven together a most lovely bouquet of flowers!
* He wrapped them in the green paper and brought them out to the anxious little boy.
* When the boy’s eyes saw the flowers, they began to sparkle, and a smile danced across that
dirty little face.
* As the man handed them to him, the little fellow said, “Thank you so much, Mister, now, how
much do I owe you?” forgetting that he had told the florist that he had 32 pennies and one nickel.
* The man behind the counter said, “Son, that’ll be exactly thirty seven cents.”
G) Johnny counted out those pennies, took one last look at that nickel, laid them all on the glass
counter, and dashed out the door, down the street, and home to mama as fast as he could go!
* When he reached the next corner, he turned quickly to cross the street.
* In his haste, he had forgotten to check the traffic light.
* The scream of the tires of the big steel wheels of a trolley car, trying to stop, pierced the air.
* His little body was knocked over against the curb, spattered and mangled, it lay crushed and
dripping with blood.
H) When the boy gained consciousness, he was on a bed in a hospital room!
* A man in a white coat was leaning over him. * He looked up into the man’s face and said,
“You’re the doctor, aren’t you, Mister?” * “Yes, son, I’m the doctor, we’re gonna take good care
of you ... Now don’t you worry, you just rest, and don’t try to talk.”
* A weak voice came back, “I almost didn’t make it, did I, Doc?”
* He was feeling for his legs that had been cut off by the big steel wheels.
I) “No sir, son, you almost didn’t make it, but you may be all right, just lie still.”
* The lad’s weak, bloodshot eyes began to search the room.
* Suddenly, it seemed as if a new surge of energy flooded his weak, helpless form.
* He was all excited, “Doc, did they see any flowers? Did they find my flowers? Doc, where are
J) The doctor reached back upon a table and picked up that beautiful bouquet of flowers!
* In the accident they had been knocked aside, but not one petal was crushed!
* They had been placed on his body in the ambulance, and brought with him to the hospital.
* Now, the doctor held them so the little boy could see them.
K) A smile came over that bruised little face, distorted from the suffering!
* Those little eyes began to sparkle again. * He was so weak, that his words came only as
whispers, “Doc, I don’t understand about all of this, but I could die, couldn’t I, Doc?”
* His chest was rising and falling very slowly now. * How well the doctor knew that the boy was
telling the truth ... Death was so near ... He hovered close to the boy to hear the last words.
L) They came in weak tones, “Doc, if I do die today, will you promise me one thing?”
* “Today’s my mama’s birthday ... I’ve remembered her, Doc ... These flowers are for her.”
* “Doc, if I die, take them to her for me, and tell her that they didn’t cost but 32 pennies and a
nickel ... But that’s all the money I had, I couldn’t do no more.”
* “Give them to her today, with all my love ... I love her with all my heart ... I love her, I love, I ...”
* His eyelids closed ... The whispering lips sealed shut ... He breathed a deep sigh.
M) The chest sank ... A smile was still on his face!
* The doctor checked his pulse and pulled a sheet up over the little dead body.
* He looked at the flowers in his hand, swallowed a lump in his throat, wiped the flooding tears
from his face, and left for the boy’s address.
* On the other side of the tracks, he stopped outside an unpainted, little shack, walked upon the
porch, and into the open door.
* He had been there before, but he had never charged anything, he knew they had nothing to pay!
N) As he stepped into the living room, a voice rang out from the bedroom .......
* “Johnny, you home already?” * Then the doctor entered the bedroom.
* “Why Doctor, what are you doing here?” * He handed the invalid mother the flowers and said,
“I just came by to bring you a bouquet of flowers.”
* “But why are you bringing me flowers?” she asked.
* Then he explained, “The flowers aren’t really from me, I’m sort of the delivery boy, they really
came from Johnny, but he won’t be coming home today .......”
* “He won’t be coming home any more at all ... He died a few moments ago in the hospital.”