|photo courtesy of visualbiblealive.com|
One afternoon she ran into the courtyard of the inn, saw me working near the balcony, and called up to me. "Ai-weh-deh."
"Oh, Ninepence. Good that you're home. Dinner is nearly ready." I walked out and leaned on the bannister. She stayed standing in the same spot and looked at me with her beautiful dark eyes. "You can play for a few more minutes, though. I'll call you when it's ready."
She bit her lower lip. "Ai-weh-deh, if I--if I ate only some of my dinner, would you do the same?"
I didn't know what she meant, but I wanted to give her a chance to ask her real question. "Well, I suppose. Yes. I would save some of my dinner."
She looked at the ground and shuffled her feet side to side. "Um, Ai-weh-deh, if I had food left over and you had food left over we could have enough food to give someone else, right?"
I see. She wanted to give someone a meal. What a sweet idea. "Yes. We would. Who did you have in mind?"
She swayed her shoulders and raised her lovely eyebrows. "There is a little boy at the gate of our inn. He hasn't eaten in several days."
I couldn't help but laugh with joy. My sweet Ninepence wanted to help another hungry child. "Yes. Of course. Bring him in for dinner."
She tipped her head back and shined a happy smile as wide as her little face. "Thank you!" I watched her run toward the gate then drag a boy into the court. He must have been eight years old and he wore only rags that barely hung on his body.
His face showed he must have been starved, but he ate each tiny chopstick full of food as though grateful for each tiny grain that entered his mouth. I had him bathe after supper then gave him fresh clothes. Ninepence decided to call him "Less" because she ate less to give him a meal.
At bedtime Less told us what happened to him. Robbers came to his village and killed all the men. They took the women and children away. His mother became sick as they walked. She fell to the road and cried for help. The robbers left her and Less behind. Later that day she died. Less didn't know what to do. Some muleteers gave him a ride to Yangcheng a few days ago. Now he needed a home.
I looked at Ninepence. She gave me a twinkle smile that said, "Can he stay?"
How could I resist? "Yes. He can stay, Ninepence." I tucked my new son under a blanket and kissed him good night.
He wrapped his thin arms around my neck and said, "Thank you, Ai-weh-dah."
Less gave me one more blessing from God.
Thanks for stopping by today. Come back next week to hear more.