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Short Stories (Stories for the Youth), book by Father Tadros Yacoub Malaty

51- A Match Stick


 In one of the villages of upper Egypt, a few of the servants of the church thought of a project to serve the children of the village. Since they did not have any resources they thought of going to one of the rich people of the village. One of them said,

So and so is a rich man and he can share in the total cost of the project, but Well, I dont want to judge this person anymore.

But what?

You know what I want to say. Image: Lighting a candle with matches - by Amgad Wadea صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: إيقاد شمعة بعود كبريت - رسم أمجد وديع Image: Lighting a candle with matches - by Amgad Wadea.

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: إيقاد شمعة بعود كبريت - رسم أمجد وديع.

You mean what is known about him that hes a stingy person?

We all hear that about him.

Anyway, lets go to him as sons and present the project to him. Maybe Gods hand will intervene and work in his heart.

 The servants went together and the rich man greeted them smiling and welcomed them. As his son wanted to light the gas lamps he lighted the first one and tried to light the second one using a second matchstick, his father yelled at him saying, Why do you use two match sticks? Use the first match stick by lighting it from the first gas lamp to light the second gas lamp, for now, isnt it wasting?

 The son was greatly embarrassed because his father yelled at him because of a matchstick that has no value. The servants looked at each other as if to say, The one who yells at his son over a match stick will surely not share in a project for the children of the village.

The rich man observed the glances of the servants without saying a word but he welcomed them smiling. Patiently, the servant began to present the project to the rich man who followed his words with great interest and lastly asked the servants, What is the cost of the project?

They told him about the cost.

 In a few moments, the rich man brought the whole amount that was needed saying to them, Its a blessing for me that I can share in this project for the good of my children, the children of the village. I thank you for allowing me to participate with you in this work. I offer a little of what God has given me but youre the soldiers working with your hearts and efforts for the children. I hope that you dont deprive me of participating with you in any work for our children.

 The servants were surprised of the rich mans actions and they looked at each other disbelieving what has happened to them. As the rich man noticed them, he said, Why were you surprised when I reprimanded my son for wasting a matchstick and when I offered you the cost of the project? Its with the likes of this matchstick that Ive collected whats offered to God for serving Him! Im careful about everything not to hoard it, but to use it for myself, my family and for the service of others.

They all went out happy and blaming themselves for they accused him of stinginess unjustly. Moreover, they learned not to waste anything that they may use for the service of others.

→ English translation of the story here at عود كبريت! Divider

Grant me to save in the little,

 That I may give much to others.

You blessed the two fish and the five loaves, O Lord,

So You fed thousands.

But You asked that the crusts be collected.

It is an important task that Your apostles did themselves.

Teach me not to waste resources that You have offered to mankind,

But that I may be honest in the little things,

So that You may trust me in the many.

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