The Christmas Scout
In spite of the fun and laughter, 13-year-old Frank Wilson was not
happy. It was true he had received all the presents he wanted. And
he enjoyed the traditional Christmas Eve reunions with relatives for
the purpose of exchanging gifts and good wishes. But, Frank was not
happy because this was his first Christmas without his brother, Steve,
who during the year, had been killed by a reckless driver.
Frank missed his brother and the close companionship they had
together. Frank said good-bye to his relatives and explained to his
parents that he was leaving a little early to see a friend; and from
there he could walk home. Since it was cold outside, Frank put on
his new plaid jacket. It was his FAVORITE gift. He placed the other
presents on his new sled. Then Frank headed out, hoping to find the
patrol leader of his Boy Scout troop. Frank always felt understood
by him. Though rich in wisdom, he lived in the Flats, the section of
town where most of the poor lived, and his patrol leader did odd jobs
to help support his family.
To Frank's disappointment, his friend was not at home. As Frank
hiked down the street toward home, he caught glimpses of trees and
decorations in many of the small houses. Then, through one front
window, he glimpsed a shabby room with limp stockings hanging over
an empty fireplace. A woman was seated nearby . . . weeping. The
stockings reminded him of the way he and his brother had always
hung theirs side by side. The next morning, they would be bursting
A sudden thought struck Frank -- he had not done his "good deed"
for the day. Before the impulse passed, he knocked on the door.
"Yes?" the sad voice of the woman asked. "May I come in?" asked
Frank. "You are very welcome," she said, seeing his sled full of gifts,
and assuming he was making a collection, "but I have no food or gifts
for you. I have nothing for my own children."
"That's not why I am here," Frank replied. "Please choose whatever
presents you would like for your children from the sled."
"Why, God bless you!" the amazed woman answered gratefully. She
selected some candies, a game, the toy airplane and a puzzle. When
she took the Scout flashlight, Frank almost cried out. Finally, the
stockings were full.
"Won't you tell me your name?" she asked, as Frank was leaving.
"Just call me the Christmas Scout," he replied.
The visit left Frank touched, and with an unexpected flicker of joy in
his heart. He understood that his sorrow was not the only sorrow in
the world. Before he left the Flats, he had given away the remainder
of his gifts. The plaid jacket had gone to a shivering boy.
Now Frank trudged homeward, cold and uneasy. How could he
explain to his parents that he had given his presents away? "Where
are your presents, son?" asked his father as Frank entered the house.
Frank answered, "I gave them away."
"The airplane from Aunt Susan? Your coat from Grandma? Your
flashlight? We thought you were happy with your gifts."
"I was -- very happy," the boy answered quietly.
"But Frank, how could you be so impulsive?" his mother asked. "How
will we explain to the relatives who spent so much time and gave so
much love shopping for you?"
His father was firm. "You made your choice, Frank. We cannot
afford any more presents."
With his brother gone, and his family disappointed in him, Frank
suddenly felt dreadfully alone. He had not expected a reward for his
generosity, for he knew that a good deed always should be its own
reward. It would be tarnished otherwise. So he did not want his gifts
back; however he wondered if he would ever again truly recapture
joy in his life. He thought he had this evening, but it had been fleeting.
Frank thought of his brother, and sobbed himself to sleep.
The next morning, he came downstairs to find his parents listening to
Christmas music on the radio. Then the announcer spoke: "Merry
Christmas, everybody! The nicest Christmas story we have this
morning comes from the Flats. A crippled boy down there has a new
sled this morning, another youngster has a fine plaid jacket, and
several families report that their children were made happy last night
by gifts from a teenage boy who simply called himself the Christmas
Scout. No one could identify him, but the children of the Flats claim
that the Christmas Scout was a personal representative of old Santa
Frank felt his father's arms go around his shoulders, and he saw his
mother smiling through her tears. "Why didn't you tell us? We didn't
understand. We are so proud of you, son."
The carols came over the air again filling the room with music:
". . .Praises sing to God the King, and peace to men on Earth."
The Christmas Scout's sacrifice gives us a little peek at the sacrifice
of the Father when He gave up His Best, His Son to be born to die to
pay for our sins on the cross, to save His needy people from their
sinful poverty of righteousness.
"I have showed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to
support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus,
how he said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive'." Acts 20:35
"But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what
your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then
your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." Matthew 6:3-4 (NIV)
[ by: Sam Bogan -- from Ron (jesus_is_lord777), via Charlotte ]
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