What You Give…

(This was a letter I wrote about my bonus-daughter, Callie about five days before her wedding. I read it at her rehearsal dinner.)

Yesterday, Callie got a present!

Callie is getting married in five days! It’s the single, biggest event of her life and she has done an incredible job putting this thing together over the last year.

About seven months ago, Callie witnessed a automobile accident. A car ran a red light and crashed into another one. Callie saw it happen and stopped to see if she could help. Callie lives in Chattanooga and was in Gainesville preparing for her upcoming wedding that weekend so she had plenty of things to do besides stopping for an accident.

Callie first checked on the car that had been hit to make sure that everyone was okay. She told me that the passengers of the car that was at fault got out of their car and started yelling at the victims accusing them of causing the wreck. Callie had seen it happen, and knew that the victims weren’t at fault.

The carload of people then started yelling at Callie because she was taking up for them. She didn’t back down. Now you have to understand that Callie might on a good day weigh as much as 120 pounds. Not exactly an intimidating figure, but Callie has what I call gumption—the character to commit and complete.

She stood her ground against this group of ruffians, took up for the victims and waited for the police to show up. She gave her statement to the officers. She told me that the whole process took about an hour and a half.

While waiting, she told the couple who had been hit about her upcoming wedding and what she was in town doing that day.

I’m proud of Callie. This is the kind of young lady she is and shows a lot about her character. But it also speaks of something else.

There’s a law of the universe. It goes like this, “What you give, is what you get.” In the Bible it’s called the law of sowing and reaping. What you sow is what you reap. If you sow corn, you don’t get tomatoes. If you’re respectful to people, they tend to be respectful right back to you. If you’re loving to people, they tend to love you back. I don’t know why it works this way, but it just does.

Callie could have easily watched that accident and just driven away like the rest of the cars that saw it. But she didn’t do that. She practiced in her life what Jesus taught about the good Samaritan. As Jesus told it, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.” A priest and a Levite saw the man who had been beaten and crossed to the other side of the road. But the Samaritan stopped and helped the man. He bandaged his wounds, put him on his donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. In short, he did more than what was necessary.

And that’s what Callie did that day.

I believe that’s why Callie has more loyal, devoted friends than about anyone I know with the possible exception of her mother Sandy. She’s just that kind of person. It’s who she is. It’s what she does. This is also why I have three grandoggies named Payton, Hunter, and Dalton. She just couldn’t pass Hunter and Dalton by. She rescued them. Or Keiser, her aunt’s German Shepherd that was lost. She never stopped until he was found. This is her heart! And we could all learn from it.

Proverbs 11:25 says, “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” (NIV) Because of the way Callie lives her life, I’m certain that she will be “refreshed” and blessed by God for many years to come.

Oh yeah, back to the present she got yesterday. The couple who had been the victims in that accident sent Callie a beautiful present from her bridal registry and a note telling Callie how much they had appreciated her standing by them in what could have been a very difficult situation.

In the short time they were with her, they saw the person that she is. They were impressed. She touched their lives.

Callie, honors me when she calls me her “BD”—her “Bonus Dad.” It makes my heart well up with pride. I love her because she’s everything that’s “right” with this world.

I know that God is going to bless both Callie and Tyler for many decades to come.

She who refreshes others…”

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