She had been a familiar figure in the small town. For as long as anyone could remember she had been the dishabled figure who lived in that dilapidated house on Main Street. Everyone knew that sally didn’t buy anything new.
Second hand sally from the top of her head to the bottom of her toes.
Even the house, which had once been quite a showpiece, had second-hand repairs and the air of impoverishment about it.
Some of the older townsfolk commented and secretly wondered where sally had spent the fortune left to her, being the only daughter of from a once wealthy family.
From time to time there was renewed interest and speculation on what sally had done with her fortune.
But for the most part, she was deemed an excentric and left to herself.
Week in week out she sat in church, with her old and patched clothes, shoes and bag. Out of date and out of style.
Polite people called her excentric and careful with her money, the less kind had other names for her, like stingy and selfish.
And so when sally died it was thought there would be few to mourn her passing.
The day was bright and the church was packed. So many strange and new faces among the mourners. Who were all these people and how had second hand sally known them?
The elderly pastor approached the pulpit and with slowness born of age and started to recount second hand sally’s eulogy.
You could have heard a pin drop, so quiet was the audience as he spoke of a life of giving and self-sacrifice. It seems that rather than being a tightwad and selfish old woman, sally had in fact been the opposite.
“I have been sworn to secrecy during her lifetime” the pastor said. “But now finally with her passing I can share what a rare gem we had among us.”
Yes it was true that sally had been left a fortune, but that had long since been spent.
When the fisher boy had needed that operation, sally had provided the money. When Mrs Hume was left a widow with 4 small children, sally’s money had been there.
Over and over the pastor recounted the countless times that sally had provided for those in need, some for strangers she had never met. The letters of encouragement to those in prison as well as many missionaries overseas. The children she had sponsored over the years in far away places. The many generous amounts given to charities around the world. It seemed that sally’s generosity had known no limits.
“How had sally been able to do this you might ask?” said the pastor.
“It was by being our own second hand sally, doing without the new so that others
might have help.” “Truly we have had a person among us who personifies the verse
You gave me water when I was thirsty, food when I was hungry, what so ever you do for the least of mine you do for me!”
Many left that day with a sense of longing to see that second hand sally just once more.
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