The following is a true story told by Rabbi Elimelech Biderman from Jerusalem.
A seven-year-old girl went to a jewelry store and asked the owner whether a particular piece of jewelry was real. The seller nodded and said it was.
The little girl said she wanted to buy it, and the owner said it cost a lot of money. “Do you have enough to pay for this expensive piece of jewelry?” asked the owner.
The little girl smiled and said, yes, she did. She placed her purse on the counter and poured some small change and half shekels.
The seller explained to the little girl that this was an expensive piece of jewelry that cost more than a thousand shekels and asked for whom she wanted to buy this and why it was important for it to be real.
“My mother died six months ago,” explained the girl, “and my older sister took the burden of caring for the house. She devotes herself to me in a way that is hard to describe. She tucks me into bed, wakes me in the morning, prepares sandwiches, and dresses me. She prepares classes for me in the afternoon and plays with me…”
“Today, she is 18 years old, and I wanted to buy jewelry for her and make her happy.”
The girl finished her story and turned helplessly out of the store, realizing she had no money to purchase any real jewelry in this shop or any other shop.
The seller called her back into the store and packed that piece of jewelry in a beautiful little box for her. Overwhelmed, unable to resist the pure innocence of the little girl, he said, “It is my present to you.”
Two hours later, an 18-year-old girl came with jewelry in her hand and asked whether it was purchased at this store.
The owner responded in the affirmative.
“Did she pay?” asked the older girl, and again, the seller nodded.
“Did you not wonder where she got the money?” the older sister asked suspiciously.
“You see,” said the seller, “there are those who pay me with money, and there are those who pay with goods of equivalent value. Your sister paid me with her pure and innocent heart.”
In our prayers, we plead before God; “Not with kindness (that we performed) or with deeds (that we did) are we coming before You; We knock on your door and beseech and implore You as poor and humble souls.
Even if we come before God with a few pennies and half shekels, “God desires the heart.” If we give our hearts to God, the Psalmist already guarantees us, “Let integrity and uprightness guard me. For my hope is in You.”
Chapter 242 www.aspiritualsoulbook.com