A glass of Milk, paid in Full

by Stephen on September 15, 2008 · 294 comments

in Moral Stories

One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door.

Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk.

He drank it slowly, and then asked, “How much do I owe you?”

“You don’t owe me anything,” she replied. “Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness.”

He said, “Then I thank you from my heart.”

As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.

Year’s later that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease.

Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room.

Dressed in his doctor’s gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to the case.

After a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room.

She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She began to read the following words:

“Paid in full with one glass of milk.

Signed, Dr. Howard Kelly.”

Author Unknown

If you find this story useful, please share with a friend!

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gemma Thorne November 4, 2008 at 8:41 am

Very good

2 Annie Tumulak Calupitan November 18, 2008 at 12:31 pm

It’s amazing.
I just posted in a Friendly Website regarding finding the man who sent me this story as it was deleted in my inbox.
But alas! Not even ten minutes, I found it.
God is great!

3 Stephen November 18, 2008 at 12:47 pm

Thanks, Annie!

4 Plat March 8, 2009 at 3:54 am

Great thankful lesson.

5 Ndoumah Victor April 2, 2009 at 1:29 pm

One good turn deserves another.

6 Lina May 1, 2009 at 10:50 am

Wonderful story.

Thanx a lot

7 Laxmi June 22, 2009 at 12:07 am

One little help save her life

8 Larrons Matina September 21, 2009 at 9:22 am

Its very nice, I have read this earlier but still reading it again has the same effects of renewal “What u sow, so shall u reap” Good deed never go in vain even today.

9 Zoya Sajjad September 28, 2009 at 6:31 am

It is a good lesson for kids “what you sow, so shall you reap”.

10 Prianna September 28, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Really nice and makes me feel to be more giving to other.

11 Anna November 8, 2009 at 7:40 pm

I don’t really get the ending. Could someone explain it to me?

12 Rem November 28, 2009 at 1:15 am

As always, great story..thanks for sharing it.

13 Ramesh December 8, 2009 at 6:27 am

Great story, for one cup of milk he helped lot means how much we should be grateful to all mighty god, who has given a lot to our life.

14 Boniya December 30, 2009 at 10:59 pm

A great life -inspiring story

15 Jess January 1, 2010 at 7:23 pm

@Anna, in the beginning of the storie a little boy was given a glass of milk by a stranger. The woman would not take payment from the boy. This boy grew up, finished school, and became a doctor.

Now the woman who gave him a glass of milk became sick. The doctor that took her case just so happened to be that very same little boy that she gave the milk to. Remember she would not take payment for her act of kindness? When she got the bill for all of her treatments, she saw that her act of kindness WAS REPAID back to her. The doctor basically was saying in that phrase “You helped me when I needed help, Now I am returning your kindness. Consider your bill paid in full with that glass of milk you gave to me years ago.”

16 Josh March 5, 2010 at 11:48 am

I love it….

17 Chidambaram March 12, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Hey. It is fantastic. I used the story for the yoga classes I used to attend every month which we used to discuss about some moral stories.

18 Vinay Natekar March 26, 2010 at 2:51 am

Fantastic motivational story. What goes around comes around.

19 Jeny April 14, 2010 at 10:59 am

This story tells us clearly that “Service to Man is Service to God”. We must first think that how we’re getting help in our tough times. That’s , We are not getting help from Man We are getting help from God through Man’s kind heart.If you see clearly We’re not getting help from everyone we expect to help us at times. But if you really believe in God and ask him for help then surely you’ll get it from somebody whom you may not known even before. That’s the simple logic which we can’t analyse and understand but can feel and realise………

20 Sonam July 4, 2010 at 5:49 am

It is a lovely and fantastic story. If we help someone then later when we are in trouble they will help us like this story…

21 Ashri July 5, 2010 at 5:54 am

I’ve learned from the story that never forget them who quenched your hunger.

22 Kiran July 10, 2010 at 2:11 am

It’s a real moral tale that every one needs to learn….. From simple morals like these only we can enjoy the seet fruits of life. My thanks for author.

23 Jesu July 15, 2010 at 10:25 am

It helped me, thank you so much!

24 Sundari July 23, 2010 at 3:31 am

Truly excellence.

25 R.Sharif July 29, 2010 at 5:20 am

It is a impressive story and leaves a strong impact upon the listeners.

26 Feroz Mohiuddin August 3, 2010 at 1:38 pm

It’s true when you help someone God will definetely help you sooner or later.

27 Shashank lal August 4, 2010 at 7:41 am

God is Great! Thanks to Dr. Kelly he remembered his kind friend and showed kindness in return, a great thing god has and he has gifted us also.

Thanks for the beautiful story.

28 Hari August 5, 2010 at 5:51 am

It’s really touching the hearts.

29 Lala August 7, 2010 at 12:51 am

Wow…it’s amazing story…

30 Dr Pramod Arora September 1, 2010 at 6:28 am

A wonderful and touching story. It compels me to share with all, a similar experience,a decade back.

It was a cold wintry mid night in Delhi. At a desolate spot, my two wheeler developed a snag. I could not fix it and was stranded.The roads were deserted. looking around for help, i spotted some people huddled around a bonfire, some 100 meters away. I dragged my scooter there and asked for a mechanic, if any, in the vicinity. An elderly looking gentleman from the group, sent a boy for a mechanic. The boy returned soon, only to tell the mechanic has gone somewhere and will come soon. Middle of the night, amongst strangers i had my own doubts and apprehensions, about the mechanic. What if he refuses to work so late at night. As for exhorbitant charges, I was willing to pay happily. It was not long before a thin built young boy came and asked the problem. He was the mechanic. He took over and spent app one hour to fix the problem. I profusely thanked him, and asked how much I owed him for the job. To my utter surprise, he refused any money. When I persisted, this apparently semiliterate MAN said politely: Earn I whole day. I need not work for money at this hour of the night. I came for the sake of humanity and I cannot charge for that.

I was dumbfounded but he did not, even, wait for my Thanks. I always keep him in my prayers. I pray may his tribe increase many fold and I be one of them.

31 Zac September 12, 2010 at 8:30 pm

God is great.

32 Abe Ibrahim September 17, 2010 at 11:06 am

Thank you for sharing – It is hard to stay composed when one reads the scripted note… I pray to do the same!

33 Priyanshu October 14, 2010 at 12:11 am

A good story which teaches us to be kind.

34 Abdullah October 21, 2010 at 5:33 am

Great! Made me cry!!!

35 Prarthana October 26, 2010 at 10:01 am

It is a fabulous one. I never heard it before. I think that the doctor remembered the kindness of lady.

36 Zarnain November 1, 2010 at 6:29 am

Very kind of you to send such a nice story.

37 cmmudkavi November 10, 2010 at 6:11 am

A beautiful, touching story. It has lot of kindness filled in it.

38 Biju November 24, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Yeah, a really touching story filled with lot of kindness.

39 Alaa November 26, 2010 at 3:37 pm

I love it so much and it will be the main topic in my presentataion in the university.

40 Anant December 23, 2010 at 1:08 am

It’s very nice.

41 Tevero January 9, 2011 at 6:12 am

I love these kind of stories…it is very uplifting.
Praise God

42 Nihal mahanto January 15, 2011 at 4:00 am

Yes, as the above readers told about this is really a good story …and I learnt that if you give the best the best will come back to u and the incident happened with Dr. Pramod arora is also inspirational plez read that…thank u all.

43 Canada Marvin February 2, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Nice story.

44 lewis February 20, 2011 at 11:48 pm

i have been reading this wonderful and beautiful small story since my first year of my Bachelor course and still i am reading. whenever i read the tears drop from my eyes automatically i don’t know…this small story always teach me how should i be grateful for even the least thing that people do to me…Thank God that i read this story…

45 Kirti February 21, 2011 at 12:20 am

grt kindness

46 maha March 4, 2011 at 11:41 pm

really touching…
thank God..

47 Mohammed March 10, 2011 at 6:08 am

A really good story which every one has to read and understand to help the needy

48 samina March 30, 2011 at 9:57 am

Wow! I cried reading this. We are thankful to God for giving us people like the women, Dr. Kelly and the mechanic boy from Dr. Arora’s incident. They inspire us to be like them. I was reminded and felt greateful to all the people who helped me and I am most grateful to the Lord, almighty for everything.

49 sandy April 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm

It’s an excellent story…So never send back from ur home if anybody came to you in a need…Do atleast little than nothing…God doesn’t leave ur help,,, He helps u through some one when you are in need ..

50 shubham April 5, 2011 at 7:29 am

awesome story it”s really just fabulous>>>>>><<<<<<<<<

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