One day a poor boy was trying to pay his college fees by selling tissues and other items of little value from door to door. He realised that he had only a few cents in his pocket and he was terribly hungry.
He decided that he would ask for something to eat at the next house. His courage was about to fail him when the door was opened by a beautiful little girl with green eyes.
Instead of food, he asked for a glass of milk.
The girl, noticing his hunger, brought him a big glass full of milk.
The boy thanked her warmly and asked, "How much do I owe you?"
"You don't owe me anything" the girl replied. "My mammy days that you don't owe anything for kindness."
He replied: "I thank you then, with all my heart."
As Howard Kelly left that house, he felt not only physically refreshed, but his faith in God and in humanity had grown greatly.
He had been on the point of giving up and resigning himself to not being able to continue his studies, but that little gesture had renewed his strength and his will to continue the struggle.
Many years later, the same girl, now grown up, became seriously ill. The local doctors did not know what to do. In the end they sent her to a big hospital in the city where there were specialists capable of dealing with such a rare illness.
Doctor Howard Kelly, a real celebrity in the area, was one of those invited to the consultation.
When the surgeon heard the name of the city from which the woman came, a strange light flashed through his mind. He went straight to the hospital and asked to be brought to the patient's room.
He recognised her immediately, not only by her green eyes. He went straight to the room where the consultation was being held, his mind made up to do all he could to save the life of this woman.
From that moment he dedicated all the time he could to that case. After a long and strenuous struggle, the battle was won. Professor Kelly asked for the bill in the administration office of the hospital. He looked at it and wrote a few words on the corner of the page.
The account was then brought to the patient. The woman hesitated in opening it, sure that she would have had to spend the rest of her life trying to pay off that bill, which would certainly be very big.
Finally she gave a cautions glance, but her attention was immediately drawn to the hand-written words on the edge of the bill.
She read these words: "Paid in full with a glass of milk".
It was signed: Dr. Howard Kelly.
"The one who gives even a glass of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I assure you, he will receive his reward" (Mt. 10:42)