In the city of Philadelphia there was a little third class hotel. Into it one night there came two tired elderly people. They went up to the night clerk and the husband pleadingly said, “Mister, please don’t tell us you don’t have a room. My wife and I have been all over the city looking for a place to stay. We did not know about the big conventions that are here. The hotels at which we usually stay are all full. We’re dead tired and it’s after midnight. Please don’t tell us you don’t have a place where we can sleep.”
The clerk looked at them a long moment and then answered, “Well, I don’t have a single room except my own. I work at night and sleep in the daytime. It’s not as nice as the other rooms, but it’s clean, and I’ll be happy for you to be my guests for tonight.”
The wife said, “God bless you, young man.”
The next morning at the breakfast table, the couple sent the waiter to tell the night clerk they wanted to see him on very important business. The night clerk went in, recognized the two people, sat down at the table and said he hoped they had had a good night’s sleep. They thanked him most sincerely. Then the husband astounded the clerk with this statement, “You are too fine a hotel man to stay in a hotel like this. How would you like for me to build a big, beautiful, luxurious hotel in the city of New York and make you general manager?”
The clerk didn’t know what to say. He thought there might be something wrong with their minds. He finally stammered, “It sounds wonderful.”
His guest then introduced himself. “I’m John Jacob Astor.” So, the Waldorf Astoria Hotel was built, and the night clerk became, in the years to follow, the best known hotel man in the world.
In 1976, the 47-story Waldorf-Astoria in New York City served three-quarters of a million guests in its 1,900 rooms.
Some people are so constituted that they would rather lose a friend than an argument. Be yourself, simple, honest and unpretending, and you will enjoy through life the respect and love of friends.
A Yale University president gave this advice to a former president of Ohio State: “Always be kind to your A and B students. Someday one of them will return to campus as a good professor. And also be kind to your C students. Someday one of them will return and build you a two-million dollar science laboratory.”
Leonardo da Vinci was one of the outstanding intellects of all history, for he was great as a draftsman, an engineer, and a thinker. Just before he commenced work on his “Last Supper” he had a violent quarrel with a fellow painter. So enraged and bitter was Leonardo that he determined to paint the face of his enemy, the other artist, into the face of Judas, and thus take his revenge and vent his spleen by handling the man down in infamy and scorn to succeeding generations. The face of Judas was therefore one of the first that he finished, and everyone could easily recognize it as the face of the painter with whom he had quarreled. But when he came to paint the face of Christ, he could make no progress. Something seemed to be baffling him, holding him back, frustrating his best efforts. At length he came to the conclusion that the thing which was checking and frustrating him was the fact that he had painted his enemy into the face of Judas. He therefore painted out the face of Judas and commenced anew on the face of Jesus, and this time with the success which the ages have acclaimed.
You cannot at one and the same time be painting the features of Christ into your own life, and painting another face with the colors of enmity and hatred.
During the Korean War, a South Korean Christian, a civilian, was arrested by the communists and ordered shot. But when the young communist leader learned that the prisoner was in charge of an orphanage caring for small children, he decided to spare him and kill his son instead. So they shot the nineteen-year-old boy in the presence of his father.
Later the fortunes of war changed, and the young communist leader was captured by the United Nations forces, tried, and condemned to death. But before the sentence could be carried out, the Christian whose boy had been killed pleaded for the life of the killer. He declared that he was young, that he really did not know what he was doing. “Give him to me,” said the father, “and I’ll train him.”
The United Nations forces granted the request, and that father took the murderer of his boy into his own home and cared for him. Today the young communist is a Christian pastor.
Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away.
A little boy, being asked what forgiveness is, gave the beautiful answer: “It is the fragrance that flowers breathe when they are trampled upon.”
In 1946, Czeslaw Godlewski was a member of a young gang that roamed and sacked the German countryside. On an isolated farm they gunned down ten members of the Wilhelm Hamelmann family. Nine of the victims died, but Hamelmann himself survived his four bullet wounds.
Godlewski recently completed a twenty-year prison term for his crimes, but the state would not release him because he had nowhere to go. When Hamelmann learned of the situation, he asked the authorities to release Godlewski to his custody. He wrote in his request, “Christ died for my sins and forgave me. Should I not then forgive this man?”
THANK GOD FOR YOU,
Good friend of mine.
Seldom is friendship such as thine;
How very much I wish to be
As helpful as you’ve been to me–
THANK GOD FOR YOU.
Of many prayer guests, one thou art
On whom I ask God to impart
Rich blessings from His storeroom rare.
And grant to you His gracious care.
THANK GOD FOR YOU.
When I recall, from time to time,
How you inspired this heart of mine:
I find myself inclined to pray,
God bless my friend this very day–
THANK GOD FOR YOU.
So often, at the throne of Grace.
There comes a picture of your face:
And then, instinctively, I pray
That God may Guide you all the way–
THANK GOD FOR YOU.
Some day, I hope with you to stand
Before the throne, at God’s right hand;
And to say to you-at journey’s end:
“Praise God, you’ve been to me a friend–
THANK GOD FOR YOU.”
From childhood Albrecht Durer wanted to paint. Finally, he left home to study with a great artist. He met a friend who also had this same desire and the two became roommates. Both being poor, they found it difficult to make a living and study at the same time. Albrecht’s friend offered to work while Albrecht studied. Then when the paintings began to sell, he would have his chance. After much persuasion, Albrecht agreed and worked faithfully while his friend toiled long hours to make a living.
The day came when Albrecht sold a wood-carving and his friend went back to his paints, only to find that the hard work had stiffened and twisted his fingers and he could no longer paint with skill. When Albrecht learned what had happened to his friend, he was filled with great sorrow. One day returning home unexpectedly he heard the voice of his friend and saw the gnarled, toilworn hands folded in prayer before him.
“I can show the world my appreciation by painting his hands as I see them now, folded in prayer.” It was this thought that inspired Albrecht Durer when he realized that he could never give back to his friend the skill which had left his hands.
Durer’s gratitude was captured in his inspired painting that has become world famous. And, we are blessed by both the beauty of the painting and the beautiful story of gratitude and brotherhood.
In the year 1818, Tamatoe, King of Huahine, one of the South Sea Islands, became a Christian. He discovered a plot among his fellow natives to seize him and other converts and burn them to death. He organized a band to attack the plotters, captured them unawares and then set a feast before them. This unexpected kindness surprised the savages, who burned their idols and became Christians.
A smile of encouragement at the right moment may act like sunlight on a closed-up flower–it may be the turning point for a struggling life.
A professor in a small New England college, beloved by students and alumni, adopted this wise plan early in his teaching: Whenever he discovers a student who is discouraged about his work, he makes a point of giving that boy a better mark than he really deserves and of seeing that the others in the class know about the good mark. “Almost invariably,” says the professor, “the boy perks up and earns that kind of mark the next time around. It’s a sly little secret-maybe not exactly according to Hoyle–but it works magic!”
Dr. Stuart Nye Hutchison tells us about a boy whom he knew who had lost his right hand. He felt so badly about it that he did not want to see anyone. His father said, “I’m going to bring the minister in to see you.”
The boy said, “I don’t want to see him.” But the father brought him in.
When the boy looked up he saw that the minister had no right arm; there was an empty sleeve. He came over to the boy and said, “I haven’t any hand, either. I lost mine when I was a boy, and I know how it feels.” It wasn’t hard for the boy to get acquainted with the minister who “knew how it felt.” So Christ has suffered for us and knows our temptations.
Nothing is more stimulating than friends who speak the truth in love.
Love is the hardest lesson in Christianity; but for that reason it should be our most care to learn it.
About 200 years ago one of our well-known encyclopedias discussed the word “atom” with the use of only four lines. But five pages were devoted to a discussion of “love.” In a recent edition of the same encyclopedia five pages were given to the word “atom”; “love” was omitted.
During the last twelve years of my pastorate we had a form of service in which the children came with their parents to the morning worship period. Just before the sermon they marched to their classrooms, singing a recessional hymn. They all marched past the pulpit.
For me as their pastor, one of the high points of the service was the privilege of catching a smile from each child and giving one in return. I tried never to miss a single one, but one day apparently I failed. A little curly headed four year old ran out of the procession and threw herself into the arms of her mother, sobbing as though her heart was broken.
After the service I sought out the mother. She said that when she had quieted the little one and asked why she had cried, she received this pathetic answer, “I smiled at God, but he didn’t smile back to me!” For her I stood for God. I had failed with my smile, and the world went dark.
It needs so little sympathy
To cheer a weary way,
Sometimes a little kindness
Lights up a dreary day;
A very simple, friendly word
May hope and strength impart,
Or just an understanding smile
Revive some fainting heart;
And, like a sudden sunlit ray,
Lighting a darkened room,
A sunny spirit may beguile
The deepest depths of gloom.
In Les Miserables, Victor Hugo tells of Jean Valjean, whose only crime was the theft of a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s starving children. After serving nineteen years, he was released from the galleys. Unable to find work because he had been a convict, he came to the home of a good old bishop who kindly gave him his supper and a bed for the night.
Yielding to temptation he stole the bishop’s silver plates and slipped out, but was soon caught and returned. The kind bishop said, “Why, I gave them to him. And Jean, you forgot to take the candle sticks.” Jean was astounded at such kindness, and this brought about his salvation. A little deed of kindness can turn a sinner to the Saviour.
O God, when I am wrong, make me easy to change, and when I am right, make me easy to live with!
Stephen Grellet was a French-born Quaker who died in New Jersey in 1855. Grellet would be unknown to the world today except for a few lines which made him immortal. The familiar lines, which have served as an inspiration to so many people, are these:
“I shall pass through this world but once. Any good that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now and not defer it. For I shall not pass this way again.”
They crushed the thorns into His brow
And struck harsh blows that day.
O Lord, I would not treat Thee so-
I only walked away.
They drove the nails into His hands
And raised the cross on high.
O Lord, that men could be so vile–
I only passed Thee by.
But blinded eyes and heart of stone
Will spurn a love like Thine.
O Lord, I struck the cruelest blows;
The sharpest thorns were mine.
–Victoria Beaudin Johnson
Thy providence is kind & large,
Both man & beast thy bounty share;
The whole creation is thy charge,
But saints are thy peculiar care.
Kind hearts are the gardens,
Kind thoughts are the roots,
Kind words are the flowers,
Kind deeds are the fruits.
Take care of your garden,
And keep out the weeds;
Fill it up with sunshine,
Kind words and kind deeds.
Aleida Huissen, 78, of Rotterdam, Netherlands, has been smoking for 50 years. And for 50 years she has been trying to give up her harmful habit. But she has not been successful-that is, until recently. She has now given up cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. The secret? Leo Jansen, 79, proposed marriage last year, but refused to go through with the wedding until Aleida gave up smoking. Says Aleida now: “Will power never was enough to get me off the tobacco habit. Love did it.”
A boy living in New Jersey waits expectantly every year for the mailman to deliver a special letter to him on his birthday. When his father was dying of a terminal disease, he knew the youngster would not have the benefit of his personal guidance and help as he grew into manhood. So he wrote him a letter for each year, and left instructions for them to be sent so that they would arrive annually on the proper date. A final envelope containing words of fatherly direction & advice will also be given to the son his wedding day.
Dear God, another day is done
And I have seen the golden sun
Swing in the arch from east to west
And sink behind the pines to rest.
I thank Thee that Thou gavest me
The power of sight that I may see
The tinted glories of Thy skies,
An earthly glimpse of Paradise;
The power to hear the evening breeze
Swelling in organ harmonies;
The power to feel the tender grasp
Of loving hands in friendship’s clasp;
I thank Thee for these gifts to me;
But one thing more I ask of Thee:
From out Thy bounteous, gracious hand
Give me the power to understand,
To understand–to sympathize–
To note the pain in others’ eyes;
To have the power rightly to read
The kindly motive of each deed.
And this I humbly ask of Thee
Because I know Thou lovest me.
Lord Palmerston, Queen Victoria’s Prime Minister, was crossing Westminster Bridge when a little girl ahead dropped a jug of milk. The jug broke into fragments, and she dissolved into tears. Palmerston having no money with him dried her eyes by telling her that if she came to the same spot next day at that hour he would pay for both jug and milk. The following morning, in the midst of a cabinet meeting, he suddenly remembered his promise to the little girl, left the bewildered ministers, dashed across the bridge, popped half a crown into the waiting child’s hand and hurried back.
Is anybody happier
Because you passed his way?
Does anyone remember
That you spoke to him today?
This day is almost over,
And its toiling time is through;
Is there anyone to utter now
A friendly word for you?
Can you say tonight in passing
With the days that slipped so fast,
That you helped a single person,
Of the many that you passed?
Is a single heart rejoicing
Over what you did or said?
Does one whose hopes were fading
Now with courage look ahead?
Did you waste the day, or lose it?
Was it well or poorly spent?
Did you leave a trail of kindness
Or a scar of discontent?
A coloured preacher was once asked to explain the doctrine of election. Said he, “Brethren, it is this way: The Lord He is always voting for a man, and the Devil he is always voting against him; then the man himself votes, and that breaks the tie!”
Termites destroy more property than do earthquakes. More fires are caused by matches and cigarettes than by volcanoes. More heartaches and sorrow are caused by little words and deeds of unkindness than by open acts of dislike and enmity.
One night when Mr. Moody was leading the singing and Mr. Sankey was playing the organ, Moody looked over to Sankey and said: “Excuse me; I see there a friend coming in to the meeting. I offended him today downtown, and I want him to forgive me.” Mr. Moody walked down from the platform, and the other man got up from his seat and walked out into the aisle and met Mr. Moody about halfway, and said, “Mr. Moody, I forgive you heartily.”
Moody went back to the platform, and an eye witness said, “I never saw such a meeting; it was wonderful.” That is why God so richly used Mr. Moody. He kept a conscience that was void of offence toward God.
At Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1775, General George Washington discovered that his army was completely out of powder. He sent Colonel Glover to Marblehead for a fresh supply. When Glover returned that evening he found Washington pacing up and down before his headquarters. Without returning Glover’s salute, Washington demanded:
“Have you got the powder?”
“No, Sir,” replied the colonel.
Washington used some rather severe language, winding up roughly:
“Why did you come back, sir, without it?”
“Sir,” said Glover, “there is not a kernel of powder in Marblehead.”
Greatly disturbed and chagrined, Washington walked up and down for a few minutes and then turned to Glover: “Colonel Glover, here is my hand, if you will take it and forgive me. The greatness of our danger made me forget what is due to you and to myself.”
I shouted aloud and louder
While out on the plain one day;
The sound grew faint and fainter
Until it had died away.
My words had gone forever,
They left no trace or track,
But the hills nearby caught up the cry
And sent an echo back.
I spoke a word in anger
To one who was my friend,
Like a knife it cut him deeply,
A wound that was hard to mend.
That word, so thoughtlessly uttered,
I would we could both forget,
But its echo lives and memory gives
The recollection yet.
How many hearts are broken,
How many friends are lost
By some unkind word spoken
Before we count the cost!
But a word or deed of kindness
Will repay a hundredfold,
For it echoes again in the hearts of men
And carries a joy untold.
–C. A. Lufburrow
On the bridge of a British battleship one may see a notice which reads: “Remember the Next Astern.” It is intended to be a constant reminder to the captain, as he issues his orders, not to do anything which would be likely to throw the next vessel into difficulties. We Christians would do well to make this our motto. There may be another, perhaps, following just in our wake, and a false move on our part may mean shipwreck for that one. “Remember the Next Astern.”
The home of an English family was discovered on fire. They thought everybody was out but the baby. Then mother saved her. For years as the child grew up the mother went about the house with her hands covered. The eldest of the servants had never seen her hands uncovered. But the daughter came into her room one day unexpectedly, and the mother sat there with her hands uncovered. They were torn and scarred and disfigured.
Instantly the mother tried to cover them as the girl came forward, but she said, “I had better tell you about it. It was when the fire was in the house and you were in your cradle. I fought my way through the flames to get you. I wrapped you in a blanket and dropped you through the window, and somebody caught you. I could not go down the stairway, so I climbed out of the window. My hands were burnt, and I slipped and caught on the trellis work. When I fell, my hands were torn. The doctor did his best, but, my dear, these hands were torn for you.”
And the girl, who had grown to womanhood, sprang toward her mother, took one hand and then the other, and buried her face in those hands, as she kept saying, “They are beautiful hands, beautiful hands.”
Billy Rose recalls how Sol Hurok told him a story about Marion Anderson, the famous Negro contralto. “A few years ago,” he said, “a reporter interviewed Miss Anderson and asked her to name the greatest moment in her life. I knew she had many big moments to choose from. There was the private concert she gave at the White House for the Roosevelts and the King and Queen of England. There was the night she received the ten-thousand-dollar Bok Award as the person who had done most for her hometown, Philadelphia. ‘But,’ she told the reporter, ‘the greatest moment in my life was the day I went home and told my mother she wouldn’t have to take in washing any more.'”
A poor Sunday-school boy, named Joseph, was an apprentice, & for several years, passed a certain store every morning as the neighboring church clock struck six; at which time a very precise old merchant always took down the shutters of his store. Each bowed as Joseph passed, each giving the salutation. “Good morning, sir,” beyond which they never spoke to each other. What was Joseph’s surprise, when he learned that the old gentleman had suddenly died, & left him his whole business stock!
They say the world is round–and yet
I often think it’s square,
So many little hurts we get
From corners, here and there.
But there’s one truth in life I’ve found
While journeying East and West:
The only folks we really wound
Are those we love the best.
We flatter those we scarcely know;
We please the fleeting guest,
And deal full many a thoughtless blow
To those we love the best.
One of his neighbors, the mother of a ten-year-old girl, noticed that the child often visited Einstein’s house. The woman wondered at this, and the child explained: “I had trouble with my homework in arithmetic. People said that at No. 112 there lives a very big mathematician, who is also a very good man. I asked him to help me. He was very willing, and explained everything very well. He said I should come whenever I find a problem too difficult.”
Alarmed at the child’s boldness, the girl’s mother went to Einstein to apologize. Einstein said, “You don’t have to excuse yourself. I have learned more from the conversations with the child than she has from me.”
If you have a smile for Mother,
Give it now.
If you have a kindly word,
Speak it now,
She’ll not need it when the angels
Greet her at the golden gate;
Give the smiles while she is living,
If you wait ’twill be too late.
If you have a flower for Mother,
Pluck it now.
Place it gently on her bosom,
Print a kiss upon her brow.
What cares she when life is over,
For the flowers that bloom below.
She will have her share up yonder,
Scattered at her feet galore.
Several years ago a farmer from southern Illinois dressed in casual clothing arrived at the Moody Bible Institute and asked if he could look around. A student was assigned to escort him on an extended tour of the buildings. The student and everyone else was especially kind to him, although he was a complete stranger. A few days later the Institute received a letter expressing thanks for the courtesy shown him and commending them for the Christian spirit he had seen in students and faculty. He enclosed a check for $2,000.
There has never been found a better illustration of sacrificial love than that in Charles Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities, where Sidney Carton dies for Charles Darney. The young Frenchman has been condemned to die by the guillotine. Sidney Carton is a dissipated English lawyer who has wasted great gifts and quenched high possibilities in riotous living. When he learns the plight of his friend, he determines to save him by laying down his own life-not for the love he has for the man, but for the sake of the man’s wife and child.
To that end Carton gains admission to the dungeon the night before the execution, changes garments with the condemned man, and the next day is led out and put to death as Charles Darney. Before he went to the dungeon he had entered the courtyard and remained there for a few minutes alone, looking up at the light in the window of the daughter’s room. He was led by the light of love, but it led straight to a dungeon and thence to the guillotine.
As we see him ascending the steps to the place of death, his hands bound behind his back, taking his last look at the world, these words of our Saviour come to mind: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
Let me be a little kinder.
Let me be a little blinder
To the faults of those about me;
Let me praise a little more.
Let me be when I am weary
Just a little bit more cheery,
Let me serve a little better
Those that I am striving for.
Let me be a little braver
When temptation bids me waver;
Let me strive a little harder
To be all that I should be.
Let me be a little meeker,
With the brother that is weaker,
Let me think more of my neighbor
And a little less of me.
Let me be a little sweeter,
Make my life a bit completer;
Keep me faithful to my duty
Every minute of the day.
Let me toil without complaining,
Not a humble task disdaining;
Let me face the summons calmly
When death beckons me away.
An old Christian man moved into a community where a notoriously disagreeable and contentious neighbor lived. When informed of the character of his neighbor the old man answered, “If he disturbs me, I will kill him.” His statement reached the ears of the villainous neighbor who in various ways tormented the new settler. But every offense was met with kindness until at last the contentious neighbor was overwhelmed. “I was told that he would kill me, but I did not know he would do it this way.”
Some years ago a war raged in India between the English and a native monarch, Tippoo Saib. On one occasion several English officers were taken prisoners, among them one named Baird. One day a native officer brought in fetters to be put on each of the prisoners, the wounded not excepted, Baird had been severely wounded, and was suffering from pain and weakness.
A grey-haired officer said to the native official. “You do not think of putting chains upon that wounded young man?”
“There are just as many pairs of fetters as there are captives,” was the answer, “and every pair must be worn.”
“Then,” said the officer, “put two pairs on me; I will wear his as well as my own.” Baird lived to regain his freedom, lived to take that very city, but the generous friend died in prison. (John 15:13)
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
It was spring in New England. A graceful and vigorous young man by the name of John Alden is standing stiffly before a beautiful young maiden by the name of Priscilla. Alden was the youngest man to come over on the Mayflower. Though he is deeply in love with the girl himself, he is pleading the cause of the middle-aged Captain of Plymouth, Miles Standish.
The maiden would much prefer this young handsome man, who is presenting the proposal of his superior officer. At last, with a tilt of her head and a smile of her lips, she speaks: “Why don’t you speak for yourself, John?”
Poor lad! How he is aching to ask her for himself. No, he must be loyal to his friend and superior. He cannot put himself in place of the captain.
Months went by, months filled with anguish and thwarted longing in the heart of John Alden. He sees Priscilla daily, but keeps to his high resolve. One day comes word that Miles Standish had been killed while fighting the Indians. Alden feels free of his obligation, and woes and wins Priscilla.
Lo and behold, on the day of their wedding Miles Standish appears on the scene. The report of his death had been false. He took it in good grace, congratulated the couple, and then remarked with a grim smile: “If you want a thing done, you must do it yourself.”
The Rev. Ira Gillett, missionary in Portuguese East Africa, tells the story of a group of natives who had made a long journey and walked past a government hospital to come to the mission hospital for treatment. When asked why they had walked the extra distance to reach the mission hospital when the same medicines were available at the government institution, they replied, “The medicines may be the same, but the hands are different!”
There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.
I know I’ve never told you
In the hurried rush of days
How much your friendship helps me
In a thousand little ways;
But you’ve played such a part
In all I do or try to be,
I want to tell you thank you
For being friends with me.
On vacation in Fiji, I was climbing a rather slippery hill, accompanied by a dozen Fijians from the government. I missed my footing and in no time was sliding downhill on my posterior.
Not a Fijian in the party laughed. Not a word of sympathy was uttered. But, after a moment of consternation, good manners asserted themselves, and to a man the twelve stout Fijians let themselves go and slid down the hill, too. It was the least any well-mannered man could do.
One little unshed raindrop
May think itself too small;
Yet, somewhere, a thirsty flower
Awaits its fall.
One little word, unspoken,
May seem too small to say;
But, somewhere, for that one word,
A heart may pray.
–Helen T. Allison
One day a particularly good piece of type composition came to my attention. I sent a word of commendation to the man who did it, and he nearly burst into tears! He had been working at a type case all his life; he loved his work, and for ten years he had been putting his brains into his job. Yet in all that time no one had gone to the trouble of stopping for a moment to say, “Good work!”
To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own.
A child’s prayer: “Dear God, make all the bad people good, and make all the good people nice.”
If you have a tender message,
Or a loving word to say,
Don’t wait till you forget it,
But whisper it today!
The tender words unspoken,
The letter never sent,
The long-forgotten messages,
The wealth of love unspent.
For these some hearts are breaking,
For these some loved ones wait,
Then give them what they’re needing,
Before it is too late!
Oh, it’s just the little, homely things,
The unobtrusive, friendly things,
The “Won’t-you-let-me-help-you” things
That make the pathway light.
And it’s just the jolly, joking things,
The “Laugh-with-me-it’s-funny” things,
The “Never-mind-the-trouble” things
That make our world seem bright.
For all the countless, famous things,
The wondrous, record-breaking things,
Those “Never-can-be-equalled” things
That all the papers cite,
Can’t match the little, human things,
The “Just-because-I-like-you” things,
Those “Oh-it’s-simply-nothing” things,
That make us happy, quite.
So here’s to all the little things,
The every-day-encountered things,
The “Smile-and-face-your-trouble” things
“Trust God to put it right,”
The “Done-and-then-forgotten” things,
The “Can’t-you-see-I-love-you!” things,
The hearty “I-am-with-you!” things
That make life worth the fight.
A convict from Darlington, England, just released from jail, happened to pass Mayor John Morel on the street. Three long years had been spent by the convict in prison for embezzlement and he was sensitive about the social ostracism he expected to get from the people in his home town.
“Hello” greeted the mayor in a cheery tone, “I’m glad to see you! How are you?” The man appeared ill at ease and the discussion stopped.
Years later, according to the story told by J.H. Jowett, Mr. Morel, the mayor, and the released man accidentally met in another town, and the latter said, “I want to thank you for what you did for me when I came out of prison.”
“What did I do?” asked the mayor.
“You spoke a kind word to me and changed my life,” replied the grateful man.
Love = to live for.
You never so touch the ocean of God’s love as when you forgive & love your enemies.–Corrie Ten Boom
Love can wait to give; it is lust that can’t wait to get.–Josh McDowell
Love does not say, ‘Give me,’ but ‘Let me give you.’
Be the first to praise & first to deserve praise.
Encouragement is like premium gasoline. It helps to take the knock out of living.
Wouldn’t this world be better,
If folks whom we meet would say
“I know something good about you,”
And treat you just that way?
Wouldn’t it be splendid,
If each handshake, good and true,
Carried with it this assurance:
“I know something good about you?”
Wouldn’t life be happier,
If the good that’s in us all,
Were the only thing about us
That people would recall?
Wouldn’t our days be sweeter,
If we praised the good we see?
For there is a lot of goodness,
In the worst of you and me.
Wouldn’t it be fine to practice,
This way of thinking too;
You know something good about me,
I know something good about you?
One of the greatest musicians that the world has ever known was Ludwig von Beethoven. Born into a musical family in Germany, Beethoven was compelled to spend a lonely childhood while he practised his music for hours upon hours every day. His genius soon showed itself. At the age of eleven he was composing his own music and conducting an orchestra, and in his late teens he went to Vienna for further study. There he reached fame if not fortune. There he composed what was perhaps his most bewitching composition.
Beethoven was passing a cobbler’s cottage early one evening and heard someone practicing one of his compositions. As he paused to listen, he overheard the girl express the desire to hear a real musician render it properly. He entered the house and discovered that the young lady was blind. Offering to play for her, he sat at the piano and did so for an hour or more. Dusk had settled into evening. The lone candle in the room went out. But the moonlight glistened in the room and, under its inspiration and that received from the blind girl who so loved his music, Beethoven composed the “Moonlight Sonata.”
A Montana sheepherder wrote a strange request to a Chicago radio station. He lived a lonely life with his dog, four thousand sheep, a battery radio, and an old violin. He loved to listen to the symphony orchestra and wished he could play along with it in the parts that he knew. Unfortunately, his violin was out of tune. He asked, “Sometime before you start the next program, would you have the orchestra, play ‘A’ for me?”
Just before the next Chicago Symphony broadcast, thousands of listeners heard these words: “The orchestra will now play ‘A’ for a sheepherder in Montana.”
I once met a mother walking with a little crippled boy, whose frail limbs were covered with steel braces up to his thighs. He was hobbling along in a pitiable way, but his mother was encouraging him at every step.
“That’s good! That’s fine! Why, you’re doing splendidly!” she would say, and then the poor little one would try so hard to do still better than he had done, not to show off, but just to please his mother.
Presently he said, “Mamma, watch me; I’m going to run,”
“Very well, darling, let me see you run,” said the mother in a most encouraging tone. Some mothers would have said, “You’d better not try it or you’ll break your neck!”
I watched almost as eagerly as his mother to see how he would do. He took two or three steps that did pretty well, and then he caught one foot against the brace on his other leg, and would have fallen headlong over the curb, but his mother caught him, and put him back on his feet.
Then she stroked his hair, kissed his pale cheek and said, “That was fine! That was splendid! You can do better next time!”
Just so our Heavenly Father often does with us when we stumble in our hobbling efforts to please Him. The little boy’s performance was perfect in the eyes of his mother, for she knew only too well the weakness of his frame. In a similar way can the weakest of us fully please God.
A sixteen-year-old girl told me the following:
“Only God knows what my Sunday school teacher has done for me. I was saved when I was fourteen, but my people made fun of me, and I guess I was a weak Christian, and was soon back to my old ways again. Most of the church people turned against me, but Miss M_____ held on to me, even when I was rude and mean to her. One evening she put her arms around me, and said with the tears running down her face: ‘Oh, my dear, I love you so much, and Jesus understands all you have had to fight. Someone held on to me, too, when I was your age, and saved me from a life of sin. I understand so well.'”
“It isn’t the chairs and the books and things,
Or the pictures that hang on the walls;
And it isn’t the bird, although gaily he sings,
It’s the laughter that rings in the halls;
It’s the smile on the face of the mother at night,
And the joy in the little one’s eyes,
And out love for each other with all its delight
That makes up the home that we prize.”
Tolstoy, the great Russian writer, was passing along a street one day when a beggar stopped him and pleaded for alms. The great Russian searched through his pockets for a coin, but finding none he regretfully said, “Please don’t be angry with me, my brother, but I have nothing with me. If I did I would gladly give it to you.”
The beggar’s face lit up, and he said, “You have given me more than I asked for. You have called me brother.”
Duty makes us do things well, but love makes us do them beautifully.
When over the fair fame of friend or foe
The shadow of disgrace shall fall, instead
Of words of blame, or proof of thus & so,
Let something good be said.
Forget not that no fellow-being yet
May fall so low but love may lift his head:
Even the cheek of shame with tears is wet,
If something good be said.
No generous heart may vainly turn aside
In ways of sympathy; no soul dead
But may awaken strong & glorified,
If something good is said.
And so I charge ye, by the thorny crown,
And by the cross on which the Saviour bled,
And by your own soul’s hope of fair renown,
Let something good said!
My life shall touch a dozen lives
Before this day is done–
Leave countless marks for good or ill
Ere sets this evening’s sun.
So this the wish I always wish,
The prayer I ever pray:
Let my life help the other lives
It touches by the way.
In the early days of the settlement of America, an Indian came to the inn at Litchfield, asking for food and a night’s shelter, but confessing he had no money to pay. The landlady was driving him away when a man near by directed her to supply the Indian’s needs, himself promising to pay. The Indian was very grateful, and said that one day he would repay him. Years later the kindly settler was taken prisoner by a hostile tribe of Indians who carried him far away and enslaved him. One day an Indian came who gave him a musket and ordered him to follow him. Day by day he led him onward, never disclosing the object of their journey nor where it was to end. Then one afternoon they suddenly came upon a beautiful expanse of cultivated fields, with many houses among them. “Do you know this place?” asked the Indian.
“Why, of course. Yes. it is Litchfield,” said the man.
“Yes,” said the Indian; “and I was the starving Indian on whom at this very place you took pity. And now that I have paid for my supper, I pray you go home.”
F.B. Meyer told of a revival meeting that was dragging along without signs of success until one evening an elder arose and said, “Pastor, I don’t believe there is going to be revival as long as Brother Jones and I don’t speak to each other.”
He went to Jones and said: “Brother Jones, We have not spoken for five years, let’s bury the hatchet. Here’s my hand.” A sob broke from the audience.
Soon another elder arose and said: “Pastor, I’ve been saying mean things about you behind your back and nice things to your face. I want you to forgive me.” Many arose and confessed their wrongs and God began to work. A revival swept over the community for three years.
A soldier, worn out in his country’s service, took to playing the violin, for earning his living. He was found in the streets of Vienna, playing his violin. After a while his hand became feeble and tremulous, and he could make no more music. One day, while he sat there weeping, a man came along and said, “My friend, you are too old and too feeble; give me your violin,” and began to play most exquisite music, and the coins poured in and in, until the hat was full.
“Now,” said the man who was playing the violin, “Put those coins in your pocket.” The coins were put in the old man’s pockets. Then he held his hat again, and the violinist played more sweetly than ever, and played until some of the people wept and some of then shouted. And again the hat was filled with coins.
Then the violinist dropped the instrument and passed off, and the whisper went around, “Who is it? Who is it?” and some one just entering the crowd said, “Why, that is Bucher, the great violinist, known all through the realm; yes, that is the great violinist.” The fact was, the artist had taken that man’s place, and assumed his poverty, and borne his burden, and played his music, and earned his livelihood. He made a sacrifice for the poor old man.
A chaplain on the battlefield came to a man who was wounded, lying on the ground. “Would you like me to read you something from this Book–the Bible?” he asked the soldier.
“I’m so thirsty,” replied the man; “I would rather have a drink of water.” Quickly as he could the chaplain brought the water. Then the soldier asked, “Could you put something under my head?” The chaplain took off his light overcoat, rolled it, and put it gently under the soldier’s head for a pillow “Now,” said the soldier, “If I had something over me! I am very cold.” There was only one thing the chaplain could do. He took off his own coat, and spread it over the soldier. The wounded man looked up into his face, and said gratefully, “Thank you.” Then he added feebly, “If there is anything in that Book in your hand that makes a man do for another what you have done for me, please read it to me.”
In marriage, with children, at work, in any association–an ounce of praise, of sincere appreciation of some act or attribute, can very often do more than a ton of fault-finding. If we look for it we can usually find, in even the most unlikely, unlikable, and incapable person, something to commend and encourage. Doubtless it is a human frailty, but most of us, in the glow of feeling we have pleased, want to do more to please, and knowing we have done well, want to do better.
Take time to make friends before trying to make customers.
Wesley and a preacher of his were once invited to lunch with a gentleman after service. The itinerant was a man of very plain manners, quite unconscious of the restraints belonging to good society.
While talking with their host’s daughter who was remarkable for her beauty, and had been profoundly impressed by Mr. Wesley’s preaching, this good man noticed that she wore a number of rings.
During a pause in the meal, he took hold of the young lady’s hand, and raising it, called Wesley’s attention to the sparkling gems. “What do you think of this, sir,” said he, “for a Methodist’s hand?” The girl turned crimson.
With a quiet, benevolent smile, Wesley simply said, “The hand is a beautiful hand!” The girl was deeply touched by Wesley’s kindness.
It is not so much what you say,
As the manner in which you say it;
It is not so much the language you use
As the tones you use to convey it.
For words come from the mind,
And grow by study and art;
But tones leap forth from the inner self
And reveal the state of the heart.
Richard Coeur de Leon, captured by his treacherous enemy in Europe as he returned from a Crusade in the Holy Land, was thrown into prison. A colossal ransom was demanded for his redemption. The people of England submitted to heavy taxation and paid willingly, and many rich nobles contributed large sums, that their king might be set free. Hence the term–‘a king’s ransom’–is used to connote a tremendous amount of money.
Another Crusader, Sir Grimbald, was captured by the Saracens and held to ransom. To emancipate him and redeem him from death, his beautiful wife willingly gave the ransom price his captors demanded–her lily-white right hand.
(Job 33.24; 1Tim.2.5,6; 1Pet.1.18)
What do we live for if not to make the World less difficult for each other?
I was just a kid. One spring day Father called me to go with him to Old Man Trussel’s blacksmith shop. He had left a rake and a hoe to be repaired. There they were, fixed like new. Father handed over a silver dollar for the repairing, but Mr. Trussel refused to take it. “No,” he said, “there’s no charge for that little job.”
But Father insisted that he take the pay, still extending to him the dollar. If I live a thousand years, I’ll never forget that great man’s reply, “Ed, can’t you let a man do something now and then–just to stretch his soul?
“That short but big sermon from the lips of that humble, lovable blacksmith has caused us to find, again and again, the great joy and quiet happiness which comes from a little “stretching of the soul.”
A woman bought eggs and butter from a farmer who had a fine reputation not only for the quality of his products, but also for his promptness of delivery. Then one day, when she was expecting guests, he failed to come. On the next delivery she spoke harshly to him. At the end of her tirade he said quietly, “I’m sorry if I caused you any inconvenience, but I had the misfortune of burying my mother yesterday.” Ashamed, the woman determined never to speak harshly to anyone again until she fully understood the cause of delay.
A little orphan newsboy was selling his papers on the streets. A man stopped to buy a paper from him. While the man was searching his pocket for a coin he questioned the newsboy as to where he lived. The answer was that he lived in a little cabin way down in the dark district of the city, on the river bank. The next question was, “Who lives with you?”
The answer was, “Only Jim. Jim is crippled and can’t do no work. He’s my pal.”
The man ventured the remark, “You’d be better off without Jim, wouldn’t you?”
The answer came with some scorn. “No, Sir, I couldn’t spare Jim. I wouldn’t have nobody to go home to. An’ say Mister, I wouldn’t want to live and work with nobody to divide with, would you?” That was a short sermon, but it went home.
A beautiful story is told of the artist Turner. Turner’s colors were bright and intense enough to almost extinguish the quieter tone. Once when his great picture of Cologne, exhibited in 1826, happened to be hung between two portraits by Sir Thomas Lawrence, himself noticed the injurious effect Turner’s bright skies had on his portraits, and felt troubled and mortified. Complaining of the position of his pictures was useless, as once settled, that could not be changed. But one thing could be done, and Turner did it. At that time artists were allowed to retouch their pictures on the walls of the Academy, and Turner “retouched” his to such purpose that Lawrence had no more fear from too close neighborhood. When, on the morning of the exhibition, a friend of Turner’s who had before this seen the painting led a party of friends up proudly to see the splendid picture, he started back in amazement. The glorious skies were dull brown–the picture was ruined. Spying Turner, he ran up to him and asked him what had happened to his picture. “Hush!” whispered Turner, “it is nothing. It will all wash off–it’s nothing but lampblack. I couldn’t bear to see poor Lawrence so unhappy.”
During a mission in WWI, Marshal Foch encountered a noisy American who ridiculed the politeness of the French. “There’s nothing in it but wind,” he sneered.
“There’s nothing but wind in a tire,” countered the Marshal, “but it makes riding in a car very smooth and pleasant.”
What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. They are but trifles, to be sure, but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.
Dr. Frosyth told the story of a friend of his who had taken over a sheep farm in Australia at the time of shearing, and how the guide took one little lamb from a pen and placed it in a huge enclosure with some thousands of sheep, where the noise of the bleating sheep and the shouting of the shearers was deafening. The lamb remained still for a moment, then it cried, and its cry was answered by the mother at the other end of the enclosure along which the lamb walked to its mother who came to meet it. “Do not imagine that you are beyond the reach of God,” said the doctor. “He sees you as if there were no other child in the whole world.”
It’s the little things we do and say
That mean so much as we go our way,
A kindly deed can lift a load
From weary shoulders on the road,
Or a gentle word, like summer rain,
May soothe some heart and banish pain.
What joy or sadness often springs
From just the simple little things!
An English naval officer,” writes C.G. Trumbull, “has told a grateful story of the way he was helped and saved from dishonor in his first experience in battle. He was a midshipman, fourteen years old. The volleys of the enemy’s musketry so terrified him that he almost fainted. The officer over him saw his state, and came close beside him, keeping his own face toward the enemy, and held the midshipman’s hand, saying in a calm, quiet, affectionate way, “Courage, my boy. You will recover in a minute or two. I was just like that when I went into my first battle.” The young man said afterward that it was as if an angel had come to him and put new strength into him. The whole burden of his agony was gone, and from that moment he was as brave as the oldest of the men. If the officer had dealt sternly with him, he might have driven him to cowardly failure. His kindly sympathy with him dispelled all fear, put courage into his heart and made him brave for battle.
One day a harsh word, harshly said,
Upon an evil journey sped,
And like a sharp and cruel dart
It pierced a fond and loving heart.
It turned a friend into a foe
And everywhere brought pain and woe.
A kind word followed it one day,
Sped swiftly on its blessed way.
It healed the wound and soothed the pain,
And friends of old were friends again.
It made the hate and anger cease,
And everywhere brought joy and peace.
And yet the harsh word left a trace
The kind word could not efface,
And though the heart its love regained
It left a scar that long remained.
Friends can forgive but not forget,
Nor lose the sense of keen regret.
Oh, if we would but learn to know
How swift and sure our words can go.
How we would weigh with utmost care
Each thought before it reached the air–
And only speak the words that move
Like white-winged messengers of love.
“I feel,” said Max Dreyfus to George Gershwin, “that you have some good stuff in you. It’ll come out. It may take months, it may take a year, it may take five years, but I’m convinced that the stuff is there. I’ll tell you what I’m willing to do: I’ll gamble on you. I’ll give you thirty-five dollars a week, without any set duties. Just step in every morning, so to speak, and say, ‘Hello.’ The rest will follow.”
Kindness is twice blessed; it blesses him who gives and him who takes.
A red-haired, talented Polish lad wanted to be a pianist. However, teachers at the conservatory gave no encouragement. He was told that his fingers were too short and thick for the piano. Later he bought a cornet. The same answer was given to him with the statement that he should try another instrument. Passed around like a hot potato, he went back to the piano.
Embittered, discouraged … he chanced to meet the famous composer and pianist, Anton Rubinstein. The young Pole played for him. Rubinstein praised and encouraged him. The lad promised to practice seven hours a day. Words of praise changed the entire world for Jan Paderewski.
It isn’t enough to say in our hearts
That we like a man for his ways,
It isn’t enough that we fill our minds
With paeans of silent praise;
Nor is it enough that we honor a man,
As our confidence upward mounts,
It’s going right up to the man himself,
And telling him so, that counts!
If a man does a work you really admire,
Don’t leave a kind word unsaid
In fear that to do so might make him vain
And cause him to “lose his head.”
But reach out your hand and tell him,
“Well done,” and see how his gratitude swells;
It isn’t the flowers we strew on the grave,
It’s the word to the living that tells.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, having lost his government position, went home, dejected and almost desperate. His wife, after a time, learning the reason for his gloom, instead of giving way to reproaches, set pen and ink on the table, and, lighting a fire in the grate, put her arms about his shoulders and said, “Now you will be able to write your book.” He took heart of grace and the world was enriched with “The Scarlet Letter.”
The art of praising is the beginning of the fine art of pleasing.
A little push when the road is steep
May take one up the hill;
A little prayer when the clouds hang low
May bring the soul a thrill;
A little lift when the load bears down
May help one to succeed;
A little pull when the will slows down
May help one gain his speed.
A little clasp from a hand that’s kind
May lift from crushing care;
A little word from a voice that’s sweet
May save one from despair;
A little smile when the heart is sad
May bring a sunbeam in;
A loving word when the spirit droops
May help one rise and win.
A little love for a soul that’s lost
May help him seek God’s grace;
A little tear and a “God bless you”
May brighten someone’s face;
A little deed from a Christian’s heart
May bless a weary soul;
A little boost when the battle’s hard
May take one to his goal.
–Walter E. Isenhour
When Czar Nicholas ruled the Russians, he wanted to test the hospitality of his subjects. Dressed as a beggar, he knocked at several doors, asking for food and shelter. He was rudely rebuffed by many. Finally, at nightfall, he knocked at the humble cottage of a peasant. The peasant was poor and his wife was ill. He said to the stranger, “We have little, but what we have, we’ll share with you!” Taking the “beggar” in, the peasant gave him warm, wholesome food. For sleeping accommodations, the best he could provide for the stranger was a pallet on the floor. All settled down for the night’s rest. Rising early in the morning, the peasant discovered that the stranger had disappeared. Some days thereafter, as the peasant and his convalescing wife sat near the door of their cottage, they saw a group of soldiers marching on the road, coming toward their cottage. Behind the soldiers was a beautiful carriage, drawn by four magnificent horses.
“Oh, wife,” exclaimed the peasant, “What have I done? The soldiers are coming to arrest me!” But presently his fears turned into rejoicing! Coming to a halt before the cottage, Czar Nicholas alighted from the royal coach and greeted the peasant and his wife graciously. Then he showered rich rewards upon them as he told them that it was he who, a few nights previously, had been welcomed into their cottage as a beggar.
It is ours, in this age, to serve the “despised and rejected” One, the Lord Jesus, and “go forth … unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach” (Heb.13:13). When He returns as “King of kings and Lord of lords,” He will richly reward us for all we have done for Him, for He has promised: “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father … and then he shall reward every man according to his works” (Mat.16:27).
You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.
The witty Oliver Herford has defined a kiss as, “A course of procedure, cunningly devised, for the mutual stoppage of speech at a moment when words are superfluous.”
Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation.
Money can build a house, but it takes love to make it a home.
I think that God will never send,
A gift so precious as a friend,
A friend who always understands.
And fills each need as it demands,
Whose loyalty will stand the test,
When skies are bright or overcast,
Who sees the faults that merit blame,
But keeps on loving just the same,
Who does far more than creeds could do,
To make us good, to make us true,
Earth’s gifts a sweet contentment lend,
But only God can give a friend!
Dear Lord, my friends have been to me
Interpreters of love divine,
And in their kindness I have seen
Thine everlasting mercy shine!
And so I pray on this Thy day,
That Thou wilt search through gifts of Thine,
And choose Thy rarest, fairest ones,
To shower upon these friends of mine!
–Martha Shell Nicholson
“Central” (telephone exchange) was tired, her head ached; she had just succeeded, after repeated efforts, in getting the number eagerly wanted by a woman–and here the woman was calling again! “Can’t that woman be quiet a minute?” She soliloquized while she reiterated, “Number, please?” trying not to speak crossly.
“Central,” said a pleasant voice, “I want to thank you for taking so much trouble to get me that last number. You are always very kind and obliging, and I do appreciate it.”
The surprise was so great, so overwhelming, that Central could only murmur confusedly, “I–oh, yes, ma’am.” Nothing like this had happened before. Suddenly her headache was better; suddenly the day was brighter; suddenly, too, there came a lump in her throat, and she reached for her handkerchief. It felt so good to be thanked.
If one were given five minutes’ warning before sudden death, five minutes to say what it had all meant to us, every telephone booth would be occupied by people trying to call up other people to stammer that they loved them.
Someone remarked to Mrs. Siddons that applause was necessary to actors, as it gave them confidence. “More,” replied the actress, “it gives us breath.”
It is not enough to help the feeble up, but to support him after.
Friendship is like a garden,
Of flowers fine and rare,
It cannot reach perfection,
Except through loving care,
Then, new and lovely blossoms
With each new day appear,
For friendship, like a garden
Grows in beauty year by year.
–Anna Holden King
We all too seldom put in words
Our thoughts from day to day
About how much we value friends
Who brighten up life’s way.
So this is just to let you know
What’s now and always true:
All the best that friendship means
Is centered right in you.
As an aged Christian lay dying in Edinburgh, a friend called to say farewell. “I have just had three other visitors,” said the dying man, “and with two of them I parted; but the third I shall keep with me forever.”
“Who are they?”
“The first was Faith, and I said, ‘Goodbye, Faith! I thank God for your company ever since I first trusted Christ; but now I am going where faith is lost in sight.’
Then came Hope. ‘Farewell, Hope!’ I cried. ‘You have helped me in many an hour of battle and distress, but now I shall not need you, for I am going where hope passes into fruition.’
Last of all came Love. ‘Love,’ said I, ‘you have indeed been my friend; you have linked me with God and with my fellow men; you have comforted and gladdened all my pilgrimage. But I cannot leave you behind; you must come with me through the gates, into the city of God, for love is perfected in heaven.”
The crossing was muddy, the street was wide
And Water was running on either side;
The wind whistled past with a bitter moan
As I wended my weary way alone.
In crossing the street I chanced to pass
A boy in the arms of a wee, young lass–
“Isn’t he heavy, my sweet little mother?”
“Oh, no,” she replied, “he’s my baby brother.”
Thy load may be heavy, thy road may be long,
The winds of adversity bitter and strong
But the way will seem brighter if ye love one another,
The burden will be light if ye carry a brother.
A wise physician said to me, “I have been practicing medicine for 30 years, and I have prescribed many things. But in the long run I have learned that for most of what ails the human creature the best medicine is love.”
“What if it doesn’t work?” I asked.
“Double the dose,” he replied.
Charity gives itself rich; covetousness hoards itself poor.
He who has conferred a kindness should be silent, he who has received one should speak of it.
When Sir Walter Scott was a boy he was considered a great dullard. His accustomed place in the schoolroom was the ignominious dunce corner, with the high-pointed paper cap of shame on his head. When about twelve or fourteen years old he happened to be in a house where some famous literary guests were being entertained. Robert Burns, the Scottish poet, was standing admiring a picture under which was written the couplet of a stanza. He inquired concerning the author. None seemed to know. Timidly a boy crept up to his side, named the author, and quoted the rest of the poem. Burns was surprised and delighted. Laying his hand on the boy’s head, he exclaimed, ‘Ah, Bairnie, ye will be a great man in Scotland some day.’ From that day Walter Scott was a changed lad. One word of encouragement set him on the road to greatness.
(Deut.1.38;3 .28; Is.41.7).
The Duke of Wellington was about to pronounce the death sentence on a confirmed deserter. Deeply moved, the great General said, ‘I am extremely sorry to pass this severe sentence, but we have tried everything, and all the discipline and penalties have failed to improve this man who is otherwise a brave and good soldier.’
Then he gave the man’s comrades an opportunity to speak for him. ‘Please, your Excellency,’ said one of the men, ‘there is one thing you have never tried. You have not tried forgiving him.’ The General forgave him and it worked: the soldier never again deserted and ever after showed his gratitude to the Iron Duke.
(Ps.103.2; Luke 7.47,48; Eph.1.7).
“If any little word of ours
Can make one life the brighter;
If any little song of ours
Can make one heart the lighter;
God help us speak that little word,
And take our bit of singing
And drop it some lonely vale
To set the echoes ringing.”
It’s a funny thing but true,
The folks you don’t like, don’t like you.
I don’t know why this should be so
But just the same I always know,
That when I’m sour, friends are few,
When I’m friendly, folks are, too.
I sometimes get up in the morn,
Awishin’ I was never born,
And then I make cross remarks, a few,
And then my family wishes, too,
That I had gone some other place,
But then I change my little tune,
And sing and smile,
And then the folks around me sing and smile.
I guess ’twas catching all the while.
It’s a funny thing but true,
The folks you like, they sure like you!
Not long ago I saw a little bird lying still and cold on the ground. I thought to myself, I barely missed seeing God, for He has just been here to a funeral. (Mat.10:29)
Be a spendthrift in love! Love is the one treasure that multiplies by division: It is the one gift that grows bigger the more you take from it. It is the one business in which it pays to be an absolute spendthrift; give it away , throw it away, splash it over, empty your pockets, shake the basket, turn the glass upside down, and tomorrow you will have more than ever.
‘Love does not behave itself unseemly but is always courteous, polite, and becoming in demeanour,’ says J. Oswald Sanders in Light on Life’s Problems. Then he recounts an incident told of Louis XIV of France.
On one occasion he was narrating a story before his courtiers at Versailles, when suddenly he ended it very lamely. A few minutes after, a prince left the room. The king then said, ‘You must have noticed how lamely my story ended. I forgot that it reflected on an ancestor of the prince who has just left the room; and I thought it better to spoil a good story than to distress a good man.’ That was courtesy.
When I found you–all nature seemed to call;
The silence of the years that crept along
Now burst into a maddening lyric song,
The very skies took on a different hue–
When I found you.
A little rill that lay within my heart,
All frozen over with the pain of years,
Broke from its dams, and like refreshing tears
Swept through my being–bringing hope anew,
When I found you.
The pagan “I” now stole away in shame,
The angels seemed to peep from every space
And all the sunbeams mirrored your dear face;
At last I knew that God sent rain and dew,
When I found you.
And so you brought into my darkened soul
A wondrous light–a knowledge of great things;
Then all the evil spirits took to wings
And I at last to righteous things was true-
When I found you.
This sounds something like the words the Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians: “I thank God upon every remembrance of you” (Philippians 1:3)
Let us be excusers rather than accusers.
I see no fault that I might not have committed myself.
Wink at small faults–remember thou hast great ones.
Forgiveness is more than the remission of penalty; it should mean the restoration of a broken fellowship.
An open foe may prove a curse; but a pretended friend is worse.
Do good to thy friend to keep him, to thy enemy to gain him.
A mother sought from Napoleon the pardon of her son. The Emperor said it was the man’s second offence, and justice demanded his death.
‘I don’t ask for justice,’ said the mother, ‘I plead for mercy.’
‘But,’ said the Emperor, ‘he does not deserve mercy.’
‘Sir,’ cried the mother, ‘it would not be mercy if he deserved it, and mercy is all I ask.’
‘Well, then,’ said the Emperor, ‘I will have mercy,’ And her son was saved.
This little incident gives us a good idea of the meaning of mercy. We think of clemency as another word for mercy, but mercy is the ‘gracious attitude of one who sits in the seat of authority toward one who has given offence by breaking of the law, or by some violation of those canons of conduct which constitute offence’. This is at least part of its meaning.
Grace is the unmerited favour of God toward the undeserving: mercy is His pitying kindness toward the hell-deserving. Grace bestows what we do not deserve: mercy does not mete out to us what we deserve.
(Exod.34.6,7; Mic.6.8; Heb.4.16)
If you have a friend worth loving,
Love him. Yes, and let him know
That you love him, ere life’s evening
Tinge his brow with sunset glow.
Why should good words ne’er be said
Of a friend–till he is dead?
If you hear a song that thrills you,
Sung by any child of song,
Praise it. Do not let the singer
Wait deserved praises long.
Why should one who thrills your heart
Lack the joy you may impart?
If you hear a prayer that moves you
By its humble, pleading tone,
Join it. Do not let the seeker
Bow before his God alone.
Why should not your brother share
The strength of “two or three” in prayer?
If you see the hot tears falling
From a brother’s weeping eyes
Share them. And by kindly sharing
Own your kinship in the skies.
Why should anyone be glad
When another’s heart is sad?
Slow to suspect–quick to trust,
Slow to condemn–quick to justify,
Slow to offend–quick to defend,
Slow to expose–quick to shield,
Slow to reprimand–quick to forbear,
Slow to belittle–quick to appreciate,
Slow to demand–quick to give,
Slow to provoke–quick to help,
Slow to resent–quick to forgive.
Sexual behaviour specialist Dr. Earle Marsh, medical director of the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality says: “If Americans got more sensually involved with those they care for, they would have less illness, would sleep better & there would be fewer of them in hospitals or an early grave. I’m not just talking about the physical act of sex. Hugging, kissing, touching, anything like that will do.”
There is no remedy for love but to love more.
The thing that goes the farthest toward
Making life worthwhile,
That costs the least and does the most,
Is just a pleasant smile.
The smile that bubbles from a heart
That loves its fellow men,
Will drive away the clouds of gloom,
And coax the sun again;
It’s full of worth and goodness, too,
With manly kindness blent,
It’s worth a million dollars, and
It doesn’t cost a cent.
There is no room for sadness
When we see a cheery smile
It always has the same good look–
It’s never out of style;
It nerves us on to try again
When failure makes us blue,
The dimples of encouragement
Are good for me and you;
It pays a higher interest
For it is merely lent,
It’s worth a million dollars and
It doesn’t cost a cent.
Each time we meet, from you I hear
Some word of praise, a bit of cheer.
You see some hidden, struggling trait,
Encourage it and make it great.
Tight-fisted little buds of good
Bloom large because you said they would.
A glad, mad music in me sings;
My soul sprouts tiny flaming wings.
My day takes on a brand-new zest.
Your gift of praising brings my best,
Revives my spirit, flings it high;
For God loves praise, and so do I.
I’m only a little sparrow,
A bird of low degree;
My life is of little value,
But the dear Lord cares for me
I know there are many sparrows–
All over the World they are found;
But our Heavenly Father knoweth
When one of us falls to the ground.
Tho’ small, we are never forgotten;
Tho’ weak we are never afraid;
For we know that the dear Lord keepeth
The life of the creatures He made.
I just fold my wings at nightfall,
Wherever I happen to be;
For the Father is always watching,
And no harm can happen to me.
I am only a little sparrow,
A bird of low degree;
But I know that the Father loves me,
Dost thou know of His love for thee?
Never return a kindness. Pass it on
God does not love us because we are valuable–we are valuable because God loves us!
If God takes your lump of clay & remolds it, it will be on the basis of love & not on the basis of power over you.
A bell is no bell till you ring it.
A song is no song till you sing it.
And love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay–
‘Cause love isn’t love till you give it away!
If I knew you and you knew me–
If both of us could clearly see,
And with an inner sight divine
The meaning of your heart and mine,
I’m sure that we would differ less
And clasp our hands in friendliness;
Our thoughts would pleasantly agree
If I knew you and you knew me.
If I knew you and you knew me,
As each one knows his own self, we
Could look each other in the face
And see therein a truer grace.
Life has so many hidden woes,
So many thorns for every rose;
The “why” of things our hearts would see,
If I knew you, and you knew me.
These hands are shaped like God’s, and so
Let them be careful what they do.
Let them be quick to lift the weak,
Let them be kind as they are strong.
Let them defend the silent meek
Against the many-languaged wrong.
These hands are shaped like God’s. Be sure
They bear the mark of no man’s pain
Who asked their help to make secure
His little roof…and asked in vain.
These hands are shaped like God’s. Take care
They catch the sparrow hurled from air.
Lest God look down from heaven and see
What things are wrought beneath the sun
By us, His images, and be
Ashamed of what His hands have done.
–Sara Henderson Hay
‘Tis the human touch in this world that counts,
The touch of your hand and mine,
Which means far more to the fainting heart
Than shelter and bread and wine;
For shelter is gone when the night is o’er,
And bread lasts only a day,
But the touch of the hand and the sound of the voice
Sing on in the soul alway.
–Spencer Michael Free
The truth of God’s grace humbles a man without degrading him & exalts a man without inflating him!
A debt of money may be repaid; a debt of Kindness is a debt through life.
When you are good to others, you are best to yourself.
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
In Christ there is no East or West,
In Him no South or North,
But one great Fellowship of Love
Throughout the whole wide earth.
In Him shall true hearts everywhere
Their high communion find.
His service is the golden cord
Close-binding all mankind.
Join hands then, Brothers of the Faith,
Whate’er your race may be!–
Who serves my Father as a son
Is surely kin to me.
In Christ now meet both East and West,
In Him meet South and North,
All Christly souls are one in Him,
Throughout the whole wide earth.
How good it is that God above has never gone on strike
Because He was not treated fair in things He didn’t like.
If only once He’d given up & said, “That’s it, I’m through!
“I’ve had enough of those on earth, so this is what I’ll do:
“I’ll give my orders to the sun: Cut off the heat supply!
“And to the moon: Give no more light & run the oceans dry.
“Then just to make things really tough & put the pressure on,
“Turn off the vital oxygen till every breath is gone!”
You know He would be justified, if fairness was the game,
For no one has been more abused or met with more disdain
Than God, & yet He carries on, supplying you & me
With all the favors of His grace, & everything for free.
Men say they want a better deal, & so on strike they go,
But what a deal we’ve given God to whom all things we owe!
We don’t care whom we hurt to gain the things we like;
But what a mess we’d all be in, if God should go on strike!
Lord let me do the little things
Which may fall to my lot:
Those little inconspicuous ones
By others oft forgot.
A staff for age to lean upon,
Strong hands to help the weak;
A loving heart with open door
To all who solace seek.
To hold my tongue when hot words rise
Speak kindly ones instead;
Nor harshly judge my fellowmen
In what they’ve done or said.
To share another’s heavy load
By words or courage given;
To help a fallen brother rise
And bring him nearer Heaven.
If, like the Master, I can give
Myself for those I love,
Rich joy and peace shall come to me,
Sweet rest in Heaven above,
I know not when the day shall close
But when life’s curfew rings,
I want my Lord to find me then
Still doing little things.
If it were but a wall between us,
The heart might hurdle it,
Or if it were a gateway,
Swing it wide;
A door, our barrier, dim-lit,
I could step inside
And say: “Forgive me, love …”
Your answer might be yes,
With pity stirred.
But O, how strange that evermore
Though all out days
Our hearts must go their separate ways
Divided by no mountain’s height,
No continent of dark or light,
But by the soundless ocean
Of a word.
–Daniel Whitehead Hicky
The kindest and the happiest pair
Will find occasion to forbear;
And something, every day they live,
To pity, and perhaps forgive.
I lived with Pride; the house was hung
With tapestries of rich design,
Of many houses, this among
Them all was richest, and ’twas mine.
But in the chambers burned no fire,
Tho’ all the furniture was gold:
I sickened of fulfilled desire,
The House of Pride was very cold.
I lived with Knowledge; very high
Her house rose on a mountain’s side.
I watched the stars roll through the sky,
I read the scroll of Time flung wide.
But in that house, austere and bare,
No children played, no laughter clear
Was heard, no voice of mirth was there,
The House was high but very drear.
I lived with Love; all she possessed
Was but a tent beside a stream.
She warmed my cold hands in her breast,
She wove around my sleep a dream.
And One there was with face divine
Who softly came, when day was spent,
And turned our water into wine,
And made our life a sacrament.
–William J. Dawson
My love comes to me
In my hour of need,
And lifts me up with some loving deed.
Perhaps it’s small, but yet it’s there,
A passing thing we briefly share.
A loving look, or a smile that’s kind,
Or the right thing said that’s just in time
To lift me up and help me through
My trying times, and start anew,
And through this help she gives I see
The surest proof that God loves me,
And sends me help to carry on
Through darkest hours afore the dawn.
And surely as the dawn does come,
And darkness flees from rising sun,
Though great the weight of every trial,
Greater is He that’s in her smile!
–By Anthony (Laban)
When I met you, the night turned into day,
The sun shone out and shadows fled away,
The birds which sang so sweet more sweetly sang,
And everywhere I walked fresh flowers sprang.
And the world seemed lovely, kinder, too,
And life became more rich when I met you.
Kindness makes a fellow feel good whether it’s being done to him or by him.
Let all your words be kind, & you will always hear kind echoes.
No man is too big to be kind, but many men are too little.
Kindness is the oil that takes the friction out of life.
There’s nothing so kingly as kindness, & nothing so royal as truth.
Kindness is like snow; it makes everything it covers beautiful.
Happy is the person who has a good supply of the milk of human kindness & knows how to keep it from souring.
A heart enlarged by sympathy has never yet killed anyone.
people take heart when you give them yours.
A man cannot touch his neighbour’s heart with anything less than his own.
Sympathy is two hearts tugging at the same load.
If you’re not reaching out, you’re passing out.
It’s nice to know that when you help someone up a hill you are a little nearer the top yourself.
God cares for people through people.
Giving is the thermometer of our love.
No matter how useless a man is, his friendship is worth more than his hatred.
Friendship is a living thing that lasts only as long as it is nourished with kindness, sympathy, & understanding.
Wise is the man who fortifies his life with friendships.
You can only extend the hand of friendship; you cannot force the other fellow to grasp it.
We are on the wrong track when we think of friendship as something to get–rather than something to give.
Genuine friendship is like sound health; its value is seldom known until it is lost.
Forgive your enemies–it’s the best way to get back at them!
Forgiveness is a funny thing. It warms the heart & cools the sting.
We should forgive & then forget what we have forgiven.
Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them quite so much.
A good friend is like a tube of toothpaste–comes through in a tight squeeze.
A friend is one who is there to care.
You can win more friends with your ears than with your mouth.
If you are unkind, you are the wrong kind!
When first I saw you in the curious street
Like some platoon of soldier ghosts in grey,
My mad impulse was all to smite and slay,
To spit upon you–tread you ‘neath my feet.
But when I saw how each sad soul did greet
My gaze with no sign of defiant frown,
How from tired eyes looked spirits broken down,
How each face showed the pale flag of defeat,
And doubt, despair, and disillusionment,
And how were grievous wounds on many a head,
And on your garb red-faced was other red;
And how you stooped as men whose strength was spent,
I knew that we had suffered each as other,
And could have grasped your hand and cried, “My brother!”
–Joseph Johnston Lee
Lord, help me live from day to day
In such a self-forgetful way
That even when I kneel to pray
My prayers will be for OTHERS.
Help me in all the work I do
To ever be sincere and true
And know that all do for You
Must needs be done for OTHERS.
Let Self be crucified and slain
And buried deep, and all in vain
May efforts be to rise again
Unless to live for OTHERS.
And when my work on earth is done
And my new work in heaven begun
May I forget the crown I’ve won
While thinking still of OTHERS.
Others, Lord, yes, others
Let this my motto be;
Help me to live for Others
That I may live like Thee.
They are not gone who pass
Beyond the clasp of hand,
Out from the strong embrace.
They are but come so close
We need not grope with hands,
Nor look to see, nor try
To catch the sound of feet.
They have put off their shoes
Softly to walk by day
Within our thoughts, to tread
At night our dream-led paths
They are not lost who find
The sunset gate, the goal
Of all their faithful years.
Not lost are they who reach
The summit of their climb,
The peak above the clouds
And storms. They are not lost
Who find the light of sun
And stars and God.
They are not dead who live
In hearts they leave behind.
In those whom they have blessed
They live a life again,
And shall live through the years
Eternal life, and grow
Each day more beautiful
As time declares their good,
Forgets the rest, and proves
–Hugh Robert Orr
Keep a watch on your words, my darlings,
For words are wonderful things;
They are sweet, like the bees’ fresh honey,
Like the bees, they have terrible stings.
They can bless like the warm, glad sunshine,
And brighten a lonely life;
They can cut in the strife of anger,
Like an open, two-edged knife.
May peace guard your lives, & ever
From the time of your early youth,
May the words that you daily utter
Be the words of beautiful truth.
Lafcadio Hearn tells the story of a hero of the Chinese rice-fields during an earthquake. From his hill-top farm he saw the ocean swiftly withdrawn, like some prodigious animal crouching for the leap, and knew the leap would be the tidal wave. He saw also that his neighbors working in low fields must be gathered to his hill or swept away. Without a second thought he set fire to his rice-ricks and furiously rang the temple-bell.
His neighbors thought his farm on fire and rushed to help him. Then, from that safe hill they saw the swirl of waters over fields just forsaken-and knew their salvation and its cost. Afterwards the people of these rice-fields used to go to the temple to worship their neighbor’s spirit while he was still alive.
Don’t stoop my friend, to answer back,
Why not just Let It Pass?
You’ll find this giving word for word
Will never pay, alas.
Though ’tis true of human nature
This giving tit for tat,
Yet truly happy folks have found
A better way than that.
And though it seems impossible
It’s better in the end
To let them have their way, and then
Just LET IT PASS, my friend.
I know sometimes it’s very hard
And seems it can’t be done,
But if you’ll learn this better way
A victory will be won;
For you will save what’s so worthwhile–
Both time and feeling, too,
When you ignore what has been said,
Don’t try to argue through.
For then you’ll know without a doubt
‘Twas better in the end,
To let them have their way, and then
Just LET IT PASS, my friend.
Now some folks always answer back
They never hold their peace;
In trying to defend themselves
It seems they never cease;
Giving vent to every feeling
Whatever’s on the mind
Regardless of the consequence,
Then, after all, to find
It didn’t pay and would have been
much better in the end
To have borne it all in silence
And LET IT PASS, my friend.
For truly great folks never stoop
To answer petty things;
The unkind word, the bitter cut
That rankles deep and stings.
They are too big to notice them,
They simply pass them by,
And even with a smile sometimes
Or twinkle in the eye.
For they have found that after all
‘Twas better in the end
To meet it with a smile, and then
Just LET IT PASS, my friend.
One night a Negro was walking along Forty-second Street in New York, from the terminal to the hotel, carrying a heavy suitcase and a heavier valise. Suddenly a hand took hold of the valise and a pleasant voice said: “Pretty heavy, brother! Suppose you let me take one. I am going your way.”
The negro resisted, but finally allowed the young white man to assist him in carrying his burden, and for several blocks they walked along, chatting like old cronies.
“And that,” said Booker T. Washington years afterward, “was the first time I ever saw Theodore Roosevelt.”
God bless our little kitchen
And watch its every nook.
And bless me as I do my work,
Wash pots and pans and cook.
May the meals that I prepare
Be seasoned from above
With Thy blessing and Thy grace,
But most of all Thy love.
As we partake of earthly food,
Thy table for us spread,
We’ll not forget to thank Thee Lord,
Who gives us daily bread.
So bless out little kitchen, Lord,
And those who enter in,
May they find naught but joy and peace
And happiness therein.
God can give, & God alone
From the seed in hatred sown
Harvest time of fair increase,
Freedom, brotherhood, & peace.
For the joy that springs from tears,
For the hope of coming years,
Lift your hearts with one accord,
Lift your hearts, & praise the Lord!
O’er the Earth from pole to pole,
Far as ocean’s billows roll,
One with us in heart & voice
All our kin today rejoice.
For the Love that links in one
All our kin beneath the sun,
Lift your hearts with one accord
Lift your hearts, & praise the Lord.
Be a friend. You don’t need money:
Just a disposition sunny;
Just the wish to help another
Get along some way or other;
Just a kindly hand extended
Out to one who’s unbefriended;
Just the will to give or lend,
This will make you someone’s friend.
Be a friend. You don’t need glory.
Friendship is a simple story.
Pass by trifling errors blindly,
Gaze on honest effort kindly,
Cheer the youth who’s bravely trying,
Pity him who’s sadly sighing;
Just a little labour spend
On the duties of a friend.
Be a friend. The pay is bigger
(Though not written by a figure)
Than is earned by people clever
In what’s merely self-endeavour.
You’ll have friends instead of neighbours
For the profits of your labours;
You’ll be richer in the end
Than a prince, if you’re a friend.
–Edgar A. Guest
If I had known in the morning
How wearily all the day
The words unkind would trouble my mind
That I said when you went away,
I had been more careful, darling,
Nor given you needless pain;
But we vex our own with look & tone
We may never take back again.
For though in the quiet evening
You may give me the kiss of peace,
Yet it well might be that never for me
The pain of the heart should cease!
How many go forth at morning
Who never come home at night!
And hearts have broken for harsh words spoken
That sorrow can ne’er set right.
We have careful thought for the stranger,
And smiles for the sometime guest;
But oft for “our own” the bitter tone,
Though we love our own the best.
Ah! Lips with the curve impatient,
h! Brow with the shade of scorn,
‘Twere a cruel fate, were the night too late
To undo the work of the morn!
–Margaret E. Sangster
They questioned my theology,
And talked of modern thought:
Bade me recite a dozen creeds-
I could not as I ought.
“I’ve but one creed,” I answer made,
“And do not want another:
I know I’ve passed from death to life
Because I love my brother.”
–Mark Guy Pearse
A real friend never gets in your way–unless you happen to be on the way down.
A true friend is one who sticks by you even when he gets to know you real well.
A man never gets so rich that he can afford to lose a friend.
A real friend will tell you when you have spinach stuck in your teeth.
If you were another person, would you like to be a friend of yours?
You will never have a friend if you must have one without a fault.
It’s better to keep a friend from falling than to help him up after he falls.
A trusted friend thinks you’re a good egg–even though you might be slightly cracked.
Your neighbour friend will continue to talk to you over the back fence even though he knows he’s missing his favourite TV program.
A loyal friend is someone who sticks up for you even when you’re not there.
The friend who is really worth having is the one who will listen to your deepest hurts, & feel that they are his too.
Treat your friends like a bank account–refrain from drawing too heavily on either.
It is folly to believe that the bosom of a friend can hold a secret your own could not contain.
People who can hold their tongues rarely have any trouble holding their friends.
Empathy is your pain in my heart.
The New Testament churches did not have specific programmes of social reform in their community action, but they did have Christ & the Gospel so that social reform in the community inevitably came, & with wonderful & positive power.
Kind words are the music of the World.
Love feels no loads.
Of love there be two principal offices; one to give, another to forgive.
God looks over us but never overlooks us.
The true measure of God’s Love is that He loves without measure.
God does not love us because we are valuable, but we are valuable because God loves us.
Our total welfare is the constant concern of God’s loving heart.
Immortal Love, forever full,
Forever flowing free,
Forever shared, forever whole,
A never-ebbing sea!
–John Greenleaf Whittier
The glory of Christianity is to conquer by forgiveness.–William Blake
Shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. (Luke 2:8)
These are “The Shepherds” in His sight
Who keep watch over flocks by night;
The milkman, watchman, paper-boys,
Who forego many of life’s joys
To stay on watch beside their “sheep,”
And to their tasks devotion keep.
The nurses, mothers those who make
Our comforts real and never take;
It is to them God’s angels sing.
There are strange ways of serving God;
You sweep a room or turn a sod,
And suddenly to your surprise,
You hear the whir of a seraphim,
And find you’re under God’s own eyes,
And building palaces for Him.
It is easy to say the quick, sharp word
That will hurt him through and through–
The friend you have always held so dear–
But I wouldn’t, if I were you.
It is easy to spread an idle tale
That perhaps may not be true,
And give it wings like thistledown,
But I wouldn’t, if I were you.
To words once spoken, if harsh, unkind,
You must ever bid adieu,
And though you may speak them if you will,
Yet I wouldn’t, if I were you.
–Florence Jones Hadley
I’ve squandered smiles today,
And, strange to say,
Altho’ my frowns with care I’ve stowed away,
Tonight I’m poorer far in frowns than at the start;
But in my heart,
Wherein my treasures best I store.
I find my smiles increased by several score.
–John Kendrick Bangs
Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.–Victor Hugo
Dr. William L. Stidger sat down & wrote a letter of thanks to a schoolteacher for having given him so much encouragement when he had been in her class 30 years before. The following week he received an answer, written in a very shaky hand. The letter read:
“My dear Willie: I want you to know what your note meant to me. I am an old lady in my eighties, living alone in a small room, cooking my own meals, lonely, & seeming like that last leaf on the tree. You will be interested to know, Willie, that I taught school for 50 years & in all that time, yours is the first letter of appreciation I have ever received. It came on a cold, blue morning & cheered my lonely old heart as nothing has cheered me in many years.”
Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.
When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain,
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.
I thank You, God in Heaven, for friends.
When morning wakes, when daytime ends.
I have the consciousness
Of loving hands that touch my own,
Of tender glance and gentle tone,
Of thoughts that cheer and bless!
If sorrow comes to me I know
That friends will walk the way I go,
And, as the shadows fall,
I know that I will raise my eyes
And see–ah, hope that never dies!–
The dearest Friend of All.
–Margaret E. Sangster
According to this silly story, a farm woman, at the end of a heavy day’s work, set before her menfolks a heaping pile of hay. And when they indignantly demanded whether she had gone crazy, she replied: “Why, how did I know you’d notice? I’ve been cooking for you men for the last twenty years and in all that time I ain’t heard no word to let me know you wasn’t just eating hay.”
When a study was made a few years ago on runaway wives, what do you think was discovered to be the main reason wives ran away? It was “lack of appreciation.” And I’d bet that a similar study made of runaway husbands would come out the same way. We often take our spouses so much for granted that we never let them know we appreciate them.
The Lord used it as a witness when I found a passport, $1,000, an airplane ticket, driver’s license & other important papers. It was a witness to hundreds as I looked for the owner for 3 days to give it all back. The police, American Express & others were amazed that I didn’t keep it. The American Express said that not even the police in this country would hand it in. I’ve already received an hundred-fold. As Jesus said “It’s more blessed to give than to receive” & Mt.5:16.–David Wings, Asia (“I will repay!” Luke.10:35)
That visitor can take a bow,
Who, seeing me about to doze,
Remarks, “I must be going now”–
So make we–all one company,
Love’s golden chord our tether,
And, come what may, we’ll climb the way
For the memory of a kindly word
For long gone by,
The fragrance of a fading flower
The warm pressure of the hand,
The tone of cheer,
The note that only bears a verse
From God’s own Word.
Such tiny things we hardly count
But when the heart is over-wrought
Oh, who can tell
The power of such tiny things
To make it well.
Years ago a teacher in Detroit asked Stevie Morris to help her find a mouse that was lost in the classroom. You see, she appreciated the fact that nature had given Stevie something no one else in the room had. Nature had given Stevie a remarkable pair of ears to compensate for his blind eyes. But this was really the first time Stevie had been shown appreciation for those talented ears. Now, years later, he says that this act of appreciation was the beginning of a new life. You see, from that time on he developed his gift of hearing and went on to become, under the stage name of Stevie Wonder, one of the great pop singers and songwriters of the seventies.
“It was Thanksgiving Day and I was ten years old. I was in a welfare ward of a city hospital and was scheduled to undergo major orthopedic surgery the next day. I knew that I could only look forward to months of confinement, convalescence and pain. My father was dead; my mother and I lived alone in a small apartment and we were on welfare. My mother was unable to visit me that day.
“As the day went on, I became overwhelmed with the feeling of loneliness, despair and fear. I knew my mother was home alone worrying about me, not having anyone to be with, not having anyone to eat with and not even having enough money to afford a Thanksgiving Day dinner.
“The tears welled up in my eyes, and I stuck my head under the pillow and pulled the covers over it. I cried silently, but oh so bitterly, so much that my body racked with pain.
“A young student nurse heard my sobbing and came over to me. She took the covers off my face and started wiping my tears. She told me how lonely she was, having to work that day and not being able to be with her family. She asked me whether I would have dinner with her. She brought two trays of food: sliced turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and ice cream for dessert. She talked to me and tried to calm my fears. Even though she was scheduled to go off duty at 4 P.M., she stayed on her own time until almost 11 P.M. She played games with me, talked to me and stayed with me until I finally fell asleep.
“Many Thanksgivings have come and gone since I was ten, but one never passes without me remembering that particular one and my feelings of frustration, fear, loneliness and the warmth and tenderness of the stranger that somehow made it all bearable.”
A rose to the living is more than
Sumptuous wreaths to the dead;
In filling love’s infinite store
A rose to the living is more–
If graciously given before the
Hungering spirit is fled,
A rose to the living is more than
Sumptuous wreaths to the dead.
The night has a thousand eyes,
And the day but one;
Yet the light of the bright world dies
With the dying sun.
The mind has a thousand eyes,
And the heart but one;
Yet the light of a whole life dies
When love is done.
–Francis W. Bourdillon
It costs nothing, but creates much.
It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give.
It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.
None are so rich they can get along without it, and none so poor but are richer for its benefits.
It creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in a business, and is the countersign of friends.
It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and Nature’s best antidote for trouble.
Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is no earthly good to anybody till it is given away.
And if someone should be too tired to give you a smile, may we ask you to leave one of yours?
For nobody needs a smile so much as those who have none left to give!
FRIENDSHIP is a priceless gift
that cannot be bought or sold,
But its value is far greater
than a mountain made of gold-
For gold is cold and lifeless,
it can neither see nor hear,
And in the time of trouble
it is powerless to cheer-
It has no ears to listen,
no heart to understand,
It cannot bring you comfort
or reach out a helping hand.
So when you ask God for a GIFT
be thankful if HE sends
Not diamonds, pearls or riches,
but the love of real true friends.
–Helen Steiner Rice.
Love ever gives,–
And ever stands
With open hands,
And while it lives,
For this is Love’s prerogative,
To give–and give–and give.
Ken Nottingham usually had lunch at the company cafeteria. He noticed that the woman who worked behind the counter always had a scowl on her face. “She had been making sandwiches for about two hours and I was just another sandwich to her. I told her what I wanted. She weighed out the ham on a little scale, then she gave me one leaf of lettuce, a few potato chips and handed them to me.
“The next day I went through the same line. Same woman, same scowl. The only difference was I noticed her name tag. I smiled and said, ‘Hello, Eunice,’ and then told her what I wanted. Well, she forgot the scale, piled on the ham, gave me three leaves of lettuce and heaped on the potato chips until they fell off the plate.”
Many years ago a boy of ten was working in a factory in Naples. He longed to be a singer, but his first teacher discouraged him. “You can’t sing,” he said. “You haven’t any voice at all. It sounds like the wind in the shutters.”
But his mother, a poor peasant woman, put her arms about him and praised him and told him she knew he could sing, she could already see an improvement, and she went barefoot in order to save money to pay for his music lessons. That peasant mother’s praise and encouragement changed that boy’s life. His name was Enrico Caruso, and he became the greatest and most famous opera singer of his age.
LOVING SOMEONE IS …
We cannot know the grief
That men may borrow;
We cannot see the souls
Storm-swept by sorrow;
But love can shine upon the way
Let us be kind.
Upon the wheel of pain so many weary lives are broken,
We live in vain who give no tender token.
Let us be kind.
Did you give him a lift?
He’s a brother of man,
And bearing all the burdens he can.
Did you give him a smile?
He was downcast and blue:
A smile would have helped him to battle it through.
Did you give him a hand?
He was slipping downhill:
And the world, so I fancied,
Was using him ill.
Did you give him a word?
Did you show him the road?
Or did you just let him
Go on with his load?
Nothing causes us to so nearly resemble God as the forgiveness of injuries.
A Christian will find it cheaper to pardon than to resent. Forgiveness saves us the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits.–Hannah More
Every man should keep a cemetery in which to bury the faults of his friends.
If we really know Christ as our Saviour our hearts are broken & cannot be hard, & we cannot refuse forgiveness.
If you have a thing to pardon, pardon it quickly. Slow forgiveness is little better than no forgiveness.
Humanity is never so beautiful as when praying for forgiveness, or else when forgiving another.
You never so touch the ocean of God’s love as when you forgive & love your enemies.
Compassion is what makes a person feel pain when somebody else hurts.
There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down & lifting people up.
It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.
Pray for a poor memory when people seem unkind.
The only bit that will bridle the tongue is a little bit of love.
A careless word–may kindle strife,
A cruel word–may wreck a life,
A bitter word–may hate instill,
A brutal word–may smite & kill.
A gracious word–may smooth the way,
A joyous word–may light the day.
A timely word–may lessen stress,
A loving word–may heal & bless.
The best thing to do behind a person’s back–is pat it!
True love is a gift on which no return is demanded. To love unselfishly is its own reward. To love for fulfillment, satisfaction, or pride is no love.
A smile is the lighting system of the face & the heating system of the heart.
A smile is a curve that can set a lot of things straight.
A smile is a wrinkle that shouldn’t be removed.
You are never fully dressed until you wear a smile.
A loving smile adds a lot to a Christian’s face value.
Smiles never go up in price or down in value.
To me, you are:
Glowing, flowing, giving, living
Teasing, pleasing, feeling, healing
Flourishing, nourishing, astounding, abounding
Blazing, amazing, gratifying, satisfying,
Refreshing, enmeshing, singing, springing
Writing, fighting, brilliant, resilient
Regal, legal, loyal, royal
Reliable, viable, radical, fanatical
Tasteful, graceful, excitable, enmightable
Esteemable, redeemable, reputable, immutable
Commendable, dependable, tremendous & stupendous!
Give me …
ears that hear my brother’s cry,
eyes that see his need,
feet that bear me to his side,
hands that heal & feed,
And over & above–
filled to overflowing–
a heart that gives him love.
To give me faith in God:
A violet would do,
Or a spire of goldenrod,
Or a daisy or two.
But if I had to have
A magic & a wonder
To rend my doubts asunder,
That prove God true–
That would be you!
A friend gives–
A hand when you need it;
A smile when you’re sad;
A lift when you’re weary;
A song when you’re glad;
A help when you falter;
A word when you’re blue;
A hope for the dreams
That are special to you!
The leading nobles of Poland addressed a petition to Marie Walewska to accept Napoleon as her lover. They quoted Scripture to reinforce their argument:
“Did Esther, do you think, give herself to Ahasuerus out of the fullness of her love for him? So great was the terror with which he inspired her that she fainted at the sight of him. We may therefore conclude that affection had but little to do with her resolve. She sacrificed her own inclinations to the salvation of her country and that salvation it was her glory to achieve. May we be enabled to say the same to you, to your glory and our own happiness!”
“THROUGH THE YEARS”–by Kenny Rogers
I can’t remember when you weren’t there
When I didn’t care for anyone but you
I swear we’ve been thru’ everything there is
Can’t imagine anything we’ve missed
Can’t imagine anything the two of us can’t do.
Through the years you’ve never let me down
You’ve turned my life around
The sweetest days I’ve found,
I’ve found with you.
Through the years I’ve never been afraid.
I’ve loved the life we’ve made
And I’m so glad I stayed right here with you
Through the years.
I can’t remember what I used to do
Who I trusted, who I listened to before
I sware you’ve taught me everything I know
Can’t imagine needing someone so
But through the years
It seems I need you more & more.
Through the years
Through all the good & bad,
I know how much we’ve had
I’ve always been so glad to be with you.
Through the years it’s better every day,
You’ve kissed my tears away
As long as it’s OK, I’ll stay with you
Through the years.
Through the years
When everything went wrong,
Together we were strong
I know that I belong right here with you.
Through the years I never had a doubt we’d always work things out
I’ve learned what life’s about by loving you
Through the years.
Through the years
You’ve never let me down,
You’ve turned my life around
The sweetest days I’ve found,
I’ve found with you
Through the years it’s better every day
You’ve kissed my tears away
As long as it’s OK, I’ll stay with you
Through the years.
A little more happiness spread through the day,
A little more cheer to light up the way;
A little more thought for the chap at our side,
A little more credit for others who’ve tried.
A little more kindness in word and in deed,
A little more boosting that others may need;
A little more love for the folks that we know.
A little more effort so friendships may grow.
Just a little of these–as we plod along here–
Will make it a wonderful, wonderful year!
–David William Moore
Years ago, when I was a barefooted boy walking through the woods to a country school out in northwest Missouri, I read a fable one day about the sun & the wind. They quarreled about which was the stronger & the wind said, “I’ll prove I am. See that old man down there with a coat? I bet I can make him take his coat off quicker than you can.”
So the sun went behind a cloud & the wind blew until it was almost a tornado, but the harder it blew the tighter the old man wrapped his coat about him.
Finally the wind calmed down & gave up; & then the sun came out from behind the cloud & smiled kindly on the old man. Presently, he mopped his brow & pulled off his coat. The sun then told the wind that gentleness & friendliness were always stronger than fury & force.
That too, was one of the secrets of Theodore Roosevelt’s astonishing popularity. Even his servants loved him. His coloured valet, James E. Amos, wrote a book about him entitled Theodore Roosevelt, Hero to His Valet. In that book, Amos relates this illuminating incident:
“My wife one time asked the President about a bobwhite. She had never seen one & he described it to her fully. Some time later, the telephone at our cottage rang. [Amos & his wife lived in a little cottage on the Roosevelt estate at Oyster Bay.] My wife answered it & it was Mr. Roosevelt himself. He had called her, he said, to tell her that there was a bobwhite outside her window & that if she would look out she might see it. Little things like that were so characteristic of him. Whenever he went by our cottage, even though we were out of sight, we would hear him call out: ‘Oo-oo-oo, Annie!’ or ‘Oo-oo-oo, James!’ It was just a friendly greeting as he went by.”
How could employees keep from liking a man like that? How could anyone keep from liking him?
There was a story told of World War 1 trench warfare, about two brothers, one of whom was lying wounded in action in “no-man’s” land, a deadly, dangerous area between the opposing forces. When the older brother in the trench heard of the plight of his younger brother in the field, he said to his officer, ” I’ve got to go get him!”
His officer said, “It’s impossible!–You’ll be killed the minute you stick your head out of this trench. You know the enemy always starts shooting the minute we go over the top!”
But the older brother tore himself loose from the officer’s grip, scrambled out of the trench, & plunged into “no-man’s” land to find his kid brother, despite the withering fire of the enemy, & there he found him, mortally wounded, & whispering, “I knew you’d come!”
The older brother, himself now wounded, barely managed to drag his younger brother back to the Allied lines, both of them falling into the trench dying.
With tears streaming down his face, his officer said to the older brother, “Why did you do it? I told you you’d both be killed!”
But the older brother replied with a final smile, ” I had to do it! You see, he expected it of me, & I couldn’t fail him!” –David Brandt Berg
When Jesus was brought to trial they said, “All He’s doing is teaching love!” And according to legend, Pilate the Governor said, “Love?–That’s the most dangerous doctrine He could possibly preach! It could destroy the Roman Empire! The Roman Empire doesn’t survive on love, it survives with the sword! If we preach His doctrine of love our soldiers won’t want to kill anybody any more, they won’t want to conquer the poor any more, they won’t want to rob the people of their riches to take it off to Rome! That’s a very dangerous doctrine!”–And he was right, because it finally overthrew the Roman Empire! Christians became so numerous & powerful, even in Caesar’s home, that it even finally Christianised the Roman Empire & the Emperor himself became a Christian! Christianity had overthrown Rome!
–David Brandt Berg
Why read a book to find out how to win friends? Why not study the technique of the greatest winner of friends the World has ever known? Who is he? You may meet him tomorrow coming down the street. When you get within ten feet of him, he will begin to wag his tail. If you stop & pat him, he will almost jump out of his skin to show you how much he likes you. And you know that behind this show of affection on his part, there are no ulterior motives: he doesn’t want to sell you any real estate, & he doesn’t want to marry you. Did you ever stop to think that a dog is the only animal that doesn’t have to work for a living? A hen has to lay eggs; a cow has to give milk; & a canary has to sing. But a dog makes his living by giving you nothing but love!
If ever a man truly forgave another man it was Thomas Edison, the inventor of the electric light bulb. At one point in his experiments, he had at last produced a perfect bulb–the final result of hundreds of trials. It was the first electric light bulb that had ever been made & Edison was full of pride & delight. He had been dreaming of this moment for years.
“Take it upstairs, Jimmy,” he said, handing it to his assistant Jimmy Price. Then suddenly there was a crash & Edison turned to see the precious bulb lying in fragments on the floor. Jimmy had let it slip through his fingers!
Edison said nothing–what his thoughts were can be imagined. He went back to his work bench & set to work once more to make another bulb. It was days more before at last this second bulb was ready. There it lay on the bench before its maker, fully completed.
Then Edison did a very big thing–as a sign that he had forgiven his apprentice for breaking the first bulb. With a smile, he handed the new bulb to Jimmy. “Careful now,” he said. He was giving the boy another chance. Jimmy did not break that bulb–& so we have them in their millions in the World today.
As is customary on a Sunday morning, several of my neighbours were gathered at a hedge in deep discussion. I wandered over, expecting the usual agenda of car problems, taxes or inflation. But the subject was even closer to home. A Mexican-American family had recently moved into a house on our street. The most vociferous of the group was sounding off: “Well, it was bound to happen. Foreigners move in–what else can you expect?”
“So what’s wrong with them?” asked my next-door neighbour. “They seem very nice.”
“Well, take a look at their house! He has painted his front door red!” Hearing that, my neighbour walked away from the group, went into his garage, then headed for his front porch. In a few minutes his project was completed. He had painted his front door bright red!
When a deep injury is done us, we never recover until we forgive.
If someone you know deliberately snubs you, & you still make allowance for his action, that is maturity.
Healthy people laugh & smile, making life much more worthwhile.
To make a smile come, so they say,
Brings fifteen muscles into play.
But if you want a frown to thrive
You have to use some sixty-five!
The way we behave toward people indicates what we really believe about God!
When a friend makes a mistake, don’t rub it in. Rub it out.
Our mistake is loving things & using people, when we should use things & love people.
You will find that if you share your brother’s burden, both of you will walk a little straighter.
They tell us that courtesy is contagious. So why not start an epidemic?
A little of the oil of courtesy will save a lot of friction.
A valuable friend is one who’ll tell you what you should be told even if it momentarily offends you.
Don’t forget that appreciation is always appreciated.
When someone blushes with embarrassment,
When some heart carries away an ache,
When something sacred is made to appear common,
When somebody’s weakness provides the laughter,
When profanity is required to make it funny,
When a little child is brought to tears, or
When everyone cannot join in the laughter–
It is a poor joke.
Appreciation is like an insurance policy. It has to be renewed occasionally.
The World’s most unsatisfied hunger is the hunger for appreciation.
You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.
Be sincere with your compliments. Most people can tell the difference between sugar & saccharine.
A single rose for the living is better than a costly wreath at the grave.
In a World where death is, we should have no time to hate.
Be as kind as you can today; tomorrow you may not be here.
It isn’t the thing you do, dear,
It’s the thing you leave undone
That gives you a bit of a heartache
At the setting of the sun.
The tender word forgotten,
The letter you did not write,
The flowers you did not send, dear,
Are your haunting ghosts at night.
The stone you might have lifted
Out of a brother’s way;
The bit of heartsome counsel
You were hurried too much to say;
The loving touch of the hand, dear,
The gentle, winning tone
Which you had no time nor thought for
With troubles enough of your own.
Those little acts of kindness
So easily out of mind,
Those chances to be angels
Which we poor mortals find–
They come in night & silence,
Each sad, reproachful wraith,
When hope is faint & flagging,
And a chill has fallen on faith.
For life is all too short, dear,
And sorrow is all too great,
To suffer our slow compassion
That tarries until too late;
And it isn’t the thing you do, dear
It’s the thing you leave undone
Which gives you a bit of heartache
At the setting of the sun.
–Margarete E. Sangster
“God bless us everyone!” prayed Tiny Tim,
Crippled, & dwarfed of body, yet so tall
Of soul, we tiptoe Earth to look on him,
High towering over all.
He loved the loveless World, nor dreamed indeed
That it, at best, could give to him, the while,
But pitying glances, when his only need
Was but a cheery smile.
And thus he prayed, “God bless us every one!”–
Enfolding all the creeds within the span
Of his child-heart; & so, despising none,
Was nearer saint than man.
I like to fancy God, in Paradise,
Lifting a finger o’er the rhythmic swing
Of chiming harp & song, with eager eyes
Turned earthward, listening–
The Anthem stilled–the Angels leaning there
Above the golden walls–the morning sun
Of Christmas bursting flower-like with the prayer,
“God bless us every one!”
A house is made of walls & beams; a home is built with love & dreams.
To love the World is no big chore. It’s that miserable guy next door who’s the problem.
True love doesn’t consist of holding hands–it consists of holding hearts.
Those who deserve love least need it most.
Everything in the household runs smoothly when love oils the machinery.
The clouds have deepened o’er the night
Till, through the dark profound,
The moon is but a stain of light,
And all the stars are drowned;
And all the stars are drowned, my love,
And all the skies are drear;
But what care we for light above,
If light of love is here?
The wind is like a wounded thing
That beats about the gloom
With baffled breast & dropping wing,
And wail of deepest doom;
And wail of deepest doom , my love;
But what have we to fear
From night, or rain, or winds above,
With love & laughter here?
Doing an injury puts you below your enemy; revenging one makes you but even with him; forgiving it sets you above him.
Love is more easily demonstrated than defined.
Love is the fairest flower that blooms in God’s garden.
To love others makes us happy; to love ourselves makes us lonely.
Love does not keep a ledger of the sins & failures of others.
The train of brotherly love rides on the track of concern & compassion.
Love your enemies. It’ll sure make them feel foolish.
Encouragement is like premium gasoline. It helps to take the knock out of living.
Deep in the winter flakes I went,
And all about me shone
A radiance that must have meant
It was not snow alone.
I wondered what it could have been;
Then, sure enough, I knew
The glow that I was walking in
Was nothing else but you.
Be the first to praise & the first to deserve praise.
No friend we love can ever die;
The outward form but disappears;
I know that all my friends are nigh
Whenever I am moved to tears.
And when my strength & hope are gone,
The friends, no more, that once I knew,
Return to cheer & urge me on
Just as they always used to do.
They whisper to me in the dark
Kind words of counsel & of cheer;
When hope has flickered to a spark
I feel their gentle spirits near.
I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to Earth, I know not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.
I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to Earth, I know not where;
For who has sight so keen & strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?
Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.
–Henry W. Longfellow
Our great matters are little to God’s infinite power, & our little matters are great to His Father love.
The only way we can erase unkindness is with kindness. Don’t lose the eraser.
Praise is like garlic in a good salad–a little goes a long way.
It is usually best to be generous with praise, but cautious with criticism.
He who does a kind deed should be silent; he who has received one should shout it from the housetop.
Kindness is the World’s greatest unused capital.
The person who sows seeds of kindness enjoys a perpetual harvest.
Take home a smile; forget the petty cares,
The dull, grim grind of all the day’s affairs;
The day is done, come be yourself awhile:
Tonight, to those who wait, take home a smile.
Take home a smile; don’t scatter grief & gloom
Where laughter & light hearts should always bloom;
What though you’ve travelled many a dusty mile,
Footsore & weary, still take home a smile.
Take home a smile–it is not much to do.
But much it means to them who wait for you;
You can be brave for such a little while;
The day of doubt is done–take home a smile.
Once where a prophet in the palm shade basked
A traveller chanced at noon to rest his miles.
“What sort of people may they be,” he asked,
“In this proud city on the plains o’erspread?”
“Well, friend, what sort of people whence you came?”
“What sort?” the packman scowled; “why, knaves & fools.”
You’ll find the people here the same,” the wise man said.
Another stranger in the dusk drew near,
And pausing, cried, “What sort of people here
In your bright city where yon towers arise?”
“Well, friend, what sort of people whence you came?”
“What sort?” the pilgrim smiled,
“Good, true & wise.”
“You’ll find the people here the same,”
The wise man said.
I love you first: but afterwards your love,
Outsoaring mine, sang such a loftier song
As drowned the friendly cooings of my dove.
Which owes the other most? My love was long.
And yours one moment seemed to wax more strong;
I loved & guessed at you, you construed me
And loved me for what might or might not be–
Nay, weights & measures do us both a wrong.
For verily love knows not “mine” or “thine”;
With separate “I” & “thou” free love has done,
For one is both & both are one in love;
Rich love knows nought of “thine that is not mine;”
Both have the strength & both the length thereof
Both of us, of the love which makes us one.
Beautiful Hands!–O Beautiful Hands!
Could you reach out of the alien lands
Where you are lingering, & give me, tonight,
Only a touch–were it ever so light–
My heart were soothed, & my weary brain
Would lull itself into rest again;
For there is no solace the World commands
Like the caress of your beautiful hands.
–James Whitcomb Riley
Love is deciding to make your problem my problem!
A boy in Sunday school defined it this way: “If I was hungry & someone gave me a piece of bread & butter, that would be kindness; but if he put some jelly on it, that would be lovingkindness!”
What is grace?
Judas deceived Jesus;
Thomas doubted Jesus;
Peter denied Jesus;
The disciples (except John) deserted Jesus;
The Jews despised Jesus;
The people denounced Jesus;
The World destroyed Jesus;
But Jesus loved them all & prayed,
“Father forgive them.”
That is grace!
An old Quaker, passing along the street, saw a cartman’s horse suddenly fall dead. It was a serious loss, for the horse was the man’s livelihood. The bystanders shook their heads & clucked sympathetically. The Quaker took off his broad-brimmed hat, placed a banknote in it, & said, “Friends, I am sorry for this man, ten dollars’ worth. How sorry are you?”
Sympathy sees, & says, “I am sorry.”
Compassion feels, & whispers, “I will help.”
In a little poem, John Greenleaf Whittier tells of a man who visited a village where many years before he had lived as a boy. Life had been hard for him, & as he stood in the little cemetery by a grave–it was that of a young girl–he remembered how as a boy he had failed to spell a word correctly, & the girl had been advanced to his place. When school was over that day she had waited for him, & shyly said:
“I’m sorry that I spelt the word;
I hate to go above you,
Because”–the brown eyes lower fell–
“Because, you see, I love you!”
“My boy,” a father advised his son, “treat everybody with politeness, even those who are rude to you. For remember that you show courtesy to others not because they are gentlemen, but because you are one.”
When Alexander the Great visited Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for the famed teacher, Diogenes replied, “Only stand out of my light.” Perhaps someday we may know how to heighten creativity. Until then, one of the best things we can do for creative men and women is to stand out of their light.
What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor & needy. It has eyes to see misery & want. It has the ears to hear the sighs & sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.
True love is the candle
That burns in the night,
Outshining the stars’ glow,
Because it’s so bright.
True love is the flower
That carries spring’s song
Through the cold, dreary winter,
When days seem so long.
True love is the echo
Of summer’s refrain;
It’s the smile of the sunshine,
The kiss of the rain
True love is the blessing
That gives life its birth.
It hallows God’s beauty
In all of its worth.
The Gift of True Love
A gift to treasure all of life,
In light and darkness, too
A gift that brings life’s dearest joys,
And helps make dreams come true.
A gift that gives an inner strength
When sorrow comes our way.
A gift to warm the lonely heart
And cheer the life each day.
A gift that two can cherish
No matter what life brings.
True Love is always blessed of God,
And gladly shares all things.
Love is the filling from one’s own
Love is the daily laying down
And taking up;
A choosing of the stony path
Through each new day,
That other feet may tread with ease
A smoother way.
Love is not blind, but looks abroad
Through other eyes;
And asks not, “Must I give?” but,
“May I sacrifice?”
Love hides its grief, that other hearts
And lips may sing;
And burdened walks, that other lives
May buoyant wing.
Hast thou a Love like this
Within thy soul?
‘Twill crown thy life with bliss
When thou dost reach the goal.
How precious you are,
And how glad I am, too,
That God gives me the joy
Of loving you!
Gifts of Love are the priceless things,
The gifts that only a true love brings,
The warmth of hands that you can hold,
Those tender moments of pure gold.
Gifts of Love are like sunny skies,
They bring the laughter to your eyes,
They bring the gladness to your heart;
They are precious gifts that won’t depart.
Though years may pass, Love’s memories,
Are as fresh and new as a summer breeze,
Like golden keys, they will always shine,
For true Love lives till the end of time.
You fill my world with love,
You make my dreams come true.
You brighten my darkest night
And turn my gray skies blue!
You fill my world with love,
You chase the tears away.
You give my heart a song
That adds music to my day.
You fill my world with love
You teach my heart to share.
I have a very happy heart
Because I know you care.
I love your touch upon my face,
That always leaves a glow.
I love the warmth of your embrace,
Your voice when you whisper low.
I love the smile you give to me,
Your hands that I can hold.
These gifts of love I treasure
More than jewels–more than gold.
the birds to sing,
the crickets to chirp,
the heart to open to the greatest force in the World.
the icy cold winter
in one’s inner being
to melt into spring,
bringing sunshine and laughter.
two persons to unite
their hearts and lives
and walk through life
together hand in hand.
O Love divine and tender,
That through our homes does move,
Veiled in the softened splendor
Of holy household love,
A throne without Thy blessing
Were labor without rest,
And cottages possessing
Thy blessedness are blest.
God bless these hands united;
God bless these hearts made one!
Unsevered and unblighted
May they through life go on,
Here in Earth’s home preparing
For the bright Home Above,
And there forever sharing
Its joy where God is Love.
Love is eternal–the aspect may change, but not the essence. There is the same difference in a person before and after he is in love as there is in an unlighted lamp and one that is burning. The lamp was there and was a good lamp, but now it is shedding light, too, and that is its real function. And love makes one calmer about many things, and that way, one is more fit for one’s work.
–Vincent van Gogh
Beloved, let us love:
love is of God;
In God alone
hath love its true abode.
Beloved, let us love;
for they who love,
They only, are His sons,
born from Above.
Beloved, let us love;
for love is rest,
And he who loveth not
Beloved let us love:
for love is light,
And he who loveth not
dwelleth in night.
Beloved let us love:
for only thus
Shall we behold that God
Who loveth us.
I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.
I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.
I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;
I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.
I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song …
It’s nice to share the joys of life with someone near as you,
The ups & downs, the smiles & frowns,
The cares & problems too.
It’s nice to share our hopes & dreams & all that comes our way,
While love that you & I both know grows deeper day by day.
Your thoughtfulness is everywhere,
The room is bright because you care.
The home is blessed with love to share,
Yes, hearts are glad because you’re there.
Thinking very warmly of the thoughtful things you’ve done,
Knowing God will bless you richly for each & every one,
Sending deep affection & wishes most sincere,
For all that makes you happy, today & through the year.
Thank God for folks like you.
In this troubled World it’s refreshing to find,
Someone who still has the time to be kind,
Someone who still has the faith to believe,
That the more you give, the more you receive,–
Someone who’s ready, by thought, word or deed,
To reach out a hand in the hour of need.
I hear your love in every word,
I feel your love in every touch.
And that is why it means so much,
To share my love with you.
From the time you first became part of my World,
You’ve made it a beautiful place,
With your kindness & caring, your comforting smile,
And the warmth of your gentle embrace.
And for all the joy & the wonderful moments,
You’ve given me right from the start,
I send to you now all the love & affection,
I feel for you deep in my heart.
When I think of all the wonderful times that you & I have known,
The joys that you made happen just by being you,
I fall in love with you all over again.
When I think of the life we’re sharing,
Trusting one another through both good & trying times,
I fall in love with you all over again.
When I think of all the days & years ahead,
All that we have yet to learn about one another,
My heart is filled with a happiness so complete,
I fall in love with you all over again.
Because we’ve shared each other’s dreams & worked to make them real,
We’ve known the kind of joy that only those who love can feel.
Because we’ve lived for Jesus with mind and soul and heart,
We’ve known the very sweetest joy that life could e’er impart!