Doers of the Word
Sunday, July 26
Hugs & Kisses!
Buried treasure, a pearl of great price, a storeroom full of choices: these are themes of today’s gospel. Stories are meant to build strong character, not only in people, but in nations: strong and moral characters. Children love stories. The Kingdom of Heaven is of children. Stories tell us about heroes. We need them in our lives. We want the statues to remind us of them! Don’t tear them down!
Bill Hybels writes, “Recently my brother and I spent a lunch hour discussing the mark our dad left on our lives. Dan and I reminisced about the times we had sailed with him on Lake Michigan. We remember violent storms with fifty-mile-an-hour winds. All other sailors would dash for the harbor, but dad would smile from ear to ear and say, “Let’s head out farther!” We talked about the tough business decisions we had seen him make.
We winced when we remembered his firm hand of discipline that blocked our rebellious streaks. We never doubted it. Dad was strong, tough, and thoroughly masculine.
Yet for twenty-five years he spent nearly every Sunday afternoon standing in front of a hundred women with special needs at the State Mental Hospital. Gently and patiently he led them in a song service. Few of them could even sing, but he didn’t care. He knew it made them feel loved. Afterward he stood by the door while each of those disheveled, broken women planted kisses on his cheek. As little guys, Dan and I watched our six-foot-three, two-hundred -twenty-pound, thoroughly masculine dad treat these forgotten women with gentleness that marked us.”
Before the pandemic, Elizabeth would organize the elderly at St. John’s Living Center for a song fest. I joined them. We sang religious and patriotic songs. They were unforgettable moments.
Do you think the little girl called Scout could ever forget what she witnessed in her father, Atticus Finch? (To Kill a Mockingbird).
The Kingdom of Heaven is like pearls of example and wise counsel buried deep in the hearts of the little ones.
What is your story?