Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Right Response

Years ago I heard a story that has impacted my life for eternity. I don't know if it is true or a modern day parable, but it has been powerful to me.

There was a city that was divided by a great wall. People on one side of the wall hated those who lived on the opposite side of the wall. Great was their hatred. They decided to do something about it. During the night they heaped all the trash that they could find from their side of the city and threw it over the wall leaving a heaping mound of garbage for their neighbors to wake up to.

Morning came. The recipients of the garbage held a meeting. They came up with a plan to respond. That night they threw beautiful things over the wall. Flowers and anything that they could find with beauty in it they heaped over the wall.  Above the pile of beautiful things they left a note hanging that read "Each man gives what he has." 

The great Christian pianist, Dino, shared this story at the end of his television show years and years ago. I have never forgotten it. This story has challenged me to give like those who shared the beautiful things. It is easy to respond to trash with trash. I have responded with trash  too many times. Sometimes I don't even realize I have discarded my trash on someone else until after the fact. Sometimes it has been intentional. I just wanted to. : ( 

Actions speak loud! My son Luke posted a quote on his blog that is one of my favorites:
"Preach the gospel always, if necessary use words." St Francis of Assisi.

I hope to leave behind me a legacy of  "goodness and mercy"........with as small of a trash trail as possible.

Lord, please grace me today with beautiful things to leave behind. Things that will point others to You! Amen.

ps. Okay, SG this one is to bless YOU!


Shala said...

You are the best. I love you much and have always loved to read your writings - even when we were little girls. You always bless me and others around you. Thanks. I love you!


Cheri Bunch said...

I love you!
You are always heaping tons of "flowers" Shala! You have so much good to give! And you are faithful to do just that! You will be blessed for all that you do!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

I've never heard that story or tale. It is good. And I can only imagine the reaction and response the trash throwers had. It's just like our walk with Christ. When we react godly, calm, and lovingly to others who don't treat us well, it makes them stop and wonder what does she have that causes such a reaction. Hopefully, it will lead others to Christ.
Thanks for this encouraging word. I love the visual reminder.

I think I spewed some trash today in the form of saying more than I needed to say to a person about another frustrating co-worker. While I mowed, I poured out my heart in repentance. I wish I would've just stopped at my answer and not said the other things...though factual about work, I can see where it wasn't necessary. Know what I mean?

Joyful said...

My friend, you are continually throwing beauty onto my life and encouraging me with love and prayer. Your life brings the fragrant aroma of Christ.

Praying I will respond with "beauty" during these challenging days.
Love ya,

Ashli said...

It's strange seeing your past through another's eyes. I enjoyed this piece and the memories it stirred.
I chose the song b/c it was Grandma Terry's favorite hymn, and I thought it was both beautiful and poignant.

Cheri Bunch said...

You are beautiful, my Ashli!
Love you,

Renee Swope said...

You do leave beauty where ever you go Cheri. Thank you for the flowers you have tossed to me!

I love this story and I have never heard it before. I think it would make a great story for one of our radio shows. Do you mind if I use it?