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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Actions Speak Louder than Words" (without using the actual phrase). (02/21/08)

TITLE: Eyes Wide Open
By Esther Phillips
02/28/08


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On a sunny afternoon in March, I met my sister-in-law, Jenny, at the amusement park. We found a park bench where we were able to sit and talk while our daughters with their children enjoyed the rides. We had just had the funeral for Clyde, my second husband, the day before. My daughter thought all of us needed an outing so she drove us the 50 miles to the park to give us a change of pace. Her cousin, Jacqueline, brought her children and her mother, Jenny, from the other direction and met us there.

Jenny was married to my first husband’s brother, Jimmy. She married again after Jimmy passed, and Jenny and I have remained close. We spent hours on the bench remembering how our lives were before and how they are now. Then Jenny said “Is there something you would like to do to remember Clyde?”

“As a matter of fact” I said, “I would like to have new Bibles for my Sunday school class that I teach.” The ones we were using were so tattered and I thought this would be such a good thing for our class, his class, to have in remembrance of him. She promptly gave me the money.

On the next Sunday, I told my class that my sister-in-law had given money for us to purchase new Bibles for our class. Our church classrooms are used daily by many outside groups. I didn’t want to bring in new Bibles without a way to secure them. A man in our class immediately told me that he could build us a cabinet to put them in. We discussed, as a class, how we could do that, and the class decided that they would put up the money for the materials for the cabinet. Before we left that morning, one man slipped me a $20.00 bill to get the project started.

Many months later, after we got approval from the proper church committee, the cabinet was built and installed. The gentleman who built it would not take any money for his supplies or time; and in fact, returned the $20.00 that the other gentleman had given.

My Sunday school class is made up of people 40 years old and up. This incident is not a one-time thing. They all are the most giving people I know. They are forever helping someone.

For instance, one man, Dale, told us one day “It has come to my attention that there is a lady who has a couple children, and they don’t have enough to eat.”

Another man jumped up and got our basket and passed it around. We raised $200.00 to give her.
Dale took the money to her. Months later, we found out that he had been going to the grocery store regularly, buying groceries, and taking them to her until finally one day she said she had gotten a new job and wouldn’t be needing that assistance any longer.

Dale is the “go to” guy in our church if you want to know how you can help. Recently, I was leading a group to hold a Women’s Retreat and I wanted to know if he knew of a group that we could use as a Mission’s project. He called me back after a couple of days and gave me information and a contact person to help families who are victims of violence and seek a safe place. The retreat was held last weekend. We had 60 ladies attend and raised $691.00 plus gave many sacks of toys.

Dale is just one of many I’m associated with that are out there providing assistance to those in need. In Proverbs 28:27, it is said, “He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.”

Dale, my sister-in-law, Jenny, our cabinet maker and my Sunday school class do not give because of the threat of a curse. They give because of the love they have for people. Jesus himself said, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” (Matthew 19:19, NIV)


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This article has been read 290 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jacquelyn Horne02/28/08
How wonderful to hear such a great story of love and giving.
Tim Pickl02/29/08
Good examples of giving! It's easy and convenient to tell people, "I'll pray for you..." or "I'll pray about it..." But we breathe life into our faith by acting on it. Give and it shall be given unto you... The key is to actually give.
Marilyn Schnepp 03/01/08
A nice story that has a good take on our "Actions" topic; however, (Critique)...too many "unnecessary's" bogging down the flow. Tightening up the story line would improve the Reader's interest. Otherwise, well done.
Joanne Sher 03/01/08
Very moving story and testimony of true givers in your church, and the body of Christ. Thanks for sharing it!
Jan Ackerson 03/01/08
Wonderful little vignettes of love in action.
Andrea Hargrove03/03/08
If this is a true story, you must have a REALLY GREAT church. :) If it's fictional, it's something for us all to aspire to.