In Henry Ward Beecher’s chapter titled Christ the Deliverer, he gives this practical story of the importance of personal involvement.
“Ah, are the Zebedees, then, so poor? John, take a quarter of beef and carry it down, with my compliments. No, stop; fill up that chest, put in those cordials, lay them on the cart, and bring it round, and I will drive it down myself.” Down I go; and on entering the house I hold out both hands, and say, “Why, my old friend, I am glad I found you out. I understand the world has gone hard with you. I came down to say that there is nothing wrong between you and me. We are on good terms, just as we always were. You have one friend, at any rate. Now do not be discouraged; keep up a good heart. I have brought you down a few articles for your comfort” And I empty all the things, and I see tears beating in his eyes, like rain on a pane of glass in summer; and I go away as soon as I can – for, hard as ingratitude is to bear, it is not so hard to bear as gratitude. And when I am gone, the man wipes his eyes, and says, “I did not know how I should feed my children, and I am thankful for the meat and the other things; but God knows that that man’s shaking my hands gave me more joy than all that he brought. It was him that I wanted.”
I tell you, when men are in trouble, it is the human soul that cures and feeds. It is one soul lying against another.
This was epitomized by the old prophet, when he went into the house where the widow’s son lay as one dead, and put his hands on the child’s hands, and stretched himself across the child’s body, and the spirit of life came back. Oh! If, when men are in trouble, there were some man to measure his whole stature against them, and give them the warmth of his sympathy, how many would be saved!
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