I was just eighteen years old when my father-in-law died. He had been gravely ill for some time and my mother-in-law had cared for him at home. They had lived in town for many years and being a small town, almost everyone in town knew the family. The days before the funeral were filled with people in and out of their home bringing food or just stopping by to offer their condolences. At times there was a crowd and it was all a bit overwhelming.
My mother-in-law had a saintly friend, Mrs. Brown, who came early every day to their house and took over the kitchen. She made sure the dishes were washed, the coffee pot was full, and that the family was fed. Whenever visitors would come, she answered the door, offered them refreshments, and cleaned up when they left. My mother-in-law was free to sit down and visit with her guests.
I don’t remember much about the funeral service, such as who conducted the service or who sang or if there were any testimonials. But, I have never forgotten what Mrs. Brown did and how she made a very difficult time much easier on a grieving family. She showed her love in the best way she knew how by fulfilling a need, quietly and practically unnoticed. Even though I was just eighteen, she made a lasting impression on me.
“The people who influence us the most are not those who buttonhole us and talk to us, but those who live their lives like the stars in heaven and the lilies of the field, perfectly simple and unaffectedly. Those are the lives that mold us. If you want to be of use to God, get rightly related to Jesus Christ and He will make you of use unconsciously every minute you live.” Oswald Chambers
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Galatians 6:10
“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen” 1 Peter 4:9-11