I was raised on a small farm with rocky ground and poor soil. Farming was a lot of hard work and little money. To make it even worse we lived in a depressed area at the end of WW II. I remember the rationing of gas, the tokens made of plastic, tires were next to impossible to get, jobs were nonexistent, etc.
Our small home was not insulated and we didn’t have the basic essentials that many others had, such as electricity, indoor plumbing, a steady income, and the like. Basically, we were poor and just getting by. I tell you this to accent the impact the following event had on me.
My dad did not just tell me the difference between right and wrong but showed me the difference and how it works. He not only saw to it that we were in church on Sunday, but he took us to Church. My mother was the church pianist and my dad was active in the leadership of the church.
I remember that one year our family income for the year was $500. Even though we had needs a plenty, dad still took three days to cut wood with a chopping ax for three sisters that lived together with no other support. They didn’t even have wood to warm themselves and were worse off than we were. Dad didn’t just do the right thing, he used the situation to teach me the importance of ministering to others. He made me go out in the cold with him and stack the limbs that couldn’t be used for firewood and to load the wood on the truck. Then he made me go with him to deliver the wood.
I will never forget how those women showed us their appreciation. After we unloaded the wood, we were invited in to share in some homemade pie. I still remember dad looking quite serious when asked what type of pie he liked and he said, I only like two kinds. They then asked him what they were and he said, hot and cold. Everyone had a good laugh and the pies were great. I even had seconds. I will never forget the warm feeling I had inside as we rode home.