My grandmother Ethel died when she was 99. She came across this country in a covered wagon seeking a better life. What a amazing woman she was. She bore ten children. One, died at a very early age. One had an accident in high school and spent his entire life in a state hospital because he was pretty much paralyzed.
At the end of the day, she raised eight children. Four girls and four boys. They lived in a very poor area in Minneapolis, Minnesota right on the railroad tracks.
Back in her day they didn't call the people that didn't have a home, homeless. They were called hobos. The hobos would travel the trains from city to city and they always knew were they could get a bite to eat, yes at Ethel's. She was one of the kindest, loving woman I had ever met.
She never judged another human being. If they were hungry she gave them something to eat. If they needed someone to listen to them, she always had an ear. She was an amazing woman. Even though her and Jake (grandpa) were dirt poor there was always enough to go around.
From the time I was a young boy until she passed at 99, I never heard her say one bad thing about another human being. She was so full of love, not the hatred or division we see today. The greatest lesson she taught me, she would say, “Steven, if you don't have anything nice to say, please keep your mouth shut.”
So what inspired me to write this post? Someone on Facebook (I won't mention any names) shared a picture of our 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush who passed away on December 1, 2018 with a caption that read, “Sure is hot down here” with a picture of flames all around him. Really? Is this what our society has come to?
Whether you liked Bush or not, he devoted his entire life to the service of others. PERIOD. I would ask this person, what contribution have you made to society as a whole? How are you building others up instead of tearing them down? How are you leaving others better than you found them?
The Beatles sang in the 60’s “All You Need Is Love”. That was demonstrated daily by my grandmother, Ethel.
Jesus gave us one commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
I'm going to leave you with the wise words from Ethel, “If you don't have anything nice to say, please keep your mouth shut.”
Can I get an amen!