“If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed, but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” James 2:16

Gloria, the young girl from the village I hired to hand wash clothes for me arrived one morning. She handed me a folded garment and said, “I need help.”

“What’s the problem?”

“Can you sew my skirt on your hand- crank sewing machine or give me twenty-five cents to hire a seamstress?”

I opened the cloth and saw I could put new elastic in her skirt with my machine. Or I could have given her the money for it.

I closed my eyes and asked God what to do. Then I saw Gloria at the bottom of a deep pit.

God said, “Throw her a rope so she can pull herself out of the hole.”

“How Lord?”

“Teach Gloria to repair the skirt.”

I turned to the girl and smiled. “I will repair your skirt, but you must fix my half slip.”

Her jaw fell open wide, and she dropped the skirt on the floor. “I don’t even have a needle and I’ve never threaded one.”

I picked up her skirt. “I will give you a needle and thread.”

After I handed her a pair of scissors and my old half slip to practice on, I asked her to copy me. Gloria watched me cut off the casing that held the elastic, which the sun had melted. Then she cut the casing off my half slip.

After I completed a step of threading the needle, folding the hem or running a stitch she smiled, nodded and took her skirt from my lap. She lifted it to the sun, stared at it and nodded again. Then she picked up my half slip and reproduced the same step.

As Gloria finally threaded the elastic through the casing she had made, she beamed with pleasure from ear to ear. She nodded her head up and down as an incredible light of comprehension radiated from her eyes. “I see. I see.” She raised her voice as delight covered her face. “I get it. I get it. So this is how to put elastic in slips and skirts.”

I could have handed her the money or sewn the elastic in a few minutes. Instead I spent an hour teaching her to sew that garment. I’m not sure who was more thrilled. Watching her enthusiasm and contentment I had an amazing joy.

Teaching her was just a little thing which cost nothing except my time.

As she left, she beamed. “Now I can fix all my slips and skirts.”

It’s easier and faster to jump in and do the job for someone than it is to teach that person how to do the task.

“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:17-18

If we can’t throw a rope to someone down in a pit, so he can pull himself out of the hole, maybe there are other ways to show the love of God.

Have a great week,

Thanks for joining me this morning,



About celestecharlene

I served as a medical missionary in West Africa for thirty years treating the sick and establishing health clinics in rural neglected areas.
This entry was posted in missions. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s