Picking Persimmons

By Marjorie Foerster Eddington

Taking time out of our busy days to do something that is easy for us makes a world of difference to someone who finds that same thing difficult, scary, or impossible to do.

There was an elderly lady in our church who lived alone after her husband passed on. She often expressed gratitude for her neighbors who would come over whenever she needed help, be it to do something big or little -- taking care of the garbage, fixing something that wasn't working, looking after her house if she was gone. Her heart was filled with love for her neighbors.

She also was very grateful for her fellow church members, who came to her aid when the need arose. For several years, she brought persimmons from her trees to share with all of us at church. But at some point, she was no longer able to harvest her persimmons, many of which were growing too high for her to reach or were over her roof and would drop and create quite a mess. Finding a way to get them picked was a great concern to her. So, some of the church members and Sunday school students talked with her about this and picked them for her for several years in a row. Though this wasn't an incredibly difficult feat for these able-bodied individuals, it did take time and effort. But their time was well spent, for it answered her prayers, fulfilled her need, and made her feel loved. And making someone feel loved and valued is one of the best ways to make a difference in someone's life.

So often, in our busy lives, it seems like we don't have enough time. But when we're doing good for someone else, we're not spending, losing, or wasting time. Rather, we're following Jesus' example by reaching out and expressing love. We're reminded in II John: "I beseech thee … that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments" (1:5, 6). Walking after Jesus' commandment to "love one another" blesses everyone!

It was obvious that this woman's heart was touched by the loving actions of the church members and the children from the Sunday school, as every year she expressed her thanks for those who helped her; and every year, she brought the persimmons to church.

So, if there's something we can do for someone else, let's do it! Jesus explains how important it is to take care of the stranger, the hungry, the sick, the needy: "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" (Matt 25:40). Let's make the time and put in the effort to help each other out and put a smile in someone's heart.