A Texas pastor, Rev. Baumgartel, tells the story of how he saw his father show unusual kindness to a neighbor when this pastor was still a child. He had paid the neighbor to deliver a ton of coal to his coal bin. The coal was delivered while the family was away for the day. The son checked the coal bin and indignantly reported to the father that the neighbor had only delivered half a ton! The father instructed the son to say nothing about the matter.
Several weeks later the neighbor’s house caught on fire. The family lost everything. The pastor’s father graciously housed the whole family until arrangements could be made. The son struggled with resentment when he was assigned to the barn loft so that the neighbor could use his bedroom. This wasn’t fair!
Early one morning he overheard a conversation between his father and the neighbor as they were working in the barn below him. “You have been kind to me,” the neighbor remarked, “even though I cheated you out of half a ton of coal a while ago.” Amid broken hearted sobs he pled, “I want you to forgive me.” Forgiveness was granted and the neighbor decided to place his trust in the Lord too and then live for Him.
Love in action is a powerful way to move things on to the sunny side.