Sermon Illustrations


Dr. Laura Schlessinger writes: "I was out at my mother and father’s house, a seventy mile round-trip from my own, because my mother needed a little help. She needed a little help because my father, who has full-blown Alzheimer’s, had taped duct tape all over the three long windows in the bathroom, so that the “little people” who haunt his days and nights wouldn’t be able to look in. She needed a little help because her mother (my grandmother) who lives with them and who will be one hundred and two in December, likes to snack in bed and bugs were starting to show up in her room, which was generally a mess anyway. This is to say nothing of my mother’s normal daily routine of cooking, cleaning, shopping, banking, medicating, driving, washing, ironing, not sleeping more than five or six hours a night due to dad’s “little people pounding on the windows,” and other mortally tiring duties and distractions that would fell any lesser human being. My mother is seventy-five and has had a hip replaced.

There were certainly other things I’d rather have been doing that day, but I love them dearly, so there I was, “helping.” I emptied and washed my grandmother’s reeking chamber pot, scrubbed the bathroom floor where she regularly misses the toilet, took Daddy shopping for a bath curtain, pulled off all the tape, hung the curtain, washed and hung out several loads of really stinky laundry, scrubbed and swept, changed bedding and tablecloths, loaded the dishwasher, etc.

Then, weary and depressed, I sat down to dinner with my three darlings and a peculiar thing happened: I was overcome with a feeling of immense gratitude. It occurred to me that it was my honor to give them that measly gift of a single day’s servitude out of the so many thousands of such days my mother puts in single-handedly without a word of complaint. It was my privilege to empty their chamber pots and wash their dirty clothes. I felt an overwhelming sense of existing, for a brief moment, in a glow of divine grace.

I am decidedly not religious, but that day I realized that to serve others selflessly to the point of...

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