Why is Beth always willing to serve others, not desiring any monetary reward? Mr. Bowints can not understand.... until one day Beth and her family come to serve him.
"Do As I Have Done."
given to Rivqah (bana Shalom) on Abib 14, 5765
Inspirational Shabbat Message for 4/29/04
"Ye call me Teacher and Master: and ye say well, for so I am. If I then, your Master and Teacher, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one anotherís feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his master; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." (John 13:13-17) Beth read the words slowly and meditatively. "How beautiful," she whispered. "What a charge He has given us, to do as He has done. To be a servant as He is. How great He is, and yet He is a servant to us." She sat, the Scriptures open in her lap, with a feeling of awe and reverence. "Yahweh!" she cried suddenly, "Make me a servant like You! O help me! I want to be like You! Let me be a servant."
Beth heard a voice calling from the foot of the stairs. "Beth, itís breakfast time. Please come down." Closing the Scriptures, she looked upwards. The eyes of the fifteen year old were innocent and trusting. "Yahweh," she whispered, "Let me be a servant." Her words, though very quiet, were full of fervency and devotion. She left her room and went down the stairs, praying for a servantís heart as she went.
Beth was a sweet girl, known by her family as one who was always quick to jump up from the table and get something for someone; or ready to help one of her siblings when she had other things she wanted to do. Everyone felt that they could depend on her when they needed something. But Beth knew deep down in her heart that she did not serve like Yahshua. Too often she did not want to serve; and though she was quick to be a servant, it was not always out of love. It was not a heart thing of loving to serve others; it was more a thing that she felt she should do. Now as she went to the breakfast table, she prayed for a servantís heart.
Father thanked Yahweh for the food, and they commenced eating. Beth thought, Yahweh loves us enough to give us food to eat. He doesnít do it because He has to, or feels obligated to, but rather, because He loves us. I want to be like that.
"Iím thirsty." It was the voice of Bethís twin brother, James.
"Iíll get drinks for everyone," said Mom, laying down her fork.
Beth quickly jumped up. "No, Mom," she said. "Iíll get them. You go ahead and eat." Mom smiled in appreciation. As Beth hurried to the refrigerator she thought, "I am serving them because I love them. It is not because I have to serve them, but because I want to." With peace in her heart she set the lemonade on the table and passed the cups around.
A couple weeks passed. Beth sought to serve her family because she loved them and wanted to serve them. There were times that she struggled with comparing what she did with what her other siblings did, and times that she didnít feel like serving. But she continued to pray about it, and to improve.
One evening at the supper table, Mom said, "Mrs. Dart told me today that the widow on Cleaves Street is quite ill."
"Do you mean Mrs. Johnson?" Dad asked.
"Yes," Mom replied. "She has quite a fever and canít get out of bed."
"Shouldnít we go see her?" asked Beth. "We could take her some food and see if she needs any help."
Dad looked doubtful. "I donít know," he said. "We donít even know her, Beth. Iím sure there are people who know her better that can help her."
"But in this world of hurry-scurry and hustle-bustle, people donít take enough time to help each other," Beth said sadly. "We are Yahwehís people, and are called to entertain strangers, Dad. Could not we give her a cup of cold water in Yahshuaís Name?"
Dad smiled. "Very well, Beth, you have convinced me," he said. "You may take her something if you like. And you may see if thereís any way you can help her."
"Today?" asked Beth.
"No," said Dad. "Itís getting dark, Beth. You may go tomorrow."
The next day after breakfast, Beth put on her coat, and got the casserole that she had made last night after supper. Then she hurried outside into the fresh air. She had written out a few passages of Scripture and put them in her apron pocket, that way she might read something nice to the elderly lady.
It was about two weeks until spring, but the air was pleasantly warm. Beth felt happy as she walked down North Road and turned onto Cleaves Street. A spring day in Eastern Prulesha was a most beautiful thing to her. And topping her anticipation of those spring days with an act of servitude caused her to sing. "Thank-you, Yahweh. Thank-you, Yahweh," her heart sang as she went.
She knocked on the door. There was no answer. She knocked again. Still no answer. Maybe sheís asleep, Beth thought, disappointed. Oh well, Iíll come again later.
She returned home. "Didnít you give it to her?" asked nine year old Peter, seeing the casserole still in Bethís hands.
"She didnít answer the door," Beth replied. "She was probably sleeping. Iíll go later."
"I wouldnít bother," said Peter. "She probably just didnít want to see you. Who wants to visit someone you donít even know?"
"Peter!" exclaimed Beth, "Youíre not being very nice to Mrs. Johnson or to me. Do you appreciate it when someone does something for you?"
Mom had overheard the conversation, and now she entered the room. "Peter, donít speak unkindly," she said gently. "Beth wants to do something nice for the lady, and that is admirable."
Later on, Beth went again. This time when she knocked, she heard, "Whoís out there."
Beth hesitated, not knowing quite what to say. Then she called, "I live on North Road, and I heard you were sick. I came to see you."
"Come in," the frail voice called. So Beth entered. "Iím in here," came the voice. Beth followed the sound of the voice, and entered a small bedroom. There lay Mrs. Johnson in her bed.
"Now who are you?" the old lady asked.
"Iím Beth Jansen, Will Jansenís daughter, and I live on North Road," Beth replied. "Mom heard that you were sick, and I thought I might come see you and bring you this casserole. Is there anything I can do for you?"
"Well bless your heart," Mrs. Johnson said. "A casserole you say? Iím not very hungry right now, but put it out in the refrigerator. Iíll eat some when I get hungry. What kind of casserole is it?"
"Itís tuna noodle," Beth told her.
Mrs. Johnsonís face fell. "Oh Iím sorry," she said. "Iím allergic to meat."
"Pardon me," Beth apologized. "Iím so sorry. I didnít know. Iíll bake you another casserole."
"Oh you donít have to," Mrs. Johnson said.
"But I want to," Beth insisted. "What kind of casserole do you like the most?"
"It doesnít matter, just something that doesnít have meat in it," the old lady said. "Bless your heart," she repeated. "Youíre going to a lot of trouble for me."
"No, itís not trouble," Beth said. "Itís because I want to do something for you. Weíll eat the tuna noodle casserole, and Iíll make you something else. It makes me glad to help you."
"Well bless your heart," Mrs. Johnson exclaimed once again. That seemed to be her standard sentence. "Could you do one thing for me while youíre here?" she asked.
"Sure," Beth replied eagerly. "Iíd love to."
"Well bless your heart," Mrs. Johnson said. Please just sweep the kitchen floor. I canít stand to feel dirt on my feet when Iím walking about the kitchen."
When Beth had finished sweeping the floor, she read Mrs. Johnson Psalm 46. Then she took the casserole and went home. As she walked, she thought about what Mrs. Johnson had said: "Bless your heart. Bless your heart." Indeed, mused Beth, Servitude has a great deal to do with the heart. Mrs. Johnson did not say, "Bless your acts of service." She said, "Bless your heart."
Beth reached home, and Mom had some schoolwork that she wanted her to do. But later on when she got time, Beth made another casserole. The next day she took it to Mrs. Johnson. Mrs. Johnson was at the table drinking tea when Beth arrived. She was feeling better, and thanked Beth for her kindness and generosity. Beth left the house feeling happy. She walked down Cleaves Street and turned onto North Road. Two houses from her house lived Mr. Bowints, one of the men who met with them on Sabbath. When she passed his house he was out in the yard. "Hello," she called.
"Hello," he said, coming over the road. "I saw you going with a casserole. Was it somebody specialís birthday?" He smiled as he asked the question.
"No," Beth replied. "But somebody special was sick. It was Mrs. Johnson. She has a fever, and so I went over to see if there was anything I could do for her."
"Mrs. Johnson?" asked Mr. Bowints. "I didnít know you knew her, and I certainly didnít know that she was somebody special to you. Sheís kind of a..." He hesitated, then said, "Most people donít have much to do with her. Sheís just an old widow, and..."
"Mr. Bowints," Beth interrupted him, "I donít want to speak ill of Mrs. Johnson. She seems to be a very pleasant lady, and I am glad that I could brighten her day."
"O-K," said Mr. Bowints. "Thatís all fine, Beth, but I canít understand why you would spend your time baking casseroles for an old lady that you donít even know."
"I did it because I wanted to," Beth replied simply. "I wanted to make her happy."
"O-K," said Mr. Bowints, and returned to his house, shaking his head and thinking about how Beth would be better off if she made casseroles and sold them to her neighbors. Beth, on the other hand, went home, thinking, If we do nothing for those we donít know, how do we ever meet anybody new?
When she got home, Beth told Mom what Mr. Bowints had said. "Donít worry about it," Mom said. "Thatís just the way Mr. Bowints is. You canít let that discourage you." And Beth agreed with her.
Later on that afternoon, her younger sister, Miriam, asked her to help her with the baby bootie she was crocheting. "I keep messing up at this one spot," she explained, holding out the bootie.
Beth laid down the needlework that she was doing, and turned to help Miriam. As she tried to help her and kept messing up just as Miriam was, she began to get frustrated. "I donít know, Miriam," she said irritably. "I canít figure it out. Youíll just have to work on it."
"Please," begged Miriam, "You can crochet so much better than I can."
Beth was about to say "no" when Yahweh seemed to say to her, "Have a servantís heart, Beth." "Yahweh," she prayed silently, "Let me be patient."
"Are you going to help me," Miriam asked hopefully.
"Yes," said Beth. "Letís pray that Yahweh will help us figure out. Yahweh," she prayed, "You know how to do this. Please show us how to crochet this baby bootie if itís Your will." In a short while they had it figured out, and both were contented. Yahweh is kind, thought Beth. He was serving us by helping us figure out how to do that bootie. Did He have to do that? No, He could have left us in confusion and frustration. But He cares about the smallest things, and He hears our cries. What a servant He is.
The next day when Miriam checked the mail, Mr. Bowints called "hello" to her from his yard.
"Hi," the eight year old called back. "I made a baby bootie yesterday. I couldnít figure out how to do part of it, and Beth helped me."
"Very nice," said Mr. Bowints. Then he returned to weeding his flowerbed, thinking, That Beth must do nothing but help others. I would let the little girl figure it out herself. Children seem to always want everyone to figure things out for them.
Three weeks later, Beth came to Mom with the news that the Dalerightsí son had died. The Daleright family lived about Ĺ mile from them, and they had three children, Bess, Johnny, and Louis. Louis, the oldest of the children, had been hit by a car, and killed. "That must be terribly hard," Beth exclaimed. "Donít you think theyíre very sad, Mom?"
"Of course," said Mom soberly. "How swiftly death comes." Then she left the room.
Beth followed her. "Canít we do something, Mom?" she asked. "Something to show our sympathy?"
"But Beth," said Mom, "They donít hardly even know us. And theyíre a worldly family. Itís not like they would relate much to Yahweh and His compassion for them."
"Then think how sad they must be," Beth said. "They have no hope of eternal Life, and they donít really know about Yahwehís compassion for them. Canít we share it with them somehow? I didnít know Mrs. Johnson either, but you know how I love to go see her now, since I met her, and how she loves to have me come. If I hadnít gone the first time, I still wouldnít know her."
Mom listened thoughtfully to what Beth said. When Beth finished, she said, "Well, you ask your dad about it. If he doesnít mind, you may go see them. But what are you going to do? Are you going to take them something?"
"I know!" Beth exclaimed. "Iíll take them one of the apple pies we baked yesterday. And Iíll just try to share with them in a loving way how Yahweh cares about what happened.
"You may try it," Mom consented, "If dad doesnít mind. But I donít really like the idea of you going over there by yourself. Why donít I come along?"
"That would be fine," Beth said, and hurried to find her dad.
Later that afternoon, Mom and Beth walked over to the Dalerightsí house, and knocked on the door. Bess answered the door. She was about six or seven years old, and her little face looked sad. "What do you want?" she asked in a tiny voice.
"Are your parents here?" Beth asked. "We brought an apple pie for your family.
"Tell them to come in, Bess," a voice called from another room. So Bess led them into the livingroom, where Mrs. Daleright sat, knitting socks. "What has brought you?" the woman asked in a sad voice.
"We heard that your son was killed," said Beth, looking compassionately at the woman, "And we wanted to bring you this apple pie. Iím very sorry about what happened."
Tears filled the womanís eyes. "If only I had known," she said in a desperate voice. "I wouldnít have sent him off to school with such hasty, short words."
"We never can know when death will come," Beth said softly. "But Yahweh knows, Mrs. Daleright. And He feels sympathy for you."
"Who is Yahweh?" asked Mrs. Daleright.
"That is what we call God," Mom answered.
"Oh," said the woman, shaking her head. "Well, I canít believe he really cares, else why did he take him?"
"I donít know all the answers, Mrs. Daleright, but I do know that He cares," Beth said gently. "I care. I brought you this pie to show you my sympathy. But Yahweh cares much more than I do. The Scripture tells us that He even sees when a sparrow falls. He cares for you so much more."
Mrs. Daleright shook her head. "That would all be wonderful if it was true," she said. "But anyhow, thank-you for coming. Iíll put this pie in the kitchen and weíll have it for supper tonight." She rose and took the pie from Beth. They went into the kitchen. After putting the pie on the table, Mrs. Daleright turned to Beth. "Most people donít care," she said, her voice none to steady. "Most people care only for themselves. Why did you come? Why do you care? You donít even know me really."
"I care because Yahweh cares," Beth said, taking Mrs. Dalerightís hand. "I am His servant, and that means that I serve the people around me. And that I care about them. Because that is what He wants me to do. He loves you so much, Mrs. Daleright, and He sent me to help you see that He cares and loves."
Mrs. Daleright shook her head again. "Iíll think about it," she said. "Iíve never heard anyone talk that way before. You must go now. Youíre taking up too much of your time for me. Go do the things young folks love to do."
"I love to serve others," said Beth. "I would be glad to help you, Mrs. Daleright, if thereís anything I can do for you."
"No," said the woman. "You need not do that. But thank-you so much for the pie." Turning to Mom, she said, "And thank-you too." Impulsively Mom put her arms around Mrs. Daleright. Mrs. Daleright burst into tears. "Iím sorry," said Mom. "I know itís very hard."
On the way home, Mom said to Beth, "You have a way about you, sweetheart, that touches peopleís hearts. Like the way you told her about Yahweh. You did not tell her in a way that condemned, but rather, in a way that showed heartfelt compassion. Iím glad we went. I learned a lesson just by going with you."
A couple days later, Bethís brother James took the dog for a walk. As he was passing Mr. Bowintsí house, the man stepped out. "Hey there, James!" he called. "Your sister giving away pies again?"
"She went with Mom to give a pie to the Daleright family," James replied.
Coming over to the road as he talked, Mr. Bowints said, "You all in thick with the Dalerights?"
"Oh no," James said, "But she heard that their son was killed. He was hit with a car."
"Oh yes, I heard," said Mr. Bowints. "I saw it in the newspaper. But you canít take a pie to every family that loses a son, mother, and so on. That happens every day."
"But Beth likes to help people," James told the man. "And I think the Dalerights really appreciated it."
"Well, you tell her that she ought to set up a pie stand and make some money off her pies, instead of just scattering them to the wind for nothing," Mr. Bowints said. "See ya on Sabbath, James," and he went back into his house.
James never had really cared for Mr. Bowints. He seemed to always think about what you could get out of what you did for others. He always tried to discourage his fellow believers from helping people simply out of love.
That Sabbath Bethís family went to the Coltersí house. The Colters were an older couple who lived about a half hour away from the Jansens (Bethís family). Usually each Sabbath, the Colters, Jansens, and Mr. Bowints got together. They took turns coming to each othersí houses. This week, everyone was talking about Passover. It was to begin in three days. The years before, the Jansens had done Passover evening at their own house with Mr. Bowints, and the Colters had done it at their house. But this Sabbath, Mr. Colter was suggesting that perhaps they should all do it together.
"I would like to do that," Mr. Bowints said. "I think it would be a nice experience to do it all together."
"That would be nice for a change," Bethís dad said. "Whoís house shall we do it at?"
"Yourís," said Mr. Bowints. "Weíre at the Coltersí house this week, and we were at mine last week." That was another thing Mr. Bowints seemed to worry about, that is, that they went to each othersí houses in a certain order, with no interruptions to that order.
"O-K," said Bethís dad. "Suits me fine."
Passover came. Beth had been particularly looking forward to this Passover. She knew that the foot washing was a symbol of servanthood, and servanthood had come to mean a great deal to her.
Mr. Bowints came walking over, and in a short while, the Colters pulled in in their wagon. It was going to be a lovely evening.
Mother, Beth, and Miriam had prepared a supper of lamb and herb noodles. Everyone gathered about the table, and at dadís request, Mr. Colter thanked Yahweh for the food and that they could be keeping the Passover once again.
After the main meal they partook of the unleavened bread and wine, before which they read applicable Scriptures.
Then it was time for the foot washing, the part which Beth had particularly looking forward to. They read in John 13 about when Yahshua washed his disciplesí feet. Beth loved that passage, the one that ended with the beautiful verses that had caused her to want to be a true servant. When they had finished reading, Mr. Colter said, "You know, washing of each othersí feet is not just for Passover time. In olden days, when the roads were dirt and people wore sandals, it was a common thing to wash feet. When David asked Abigailís hand in marriage, one of the things she said was that she would wash his servantsí feet. Let us remember to apply servanthood to our daily lives, not just at Passover time."
"Yes," dad agreed. "It may not be a common custom to wash one anotherís feet today, but there are plenty of ways we can serve each other." Those words about servanthood were beautiful to Beth. She wondered what Mr. Bowints thought of them.
Dad and James had already drawn water from the well for foot washing, and Mom had been heating it on top of the big cook stove. Now they poured the warm water into two basins. Mom, Beth, Miriam, and Mrs. Colter went into the livingroom, while the menfolk and Peter took their basin to a side room. As Beth knelt to wash Mrs. Colterís feet, a feeling of awe swept over her. She was doing the same thing that Yahshua had done years ago. It was truly with love that she washed feet that Passover.
In the other room, Mr. Bowints washed Jamesí feet. He didnít care for this part of Passover, but it was part of what you did and he didnít want to make a big scene. In his mind he condemned Simon Peter for the scene that he made when Yahshua wanted to wash his feet. People just need to learn to listen to Yahshua, Mr. Bowints thought. Yahshua tells us to wash each othersí feet, so that is what we should do. He is a servant. Why should we not be servants? He totally forgot about the application of being servants all the time, not just at Passover.
Two weeks later, Mrs. Colter fell and hurt her leg. The Jansens and Mr. Bowints went to the Coltersí for Sabbath, and after assembly, Beth asked Mr. And Mrs. Colter if she might stay and help them out until Mrs. Colterís leg was feeling better. She had already asked her parents if she might, and they had wholeheartedly consented.
"Why Beth!" exclaimed Mrs. Colter, "That is so kind of you! It certainly would be appreciated."
"Yes, it would," Mr. Colter agreed. "That is so thoughtful of you, Beth. We would be glad to have you stay for a while."
Mr. Bowints, hearing the conversation, shook his head. That Beth, he thought, I do believe that if foot washing was a common custom nowadays, that she be overjoyed to wash feet all the day long. She seems to think of nothing except how to give of herself to others. I donít see how she can be happy, giving up so much of her time for others. Sheíll be up here with this old couple for probably at least a week. I canít imagine how she could be glad to do that, especially at her age. Perhaps this experience will teach her that there is more to life than serving others.
Beth enjoyed her two weeks at the Coltersí house immensely. She did miss her family though, and was glad to back home again, when Mrs. Colterís leg was feeling well.
Three days before Beth was to leave the Coltersí house, Mr. Colter asked her if he might pay her for her services. "Oh no, Mr. Colter, you donít have to do that," said Beth. "Are you sure?" he asked. "Yes," Beth replied. At that moment, Mrs. Colter called her, and Beth hurried to see what she wanted. But on her last day with them, Mr. Colter again asked her if he might pay her. "Thank-you, Mr. Colter, but please, no," Beth replied. "I did not do it to be paid. I do not want any money. I simply did it out of love and care for you. For you see, I love you two, because Yahweh loves you, and calls me to love you and unselfishly serve you. I love to serve you, and I do not want to be paid." So Mr. Colter did not try again to pay her.
Home again, Beth joyfully started out the road with Miriam, to check the mail. As he often did, Mr. Bowints opened his door as they came past, and walked over to the road. "So Beth," he said, and looked at her searchingly, "Have you come to realize that there is more to life than serving others?"
"What?" Beth asked confused. "I donít understand."
"You mean you actually enjoyed spending two whole weeks at the Coltersí house, away from your family?" Mr. Bowints asked.
"Why yes!" exclaimed Beth. "Of course I missed my family, but it was a wonderful experience helping the Colters out. I am so thankful to Yahweh that I was able to do it."
Mr. Bowints shook his head, disappointed. "Well Beth, I certainly donít understand you. Youíre a different kind of person. I can see taking care of an elderly couple if it was something you were getting compensated for. You indeed are a very caring person, and that is noteworthy. But why donít you make some profit of it, and start caring for elderly people for the purpose of making some money?"
"Oh Mr. Bowints," exclaimed Beth, "But that would ruin it all. If I did it because I wanted to make money, that would take away from the reason that I do it now. If I did it for the purpose of making money, then it would not be because I genuinely cared. Iím afraid I canít do that, Mr. Bowints."
"Go on your way then, miss," Mr. Bowints said. "I see I cannot reason with you. I am afraid that you are wasting your talents, and I am going to have to talk to your father about it."
Beth was glad to go. "What did he mean?" asked Miriam. "Does he think itís bad that you help people out?"
"He just doesnít understand," said Beth. "Donít worry about it Miriam."
"What is he going to ask dad?" Miriam asked. "Will dad make you stop helping people?"
"Of course not," Beth replied. "Donít let it trouble you now, Miriam. Mr. Bowints wonít make dad do anything."
But a couple days later, Mr. Bowints did knock on the door. Dad was working out in the fields with the boys, and mom told him he might stroll out and see them there. When Mr. Bowints had started towards the fields, mom said casually, "I wonder what he wants."
Beth said nothing until Miriam left the room on an errand upstairs for mom. Then she said quietly, "Heís worried that I shouldnít spend my time helping other people and making no money off of it. He told me he was going to talk to dad about it."
Mom shook her head. "That Mr. Bowints," she said, "He bothers me sometimes."
"Me too," Beth agreed. "I wish there was some way that we could help him understand that the believerís life is to be one of servitude."
"Itís probably best that he never got married," mom commented. "The married life is certainly one of giving and serving."
After Mr. Bowints had talked to dad awhile and been unable to persuade him to think his way, he said, "Well, Mr. Jansen, I can see that you are just as stubborn as your daughter. I shall be going home." And he left, quite disturbed.
The next morning James walked out to check the mail. A few minutes later he burst into the kitchen where Beth and Miriam were washing up the breakfast dishes. "Whereís dad?" he shouted.
"I donít know," Beth replied, worried. "What happened?"
James rushed outside, and soon he was running down the road with dad and Peter. Beth called mom, and she and Miriam ran out of the house to see what had happened. Then she saw it. Mr. Bowints was laying on the road, apparently unconscious.
What had happened nobody knew. For three weeks Mr. Bowints lay unconscious. Mom, Beth, Dad, and James took turns staying at his house with him during the days and nights of those three weeks. As Beth parted the lips of the unconscious Mr. Bowints and a gave him teaspoons of water, she felt a real love for him that she had never felt before. Here I am being a servant to all these different people, out of love for them, and forgetting to love Mr. Bowints, a brother in Messiah, she thought. He might have some flaws, but he is a brother in Messiah. I have my flaws too. Iíve been noticing his flaws, and forgetting about mine. And forgetting about his strong points too, like his steadfast honesty, and his fervency in prayer, and his great desire to see souls saved. Iíve been missing all this. As she served Mr. Bowints, she felt remorse for the kind of attitude she had formerly had towards him. Perhaps he didnít know it, but she had disliked him. Now she gave this lack of love over to Yahweh, and sincerely asked for forgiveness.
It was the Sabbath. The Jansens and Colters were gathered in Mr. Bowints house, where they could all worship together, while still being handy in case they needed to do anything for their unconscious brother. They were in the middle of singing a song, when Beth felt an urge to go into the bedroom and check on Mr. Bowints. She got up quickly and hurried in. As she entered the room, there was a slight cough. Excited she approached his bedside. One eye opened, then the other. "Mr. Bowints," Beth said in a soft voice, "Can you hear me?"
"Hear," he murmured. "Where at? Where... at?" His words came slowly.
"You are in your bedroom," Beth said. "You have been ill."
"I... been... ill," he repeated.
The song out in the livingroom had ended, and hearing speaking in the bedroom, the others came in. They were all very glad to see that Mr. Bowints was again conscious. He was still very weak though, and when the Colters left for their home, he was still in bed, and was puzzling over how it was that he had went unconscious. They tried to explain to him that they had just found him in the road that way, but he seemed confused and bewildered over the whole situation. Beth felt sorry for him.
Later on that day Beth got Mr. Bowints a cup of tea. When she gave it to him, he said, "You say itís been three weeks? Why have you all been spending so much time... three weeks... just for me."
Bethís answer spilled forth from a heart of love and kindness. "Because we love you, Mr. Bowints, and wanted to help you," she said.
Mr. Bowints was silent for a little while as he looked down at his teacup. When he looked up, his eyes were full of tears. "You mean... the same reason that you serve all those other people? That I condemned you for serving?"
"Yes," replied Beth. "But please donít hold that condemning against yourself, Mr. Bowints. Iíve forgiven you."
"Youíve forgiven me already?" he asked. "Why? I havenít even apologized."
"Because Yahweh has forgiven you," Beth replied.
"Beth, I see now," Mr. Bowints said. "I have unjustly condemned you, and you have been right all along. Perhaps... perhaps Yahweh caused this unconsciousness to heal my spiritual blindness and help me be conscious to the fact that the child of Yahweh is to be a willing servant." He paused, then said, "Seems I remember some words from Passover: ĎI have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.í To do as He has done, to serve in love."