THE SHEPHERD’S CORNER
Years ago, when I was in school, I read a study about how easily we—and our values—changed. The subjects of the study were law students. When they first started law school, when asked what they wished to do with their law degrees, many said they studied law to help and defend the poor, etc. Three years later, before graduation, when they were asked the same question, many answered that they planned on joining corporate world, etc. We change over time.
The truth is we don’t change over time but rather over experience—we interact and are thus shaped by experience. We may start out law school, medical school, or even theological school with worthy goals. However, as we all know it too well, experiences can change all that. In the end we abandon our original and noble goals, and replace them with those that are more pragmatic and self-serving.
Frank Thielman was just a little boy when he first came in contact with Billy Graham—he was a friend of Ned, one of Billy Graham’s children. Frank used to visit the Graham’s home and what he remembers about those visits were simple but concrete acts of kindness. He remembers Billy Graham’s preparing sandwiches and soup for the kids, and Mrs. Graham’s playing penny hunt where she would hide pennies in the cracks all around the house and make the children find them. All simple but concrete acts of kindness, yet all served as positive experiences in the mind of this little boy, who later grew up to be a minister and a professor in a Bible school.
Billy Graham once said, “The most eloquent prayer is the prayer through hands that heal and bless.” We can learn to say eloquent prayer—it’s not hard. But, the most eloquent—the most pleasing to God and the most impactful—is the prayer not said but done.