When I read this story, I was touched because it is exactly what I believe. I believe that your life should be an extension of what you say that you believe. In the Bible it says "by their fruits ye shall know them". A good tree giveth good fruit, a bad tree giveth bad fruit. Seems like a simple way to judge. I have always had a hard time with people who say or profess that they believe one way and yet act another way. Our example is sometimes the only thing people may see. So how we live our every day lives is very important, I believe. A couple of my favorite quotes are underlined near the end of the story.
I hope you read it and are reminded like I was, to always make sure my actions match my words. Good night dear friends and thanks for your Examples to me and my family. They DO make a difference!
A Living Message
by Steve Goodier
Vincent Van Gogh was not always an artist. In fact, he wanted to be a church pastor and was even sent to the Belgian mining community of Borinage in 1879. He discovered that the miners there endured deplorable working conditions and poverty-level wages. Their families were malnourished and struggled simply to survive. He felt concerned that the small stipend he received from the church allowed him a moderate life style, which, in contrast to the poor, seemed unfair.
One cold February evening, while he watched the miners trudging home, he spotted an old man staggering toward him across the fields, wrapped in a burlap sack for warmth. Van Gogh immediately laid his own clothing out on the bed, set aside enough for one change, and determined to give the rest away. He gave the old man a suit of clothes and he gave his overcoat to a pregnant woman whose husband had been killed in a mining accident. He lived on starvation rations and spent his stipend on food for the miners. When children in one family contracted typhoid fever, though feverish himself, he packed up his bed and took it to them.
A prosperous family in the community offered him free room and board. But Van Gogh declined the offer, stating that it was the final temptation he must reject if he was to faithfully serve his community of poor miners. He believed that if he wanted them to trust him, he must become one of them. And if they were to learn of the love of God through him, he must love them enough to share with them.
He was acutely aware of a wide chasm, which can separate words and actions. He knew that people's lives often speak louder and clearer than their words. Maybe it was that same knowledge that led Francis of Assisi to frequently remind his monks, "Wherever you go, preach. Use words if necessary."
Today, others will be "listening" carefully to your actions.
"What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say" ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
“We tend to judge others by their actions, and we judge ourselves by our intentions.”