Elmer and Francis

Elmer and Francis

Who loves God the more, the person who tries to show his love by always saying, "God, I love you," or the person who tries to show his love by doing all kinds of good deeds that God wants him to do? Before you try to answer this question, let me tell you a story.

A father and mother had two boys named Francis and Elmer. Elmer was always with his father and mother. He was with his parents very much and always had more to say than Francis. It was easy for him to throw his arms around his father and mother and tell them that he loved them. Of course, parents are happy when their children say that they love them.

Francis, however, was more quiet. He was always busy doing something, and therefore he was not with his parents as much as Elmer was. In the evenings while Elmer was upstairs with his parents, Francis was in the cellar at his work-bench making something that his mother could use in the kitchen or something for his father, a footstool or magazine rack. It was not so easy for Francis to say to his parents, "I love you." He tried to show his love by doing something for them.

One day the father came home very tired from a long day's work. At the dinner table he said that the grass needed cutting badly, but he was just too tired to mow it. When Elmer heard this, he said, "Dad, you lie down on a blanket in the back yard. It's very hot you know, and I'll join you." But when Francis heard how tired his father was, he said, "You look tired and hot, dad. I am big and strong enough to handle the lawn mower. Right after dinner I'll mow the lawn while you rest."

Did Francis or Elmer love his parents the more? Do not answer now. Let me tell you something more about these two boys.

One day the mother was ill. She was not sick enough to be in bed, but nevertheless, she was ill enough so that she did not feel like getting at the dishes that were stacked in the sink waiting to be washed. When Elmer came home from school he rushed right by all the dishes and seeing his mother not well, said, "Mother, perhaps it will make you feel better if I tell you that I love you. I wonder if I could have some money to go to the movies." But when Francis came home a few minutes later, and saw the stack of dishes in the sink he said, "Mother, it's unusual to see dishes unwashed at this time of the day. You do not look well at all. I am glad that you left those dishes for me. I'll roll up my sleeves and get at them right away."

Did Francis or Elmer love his parents the more? Do not answer the question now. I know what your answer will be. Your answer is that Francis loved his father and mother the more. To say, "I love you" is not enough. Elmer should have shown his love for his parents by doing things for them that will help them and make them happy. The parents were happy when Elmer said, "I love you," but they were much happier when Francis said, "Dad, you are tired, I will mow the grass," or "Mother, you are ill, I will wash the dishes."

At the beginning I asked you who loves God the more, the person who says, "God, I love you," or the person who does all kinds of good deeds for God? Let us answer in this way, We are all God's children. God is made happy when we say, "I love you," but He is much happier when we show that love by doing some kind deed. Remember that when we do a good deed for someone else we are doing it for God.

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