The Sunbather -- By Joseph J. Mazzella

"Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?  When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?  Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'  And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'" (Matt 25:37-40 NKJV)


It was an early Spring morning. The sun was out but the chill of Winter past was still fighting against the warmth of Spring. I was driving down a quiet country lane and heading home after running some errands. As I was rounding a curve I saw a rock up ahead in the middle of the road. As I slowed to go around it, I noticed too that it had a head and was staring up at me. It was a turtle who had decided to warm up by sunbathing on the asphalt.

I pulled over to the side of the road and picked up the sunbather. I knew if I moved the turtle off to the side of the road he would just crawl back to the warmer spot as soon as I left. Not knowing what else to do then I carried him to my car and placed him on the passenger seat. As I drove home I would glance over every so often and see the distrusting eyes glaring back at me from within his shell. I tried to comfort him with a few gentle words, but they had no effect.

When I finally made it home I picked up the sunbather again and headed to the woods behind my house. After looking around a bit I saw a clear spot where the sun was shining down on a single rock. I gently placed the turtle down on it and took a few steps back. A few minutes later the head slowly emerged and started soaking up the sun once more. I smiled and headed back to my house. My simple act of kindness may not have seemed like much in the eyes of the world, but it made a difference in the life of one turtle and in the heart of one man.

Most of us go through our lives wanting to make some big difference in this world. In the eyes of Heaven, however, any kind act no matter how small makes a difference. God loves you and He only wants you to do what you can, with what you have, whenever you get a chance. We help God the most too not with some big act of courage but rather with a thousand little acts of love.

 

Remember this then the next time you see a person or a turtle needing a helping hand.

 

By: Joseph J. Mazzella