Personal Experience

by Philip McPherson Rudisill

The little (11, 12?) year old boy goes to camp while very angry at his Youngest sister [for what reason we do not know; but we do know that the boy hated the smallest of all the siblings with a serious hate].* Here is what he did with the power that was at his disposal.** He sent a letter home to his family from camp telling all about his activities; and when he came to the closing of the letter he said, in full consciousness and intention, "Give my love to Daddy, Mommy, Older Brother and Older Sister" and deliberately left out all mention of Youngest Sister, the (then) hated one.

[* Was he angry because he had to leave off playing with himself or his friends in order to look after his Youngest sister? Memory fails and we do not know and can only guess. The only certain thing is that this anger was not based on anything that Youngest Sister had done to him.]

[** One can only shudder to think what he might have done had he had greater power!]

The little boy wept (inside) when he did that, for he knew that it was wrong; but he just had to do it, he was so mad.

The little boy's mother, who knew of his anger, received the letter and read its contents aloud to the excited family gathered at the supper table. But when she came to the closing and the sending of love, she read off the names of those actually greeted in love and then she added (but as though she were merely reading it) "and most of all to Youngest Sister." The whole family then looked at Youngest Sister and smiled and rejoiced, because she was also very loving (and for which reason the angry boy, had the truth come out, would have been blamed by the others in the family, or at least wondered about).

Now then this wonderful mother wrote back to the little boy and told him how happy he had made his loving family. She also mentioned that he, the little boy, had left out the name of Youngest Sister, "most certainly by mistake" but that he need have no worry because she (the mother) had added it for him. And it had made Youngest Sister especially happy that her favorite brother loved her so much.

The little boy was very much ashamed, and while he would fall short of what he knew to be the right thing more than once again during the course of his life, he became known among his friends as someone very anxious to give people another chance, even when they did not seem to deserve it.

But the best of all was the experience of Emmanuel (although only recognized as such much later in adulthood). For the evil that the little boy had intended had been turned into love by an angel in the guise of his mother; and for which reason he will always bow to his mother and kiss her hand and praise God for her and her sagacity and her love.


If I may be permitted a moment of reflection: since the life of the little boy was changed by means of this action, I wonder if something at some time in the life of the mother had affected her is some way, perhaps also while a child (although not necessarily so), such that perhaps a tracing of spirit could be made back to Christ himself. For in John's gospel we read how Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit upon those who knew him.

"Finish now thy new creation, pure and spotless let us be.
"Let us see thy great salvation, perfectly restored in thee.
"Changed from glory into glory, til in heaven we take our place;
"Til we cast our crowns before Thee, lost in wonder, love and praise!"

Video of hymn being sung.

Verse for reflection: Romans 5:20

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