Christian actions speak louder than words

By Judy Brandon: Local columnist

Sometimes these days we are hard pressed for some good news. I want to write some good news about an incident that happened many years ago when I was teaching at Yucca Junior High School in Clovis.

It centered around a delightful scene that took place every morning. One of my fellow teachers always arrived to a remarkable greeting on snowy, rainy or extra windy days. Because of a childhood illness she had to use crutches, and on bad weather days had to resort to a wheelchair. So during adverse weather, she arrived at school and was met by no less than eight strapping, enthusiastic junior high boys. They were there to assist her in getting her from her car in the parking lot to the school building and into her classroom.

Her wheelchair was kept at school, so when she pulled up, they went into action. With the precision moves that looked rehearsed to the minute detail, two helped her into her wheelchair from the car. The others gathered her purse and books and then locked her car. With her safely in the wheelchair they moved toward the building. One would always clear the way and take charge, directing traffic by ordering everyone to halt until she was safely pushed across the parking lot.

The way was cleared around the school doors by the lead man ordering, not telling, the other students standing in the path to make room. Two young men held the double doors wide open for her to be pushed into the school and then the others followed.

This entourage of young men would temporarily stop by the mailbox in the teacher’s lounge to gather her mail. Then they wheeled her down to her classroom, unlocked the door, turned the lights on and secured her purse in her filing cabinet. Next they hung her coat up and finally pushed her to her desk. All was settled.

But the story doesn’t end there. When the weather was snowy, one young man arrived at 7:15 in the morning to clear the sidewalks outside her home so she wouldn’t slip when she went to get into her car. The only disagreement this troop of volunteers had was who would accompany her to the store in the afternoons to help her buy groceries!

I have thought of those boys many times since. They are all grown now, but occasionally I am reminded of that scene in the school parking lot on bad weather days. I have come to realize that their efforts put some adults who claim to be Christians to shame.

God commanded us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Jesus told His listeners that a visible love for one another is one of the identifying characteristics of a disciple. Paul said to bear one another’s burdens.

There are ways to serve in any circumstance, no matter what one’s age, position or social status. The junior high boys exemplified that. The question is whether we will serve willingly with vigor or selfishly with a negative attitude.

The Gospel is the supreme standard of what transpires when someone gives of themselves, for Christ is the ultimate example and died for all of us. Living out the Gospel in our daily lives means showing Christ-like love in every circumstance — from the grocery store check-out line, to the pew on Sunday morning and consistently everywhere in our lives in between.

That is the lesson I learned from those boys, and it is a lesson that all ages can understand. After all, don’t our actions speak louder than words?

Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: