“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice.” (I Samuel 15:22)
When my husband John came down with the flu a few hours before milking time, I was frantic. Our hired helper had the night off and I had not been in the barn since our baby was born a few months before. John insisted he could do the work with my help so I phoned Katie, our teenage baby-sitter, to ask her if she could care for Mandy during that time.
Katie’s mother, Nan, answered the phone. I explained the situation and she asked if their family of five could come over to help us. This was dirty work and I hesitated since they did not live on a farm or have animals. It was also Wednesday and their family always attended church services. She insisted, however, and I told her what time chores would begin.
Their family arrived promptly and John, who hung weakly onto the milk tank for support, assigned all of us jobs. Nan and her eight-year-old daughter fed the calves buckets of milk in the nursery area. Dean, Nan’s husband, and his teenage son helped John in the parlor, lifting milkers and washing the cows. From where I stood, feeding cows in the barn, I could hear Mandy’s squeals of delight as Katie swung her in the yard. I relaxed, knowing everything was going well.
Light chatter and serious work filled the next three hours. Finally, John turned off the milk house lights and everyone met in the barnyard. Every job had been completed without mishap. Our friends offered to return for the next morning’s milking, but John said he would feel better, and he did, enough to complete the job himself.
When our friends chose to get their hands dirty, instead of folding those same hands in prayer at church, they chose to show love. It wouldn’t have been wrong to attend church; but their choosing to show love was evidence they knew what God expected of them, that is to help someone in need
God, help us to always choose to help others if we are able and show our love for you.