Generosity and Compassion

Matthew 10:42
"And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”

My brother Gary recounted this story during the memorial service for my mother, Wilma Dorothy “Cassy” Mullins. It is a simple story, but one that truly speaks to the values that we as Christians and as Disciples hold to be true as it concerns generosity coupled with compassion.

“Of course, one could not begin to recount all of the wonderful memories that I have of my beloved mother, Cassy Mullins. But if forced to choose from among the many, one does stand out that I believe all who knew her would agree, characterized her conviction and steadfast integrity.

I must have been only about six or seven years old at the time, but it is a memory of my mother that will always stay with me. Many of you will remember what a big deal it was, years ago, to attend the State Fair. Every school child was given a ticket to attend the fair on a specific day. Well, my mother had taken us children to the fair one afternoon. Ahead of us in the line was a black woman and her young son. As this woman tried to enter the gate, she was stopped by the attendant and was told she would have to pay for a ticket because the one she had given him was for the “wrong” day. The black woman pleaded that she did not have the money to pay for the ticket, which I still remember to this day, was only $2. You could see her frustration mounting as she argued with the attendant, and I could see the tears welling up in the eyes of her young son.

I then felt my mother pushing past me and making her way to the attendant’s window. She gently moved the black woman aside and stepped to the front. My mother stared at him and spoke gently but forthrightly-– “here’s your two dollars” and pushed the money to him.

She then turned and in the sweet, caring, nurse’s voice that only Cassy had, put a gentle hand on the woman’s shoulder and said, “There, there, honey, now you go on and enjoy yourselves”, and guided the woman through the turnstile.

That, for me, sums up the person that my mother was: gentle, generous, and compassionate but with conviction. It would have been much easier to have looked the other way”.

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