June 17, 2024

Good morning, Church Family and Friends,

Forrest Carter once wrote a beautiful book about the Cherokee Indians set in the Western North Carolina mountains during the Great Depression.  It was called The Education of Little Tree, and it touched me deeply.

He told of a little Cherokee boy who was reared by his grandparents who were very, very poor.  Into the hills came a Jewish man who was a salesman.  He would go house-to-house saying, “Fabric!  Needles!  Thread!”  And each time the grandmother would say, “Thank you, Mr. Wine, but we have no money.”  Mr. Wine noticed the grandson standing there with his thin shirt and torn shoes, with cold weather approaching.  

With his expert eye, Mr. Wine took measure of the boy.  He went back to his shop and made a nice, brown coat, about the boy’s size, and put it in his pack.  But he had to figure out a way to give it to the boy.  If the boy didn’t need it, he could have given it to him a hundred times.  But he needed it.  So, how could he give it to him?

Mr. Wine went back again, saying, “Needles!  Thread!  Fabric!”  Again, came the same answer, “Mr. Wine, thank you, but we don’t have any money.”  Mr. Wine turned to the young lad and said, “Hey, Sonny, do you want to help this old man out?”  “What can I do?” the boy said.  The salesman said, “I’ve got a heavy pack on my back, and I’m getting old, and these mountains are getting steeper all the time, and I’m tired.  You could relieve me of part of it.  I’ve got in my pack here a coat that I made for my grandson, and I didn’t realize how much he had grown.  Now it doesn’t fit him, and I’m stuck with this coat.  Would you see if it will fit you?”

The boy put on the coat, and it fit him just like a glove.  Mr. Wine said, “Would you relieve me of the burden of carrying that around these mountains?”  And the boy said, “If it will help you out; I’ll help you out.”  And the boy slept in the coat that night.  The old man lied, and I forgave him before he got through his story.

The apostle Paul once said, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all things through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-13).  Paul had learned the secret of living in this world.  It is God’s gift in Christ, and it’s the gift of living with gratitude.  Paul had learned the secret.  It is my hope that we all will live that way, too.

Thanking my God always for all things,

Bruce Jones, Pastor

Imagine Church

Church Admin
Church Admin