078 - Pumping Charity

"In the Midst of Thee" - volumes 1 & 2 contain 200 favorite Glenn Rawson Stories - at: History of the Saints . org

When the Savior said, “Whosoever will lose his life for my sake will find it,” well, I believe He meant more than just dying for his cause, as much as that is. When I’m willing to set aside my personal goals and agenda for Him and His work, well He will often give me that which I wanted in the first place. When I’m on the side of right, He’s on my side, and if it’s important to me, it’s important to Him. Now, may I illustrate?

A 13-year-old girl named Jean had a little brother named Jamie. Jamie wasn’t called ‘little’ just because he was three years younger. The kid was a skinny runt. One day Jean found him flexing his elbow searching for a nonexistent bicep.

“Why don’t I have any muscle?” he asked. “I eat plenty of food and ride my bike a lot.”

Jean tried to comfort him with some passages from Job, but Jamie was not much in the biblical mood. Some days later, Jamie burst into the house with a huge smile.

“I’m going to have muscles!” he announced, “big ones!”

When Jean asked how this was going to be done, Jamie explained that he would rent a weight set from a local store and work out until he got big.

“So what’s stopping you?” Jean asked.

“I don’t have enough money to rent the set all by myself.” He looked at his sister hopefully, but she told him she couldn’t spare the cash. His countenance fell. Suddenly he got an idea.

“I’ll earn the money doing errands,” he said. “There must be lots of folks in town who have jobs they don’t want to do themselves.”

So the next day Jamie set out early in the morning to earn his muscle money. It wasn’t long though before he returned with a long face. No one needed him.

“[Well,] did you try that cottage with the peeling paint at the end of the street?” Jean suggested. “The yard is a real mess. I’m sure they could use the help, who ever they are.”

Jamie shook his head. “Who they are is old Tom Winters. He’s the meanest old flinthead in town.”

Jean watched though as the greed and fear began to battle for the upper hand with her little brother. Finally, greed won out and Jamie decided to go ask Mr. Winters for a job.

“Remember,” Jean taunted, as he went out the door, “dead men build no muscles.”

A short time later, Jamie was back, but when Jean found him he was rummaging around in the tool shed.

“How’d it go?” Jean asked.

Jamie explained that Mr. Winters had lots of work to do, but he couldn’t pay him.

“What are you looking for?” Jean asked.

“ – an old saw Dad gave me. I need it.”

“What for?”

Jamie didn’t want to tell her. When she pushed him, he finally admitted he was working for Mr. Winters.

“You mean you’re doing it for free?”

“Well, he’s got bad hands and a bad back. That’s why he’s so cranky and why his yard is such a mess … His fingers are all twisted up with arthritis and he’s all bent over double. I just told him I’d gather up some tree branches. It’s no big deal.”

For the next few weeks, Jamie was gone a lot, every Saturday and every night after school. He never said much about what he was doing, but occasionally Jean would sneak down and see what he was doing. She would find him cleaning, painting, mending, and sawing a huge amount of wood. Every night he came home exhausted. The family began to notice a change in ‘little Jamie.’ It seemed that the adjective ‘little’ no longer fit him. Something in his voice and his countenance was beginning to change.

One day he didn’t go.

“What’s the matter?” Jean asked. “Have you gotten tired of working for the old flinthead?”

“His name is Mr. Winters,” Jamie said flatly, “and I’ve finished all the work over there.”

“You really did all that work over there for nothing?”

”I think you know better than that,” Jamie said. “I got paid all right.”

“ – You mean all that syrupy stuff like the rewards of love service?”

Jamie nodded. “[Yes,] that and something else.” And then a big grin began to spread over his face as he lifted his arm and slowly bent his elbow. And there beneath his shirt was the unmistakable swelling of a hard-earned well-deserved muscle.

Adapted from “Pumping Charity” by Jean Wyatt, Sept. 1986, New Era, pp. 9-11
Glenn Rawson – January 1998
Music: Sacred Selections, track 10 (edited) – David Glen Hatch
Song: Power To Serve – Michael Child, Marvin Payne, Roger Hoffman