Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Good Deeds

April 27, 2009

I am looking out my window at a robin’s nest in a hawthorn tree where all is busy. We have babies! Not one, but three little gray fledglings with huge daffodil-colored beaks. I have named them Larry, Curly, and Moe! As I peer at the nursery through my binoculars from the kitchen, one keeps flopping over, but the other two are strong. I am trying to be a good neighbor and limit my outside gardening to give them space during this crucial time. This time last year I remember a whole nest being destroyed before hatching and I am imagining this could be the same robin, recovered and starting over. She seems to know me. We “talk” and share some serious eye contact.
And I also remember today that it was this time two years ago that our Megan was “taken from her nest” and put on medical leave from her job as a teacher. When the doctor asked her to write her name and address on his tablet, she smiled and took his pen, but was unable to make a mark on the paper. He asked her how she was managing to do her job and she replied, “I have lots of people who help me.” She never returned to the job she loved. She never was able to deliver her notorious little gifts she liked to give her colleagues for all the good deeds that were done to help her at a most difficult time.

Whether it is doing a good deed for a robin by staying out of their way or a friend who is in trouble, good deeds make us feel better about life. But I heard a story the other day that made me give a little more thought to the subject. A man who was making a neighborly effort to clean up an unsightly park was given a court citation for having some mulch delivered to the property. It was a perfect example for the phrase he quoted “no good deed goes unpunished”. You know how that works – you let someone get in front of you at the traffic light, and then the light changes and you are the one who has to wait – again - for it to change. Or, I read about a boat owner suing someone for using his boat without permission to rescue victims in distress during a hurricane. You you’re your own examples, but I thought to myself, “What a discouraging way to live”. Isn’t there more to life than looking for ways to punish others for doing good deeds? I hope so. And I hope I am never accused of punishing a good deed.

I know that even if good is sometimes punished, good will always prevail, just like light always overcomes the darkness – even though some times can get pretty dark. We all know that good deeds are remembered and honored much more than they are punished even though we like to twist our language to create clever comments. Maybe for my purposes today, the phrase could be restated “No good deed is ever forgotten”. And I have lots of those examples. To name a few, I have not forgotten those school colleagues who cared so lovingly for Megan. I have not forgotten the art students who compiled a beautiful keepsake book for our family. I have not forgotten the prayer warriors who met weekly for 15 months. I have not forgotten the thousands of daffodils that were planted in Megan’s memory. I have not forgotten the “Megan’s Closet Coat Drive” that will continue to serve children. I have not forgotten my neighbors who stood close, along with doctors, friends, and pastors. I have not forgotten Megan’s friends who continue to stay close and share their lives with us. I have not forgotten the many letters I still read. I have not forgotten that at her ten year high school reunion, her classmates remembered her. I have not forgotten two strong children and the ever present Dr. Feelgood. I will never forget.

Good deeds are good. Good deeds are remembered. Good deeds inspire us to look at life with fresh eyes, fresh hearts, and fresh understanding. 1 John 3:18 says “Let us love, neither in word nor with the tongue, but in deed and truth”. I’m wondering….have you done your good deed for today? Take a risk on being punished.

No comments:

Post a Comment