Is death the absolute end of human existence? Not according to Ben Franklin. While scholars differ as to what he believed, there is no dispute that he believed firmly in the resurrection of the body. This epitaph he composed for himself:
When our son Stephen was eight, he was invited to stay overnight at a cousin’s house. It was his first time away from home and it all sounded like an exciting adventure. But when we got ready to leave, he started getting that homesick feeling! With tears glistening in his eyes and his voice quavering, he cried, “Mommy, I don’t feel so good. I’d better go home with you.”
When Hannah dedicated Samuel to God, she meant business. She didn’t just take him to the temple for dedication; she left him there. She turned him over to Eli to bring him up in God’s service.
It was a clearcut case of arson. The perpetrator had torched his own home. But he would never be brought to justice. Why? The criminal was a jackdaw, a member of the crow family. He had picked up a red-hot cigarette and dropped the “prize” into his nest.
In her book Kindness: Reaching Out to Others, Phyllis J. Le Peau relates this story: “Some seminary students were asked to preach on the story of the Good Samaritan. When the hour arrived for their sermon, each one was deliberately delayed en route to class. As the students raced across campus, they encountered a person who pretended to be in need. Ironically, not one of the students stopped to help.” Le Peau commented, “After all, they had an important sermon to preach.”
When I was a little girl, my mother gave me her prized “reader” to help me learn, just as it had helped her years earlier. I loved one particular story, never dreaming how much it would affect me years later.