Stretching the Soul

“I was just a kid,” said Mr. Sharpe. “One spring day, Father called me to go with him to Old Man Trussell’s blacksmith shop. He had left a rake and a hoe to be repaired. And there they were, ready and fixed like new. Father handed over a silver dollar for the repairing, but Mr. Trussell refused to take it. ‘No,’ he said. ‘There’s no charge for that little job.’ But Father insisted that he take the pay.

“If I live a thousand years,” said Mr. Sharpe, “I’ll never forget that great blacksmith’s reply. ‘Sid,’ he said to my father, ‘can’t you let a man do something now and then — just to stretch his soul?'”

It is the old law. The giver becomes the receiver. Bread cast upon the waters comes back. One who stretches his soul into deeds of love and kindness unfailingly reaps a just reward.

When I read this article (printed with permission from Larry Fargher of Fargher Realtors), I was really moved by the concept behind it. As the poet said many years ago, the gift without the giver is bare. When a man such as this blacksmith gives something to “stretch his soul,” that means he is a giver who is giving from his heart and from his soul.

It’s true. The person who is out for only himself misses out on the joy that comes from giving. Research conclusively proves that those people who do things for others with no personal gain in mind are the ones who reap the greatest benefits.

Example: Look at the glow on the faces of the volunteers who serve the homeless Thanksgiving or Christmas meals. One center for the homeless provided over a thousand meals, and a hundred volunteers were involved. The smiling faces of the recipients of the meals were beautiful to see, but infinitely more beautiful were the broader smiles of those volunteers.

Take this approach, stretch your soul, and I’ll see you at the top!

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