A story I wanted to share ...

Recently, my daughter Charlotte fell in love. It had to happen, I realized, when she went away to college. It was just surprising that it hadn't happened sooner. I love her with the special intensity that a mother of rambunctious sons loves her only daughter, and think she is the nicest, most beautiful young woman I know.

When a young physicist from upstate came along, I knew from the first that this was different. I heard it in her voice, but I tried not to pry. Almost before I had time to worry about what his family was like, it was over. She was crushed, but I truly think I felt worse than she did.

"I don't have any friends," she told me sadly on the phone. "There's no one to talk to." I wanted so much to do something, but felt helpless. Then I remembered an advertisement I'd seen in the newspaper. It was for "BearGrams." One could dial an 800 number and send a teddy bear. I found the number and called.

"Vermont Teddy Bear Company," a bright voice answered. There were all shapes and sizes, clown bears, graduate bears and brown bears, but it sounded very expensive to me. With three children in college, it would be an unwarranted extravagance. But then she was lonely, unhappy and far away. A bear might just help.

Jesus tells us that "it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God" (Luke 18:25). Was that an invitation to extravagance or an indictment of material things? Could I justify this frivolity?

"Are you there, ma'am?" said the bright voice.

"Yes, I'm here," I answered, and made my decision.

What, I wonder, would you have done?

Thank You, God, for every chance to consider the feelings of others.
--Brigitte Weeks

Owe no one anything, except to love one another.... --Romans 13:8 (RSV)

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