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A farmer had some puppies he needed to sell. He painted a sign advertising the pups and set about nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard. As he was driving the last nail into the post, he felt a tug on his overalls. He looked down into the eyes of a little boy.

“Mister,” he said, “I want to buy on of your puppies.”

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“Well,” said the farmer, as he rubbed the sweat off the back of his neck, “these puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of money.”

the boy dropped his head for a moment. Then reaching deep into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of change and held it up to the farmer. “I’ve got thirty-nine cents. Is that enough to take a look?”

“Sure,” said the farmer. And with that he let out a whistle. “Here, Dolly!” he called. Out from the doghouse and down the ramp ran Dolly followed by four little balls of fur. The little boy pressed his face against the chain link fence. His eyes danced with delight.

As the dogs made their way to the fence, the little boy noticed something else stirring inside the doghouse. Slowly another ball appeared; this one noticeably smaller. Down the ramp it slid. Then in a somewhat awkward manner the little pup began hobbling toward the others, doing it’s best to catch up. This was clearly the runt of the litter.

“I want that one.” The little boy said, pointing to the runt.

The farmer knelt down at the boy’s side and said, “Son, you don’t want that puppy. He will never be able to run and play with you like these other dogs would.”

With that the little boy stepped back from the fence, reached down, and began rolling up one leg of his trousers. In doing so he reveled a steel brace running down both sides of his leg attaching itself to a specially made shoe. Looking back up at the farmer, he said, “You see, sir, I don’t run too well myself, and he will need someone who understands.”

My friend, the world is full of people who need someone who understands. That is the ministry to which God has called each of us.


It was a warm day in sunny Los Angeles. Most people were looking for some kind of relief, so the Ice Cream Store was the place to stop.

A little girl clutching her money tightly in her hand, came into the s tore. But before she could order, the very sharp tongued clerk told her to go back outside and read the sign, and stay out there until she put on some shoes. She left, and a big man followed her out of the store.

The little girl stood in front of the store and read the sign: No Bare Feet. Then tears started to roll down her cheeks as she turned and started to walk away. Just then the big man called to her and she stopped. Sitting down on the curb, he took off his number 12 shoes, and set them in front of the girl saying, “Here, you won’t be able to walk in these, but if you sort of slide along you can get your ice cream cone. “Take your time, he said, “I get tired moving them around, and it’ll feel good to just sit here and rest for awhile.”

The shining eyes of the little girl could not be missed as she ordered her ice cream cone.

The person who told this story said, “He was a big man, all right. Big belly, big feet, but most of all, he had a big heart.”

It takes a big heart to understand the plight of humanity. The clerk could have said, “Honey, tell me what you want, go on the outside and I’ll bring it to you,” but instead, her message was, “Go out and read the sign.” It takes a big heart to understand the frustrations, and anxieties and problems of fellow humans.

It would make a big difference in the lives of some students, is all teachers would do what most of them do, and that is, try hard to understand their students environment and why they aren’t performing up to par.

We need to understand others- the loneliness of the elderly, the poverty of the unskilled laborer, the hurt in the hearts of little children who come from broken homes, and the pain in the bodies of those dying with cancer who need a visit from us.

When, oh when, are we going to dedicate ourselves to trying to understand the plight of others and actually try to help them?