Small Deed? Large Dividend

2-2By Jeanne Hough of Clare, Michigan, USA

For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has—not according to what one does not have.

—2 Corinthians 8:12

I enrolled at Graceland College in 1945, just after the end of World War II. I lived in a small cottage dorm in Royce Hall that housed nine girls. Two of my roommates were young women of Japanese heritage. They recently had been released from relocation camps.

My other roommates and I loved our new friends, Sets and Audrey. We were outraged by the stories of deprivation and unjust treatment they endured. Audrey’s family was taken from its home and left penniless. She had meager clothes but never complained.

In those days we always wore dresses or skirts to class. My mother was an experienced seamstress who made dresses and sent them to me. When she told me she had bought some fabric for a new dress, I asked her to make it smaller than usual. Audrey wore a smaller size

When the dress arrived, I asked Audrey if she would like to have it. She was delighted. I still can see her in my mind’s eye when some boys visiting the dorm teasingly picked her up and set her on the fireplace mantel, wearing that dress. She was smiling from ear to ear.

What joy it gave me to be able to share my mother’s love with that sweet young woman. Such sharing was a small act for me, but it meant so much to another.

Prayer for Peace
Reconciling God, inspire us with ways we can minister to others. Help us keep in mind the worth and dignity of all people. Help us share peace where it was compromised or denied before.

Spiritual Practice: Joy of Gratitude
Stand, if possible, with arms outstretched. Imagine God filling your arms with all that you have: family, friends, and possessions. Hold out your arms until they feel tired. Now, bring your arms across your body. Place your hand over your heart and thank God for the abundance that fills your life. Sit for a time, aware of that abundance. Then ask God to help you open your heart in gratitude and share freely with others.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will offer an act of kindness.

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1 Comment

  1. Velma Ricj

     /  2 February 2013

    Jeanne, were you still at Graceland in 1946? I am Velma Ruch and came to teach at Graceland in 1946. It was the 50th anniversary of the College and men had come back from World War !!. As I remember, the class you were in had an enrollment of about 200, Mostly girls. I had graduated from Graceland in 1941 and came to teach five years later. In 1946 we had an enrollment of 600, mostly men. Were you still here? I don’t remember any Japanese girls but your story was an interesting one. I taught at Graceland for forty years and am still living in Lamoni. I will be 92 this month and am serving as an evangelist. I read my Daily Bread on my computer every morning and was happy to hear your story. With love across the miles and the years. Velma.


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