Old Lady Marcum - A Family Devotional
Respect for Others Is Right Regardless of Race, Sex, Age or Status.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read 1 Peter 2:12-17.
Verse of the Day: “Show proper respect to everyone” (1 Peter 2:17, NIV).
Hannah opened the front door and let her friend Buffy in. They plopped down on opposite ends of the living room couch; Hannah switched on the TV.
“Guess who I saw on the way over here,” Buffy whispered.
“Who?” Hannah asked.
“Old Lady Marcum,” she answered. “She was walking that mean little dog of hers.”
“Did she say anything?”
“Are you kidding?” Buffy answered. “What would she say to me?”
“She might have put a curse on you,” Hannah suggested. “I heard her dog used to be a little kid who stepped on her grass!”
The two girls were laughing so hard they didn’t notice Hannah’s dad enter the room and sit on a footstool.
Dad waited for them to finish laughing. Then he asked, “Do you mind if I tell you a story? It won’t take long,” Dad promised.
“A few years ago, there was a boy in this neighborhood who had very few friends. One day,” his tone became eerie, “that boy wandered into Old Lady Marcum’s yard. He walked on her grass, and even sat on her porch, all by himself. Before long, the door opened, and there stood Old Lady Marcum. She smiled at the boy and invited him into her house—and, believe it or not, he went into that scary old house. When she had him all alone in the house, you know what she did to him?”
“What?” the two girls whispered at the same time.
Dad leaned back and his voice changed. It was no longer eerie. “She gave him milk and cookies and asked him to come back as often as he wanted to. And he did, about once a week for the next few years, until he went off to college.”
“You’re that little boy, aren’t you, Dad?” Hannah asked.
“And you’re saying we shouldn’t say mean things about Old Lady Marcum,” Buffy added.
Dad smiled. “I’m saying you shouldn’t say mean things about anybody, whether they’re old or young, white or black, or bald or fat. Even people who are different from you deserve your respect, because the Bible says to show proper respect to everyone.”
“OK, Dad,” Hannah said. “We’re sorry.”
“Good,” Dad said. He stood to leave, but paused. “Oh, and by the way,” he said. “She got that dog from the animal shelter. Just in case you were wondering.”
TO DO: Think of ways your family can learn more about a culture that is different from yours. Perhaps you might try a different type of cuisine or visit a museum that features exhibits on a specific culture.
TO PRAY: “God, help us obey your command to show proper respect to everyone. Remind us especially to respect those who are different from us.”
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