… a story for people who want their lives to matter, but mostly, they feel small, and anonymous, wonder if anything sticks…
The reaction to the death of Harry T. Methvin caused people to be amazed at his big effect, on so many people, from so many social orbits!
Here was this poor boy, with his three-shirt wardrobe, raised in a community that people 20 miles away didn’t know existed, yet when he died, a multitude flinched, with great sincerity, people from low to high to higher, from near to far, to farther.
Quite a fuss was made, over his honorable life, his good sense to never be phony, to never chase greener grass or prettier sunsets, but to grow where you were planted, work hard, endure, do some good today, do it again tomorrow…
Let Me Tell You About My Mother
How would Harry take this fuss we’re making? He’d say, Enough about me, let me tell you about my momma…
She was known as Tish. Here’s Harry’s description of Ma Tish:
“She was a simple, unadorned lady, no makeup, no jewelry, no haircuts. She thought her hair should be long enough to wipe Jesus’ feet, should the need arise.
“She washed the family clothes in a black iron pot over an open fire, drew water from a well. She cared for an embittered, bedridden mother-in-law. She buried five of her ten children, never took a vacation, never traveled outside of Louisiana or East Texas.
“She understood that straightforward, unpolished honesty was the best approach to any problem. She never desired material wealth but realized that family and friends were the greatest of treasures.” Sounds like Harry.
Tish met strangers on the assumption that God loved them, and so should she. She assumed people were good, or on their way to getting good. From Tish to Harry, that’s how Harry made us feel.
Praying For The Soap Opera Characters
People talk about people, sometimes not nicely. Tish and some lady friends were enjoying coffee and conversation on the front porch. Here comes so ‘n so down the road, which provokes a little gossip, “He don’t and He didn’t and He should,” finally it was Tish’s turn to chime in. “But he whistles real good.” That was all the praise she could think of, but it beat talking a man down.
That’s Harry’s mother.
Tish had a weekly Bible Study at her house. One of the women, Miss Myrtle, bless her heart… When it came time for prayer requests, Miss Myrtle asked for prayers for a character on Days Of Our Lives, who saw the doctor yesterday on TV and it looks worrisome, let’s pray for her…
Everybody went along, because Tish set the line. That’s who raised Harry Methvin.
Does Our Good Doing Do Any Good?
Sometimes our lives feel so anonymous.
John doesn’t know that “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son” was going to be an anchor for an entire religion!
Paul doesn’t know what Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good to them that love God” is going to mean to billions of people who will go through billions of variations of pain.
The early disciples, they’re just like us, stumbling in the dark, doing the best they can, with whatever is before them. They’ve seen Jesus feed 5000 people with five fishes and two loaves of bread, but they have no idea that they are about to be multiplied too, that the good they do, that the words they write, the people they touch, lays a foundation for a multitude numbering in the billions, the future population of heaven!!!
If God can create all of creation, He can certainly take the little good we do, and make it carry, and last, to great effect. He honors our good intentions, our little good works, makes them matter, and multiplies the mattering.
When those bells dinged in my head, first person I thought of was someone I never met, my great-grandmother Estelle. My father’s generation, they had one word for their grandmother – Saint.
Estelle was our Tish.
Think back on historical people. Who was Abe Lincoln’s Tish? Mary, the mother of Jesus, who was her Tish?
Harry Methvin had a Tish. No Tish, no Harry, not like the Harry we knew.
From one Tish, to one Harry, to all of us, and what do we do with it?
If we had a Tish, do we keep it going? Of course.
If we didn’t, why not become one? God don’t mind that ambition. Chase Him, and the becoming follows.
PS: Harry Methvin died on his mother’s birthday. It felt like a God wink.
This concludes this edition of Uncle P’s Bedtime Stories. *Please turn to page 44, to read more about Harry Truman Methvin.
For more of Uncle P’s writings, (one every morning) check out the Eightyone Facebook page.
Copies of Uncle P’s three books (soon a 4th …just in time for Christmas…hint, hint…) can be found at Expressions, 3100 Ryan Street in Lake Charles, and at Flock o’ Five, 217 E. Thomas, in Sulphur. Need books mailed, or just want to give Uncle P some unsolicited advice, he can be reached at email@example.com.