Often we think of reciprocating, too many of us think in terms of repaying our benefactor. Perhaps recalling an occasion in the life of D. L. Moody will give us a different perspective.
Once, when Mr. Moody was in New York, he was helped tremendously by R. K. Remington. As he was leaving on the train, Mr. Moody grasped his friend by the hand and said, “If you ever come to Chicago, call on me and I will try to return your kindness.” Mr. Remington replied, “Don’t wait for me; do it to the first man that comes along.”
However this blessing does not just apply to the law of reciprocity but to the very basic philosophy of showing kindness to others generally.
In Edwin Markham’s lovely poem, “The Shoes of Happiness,” Conrad, the old cobbler, dreamed one night that the Master would come to be his guest. When the dawn was yet young, he arose and decorated his little shop with bright and gay flowers and waited. When the Master would come, he would wash the feet where the spikes had been and would kiss the hands that the nails had punctured. But the Master did not come. A beggar came, and Conrad gave him a pair of shoes. An old woman came bent from the weight of a heavy burden. He lifted the load off her back and refreshed her with food. And finally, just before the day was about to fade away into darkness, a little child came. Her eyes were wet with tears, and in pity Conrad led her back to her mother. But the divine guest never came:
Then soft in the silence a voice he heard “Lift up your heart, for I kept My word.
Three times I came to your friendly door;
Three times my shadow was on your floor.
I was the beggar with bruised feet,
I was the woman you gave to eat,
I was the child in the homeless street.”