January 25, 2023

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2

We are called to love our neighbor, just as God has loved us. This commandment goes beyond how we feel or think about others. This is a commandment to care for one another in tangible ways. After all, God loves us in so many tangible ways, including giving us our daily bread (Matthew 6:11).  When we show God’s love for others in tangible ways, we help “fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

Hody Childress was a wonderful man of faith who understood how to help carry the burdens of others. Hody was a farmer in a small rural community. Everyone knew Hody to be a good man. However, his neighbors in the small Alabama town of Geraldine had no idea how generous he was to his neighbors. They did not find out until Hody’s funeral when his daughter, Tania, told his story.

One day, just over a decade ago, Hody went to the local pharmacy to pick up a prescription for his sick wife. While he was waiting, he overheard a person leave a prescription behind because they could not afford it. Hody talked to the pharmacist, and he was told that it happens all the time.  Hody reached into his pocket and took out a $100 bill. He told the pharmacist to use it to help someone in need. He said to not tell them where it came from. In fact, Hody instructed him to tell them, “It is a blessing from God.”

That gift was a wonderful blessing, and the pharmacist was glad to use that money to help.  And that is exactly what Hody and the pharmacist did every month for the next decade. Each Month, Hody would come to the pharmacy, hand him at least $100, and tell him to tell the people he helped, “It is a blessing from God.” Countless people were given the gift of better health, because of Hody’s love and compassion for his neighbors. When the story was shared at his funeral, the people of Geraldine were so moved that they agreed to keep this wonderful blessing going.

There are so many ways to demonstrate God’s love for us and our love for others. The generosity of Hody Childress helped to make so many people healthy and assured many that love was a very real force in the world. This life of service has served to help others and now inspire others to give and serve. When we commit to share God’s love ourselves, we can look to the example of people like Hody and know our actions, big or small, will make a difference in the world.

– Rev. Keith King, Pastor of Worship