“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matt 5:14-16 NKJV)
It has been said that a simple smile can change a person’s life. It has been said that a single kind word can spread throughout the whole world and change history. I was thinking of these sayings recently when I remembered a story I had once heard about two boys.
Both of these boys were born in the late eighteen hundreds. The first boy was the son of a poor cobbler and had contracted smallpox as a child. This left his face scarred and caused him to face teasing from the other boys. He sought solace by dreaming of a career in the church. His first job was as an altar boy but he was sharply criticized by the priest when he made a mistake during a service. This boy later abandoned the seminary as a young adult. The second boy was sickly as a child too contracting tuberculosis as a baby. He also felt drawn to a career in the church. He too had his first experience in church as an altar boy. And he as well made several mistakes once during a service. The difference was he was forgiven and encouraged to keep trying by the kindhearted priest there.
The first of these boys grew up to become Joseph Stalin, the dictator of the Soviet Union, who slaughtered untold millions of his own people to maintain his power and control over his country.
The second boy grew up to become Bishop Fulton J. Sheen who touched millions of lives and brought joy to millions of hearts by sharing God’s message through his television show “Life is Worth Living” in the nineteen fifties.
This story reminded me of how much power God gives us to change lives in this world. Every smile we share is important. Every kind word we speak is essential. Every loving act we do can encircle this entire world. May we always use this power wisely. May we always give every little boy or girl the same love our Heavenly Father gives us.
By: Joseph J. Mazzella