No. 587



One time, after a man in a small community had lost his job and times were really tough, he told his wife that he was not going to be able to get her anything significant for Christmas. However, he did find an old X-ray picture of his chest from a previous operation and he gave that to her. He told her that he wanted her to know that his heart was in the right place.

Well, that is where my heart is today, as I want to share something that is very special. Sometimes it's not the big or large things that we give to others that mean the most but rather the small or little things that linger long in our hearts and minds.

A few weeks ago I got a phone call from a lady by the name of Amy Dunn who lives in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. One of her friends is involved in The Harmony Project that I told you about in a column some time ago. If you did not read that particular column, a small group of citizens have banded together and pooled their resources to promote harmony by stressing values like respect, acceptance, compassion and gratitude. To do this, they have printed and given away yard signs, buttons, T-shirts and even paid for a large billboard. Later, they wrote to tell me that one of my columns had inspired this project, for which I shall always be grateful.

To make a long story short, one of the members of The Harmony Project told Amy Dunn about my wife, Viola's, Parkinson's and the fact she was riding horses as a means of hippotherapy. Amy owns the Mountain Quiltworks in Honesdale, and she and her 85-year-old mother hand quilted a beautiful throw-covering with pictures of horses on every square. It is not only beautiful and useful, it is uncanny the way the colors match everything in our large family room, where we spend most of our time. During the winter months, Viola uses it almost every day and we often comment about how special it is that someone hundreds of miles away, that we have never met, would spend their time doing this for her.

As I thought about sharing this, the Lord brought another family to mind who live here in Conway and are good friends. For the past several years, during the holiday season, John and Sheila Berry, along with daughter Ashley, show up at our house with a little special heart gift. One that is extra special is a gift they picked up for me in a gift shop in Durham, England. You will appreciate this if you can remember back to the days of Laurel and Hardy. Oliver Hardy is stretched out on small piece of golf turf, with Stan Laurel standing over him with a golf club in his hand ready to take a swing. The only problem is that the golf ball is sitting on Ollie's ear. It's quite a piece and one I chuckle at often.

You won't miss my point and probably already know where I am going. In a day when we try to get more and bigger and better gifts, often at great expense, quite often the most meaningful things others give us come from the heart. The fact that Amy Dunn and her elderly mom took their personal time, and put a great deal of thought and love into what they were doing to make the throw-covering, makes it a hundred times more meaningful than if they had just bought something similar and mailed it. Yes, often it's the little things that mean the most when it comes to doing something special for others.

Sharing this experience from friends in Pennsylvania reminded me of another reader from Somerset, Pennsylvania, who wrote me some time back. Debbie Baker, project director for the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Somerset County, wrote to inform me about a great volunteer program that has as one of its goals to "Improve Literacy" across the state and nation. She says, "We're here, we're doing it, you believe in it and your voice in support of our mutual goals would be very welcome.

"Thanks, Debbie! I hope people will contact you who want to get involved in your worthwhile programs.---

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, Ark. 72034. To support literacy, buy his book, "Learning, Earning & Giving Back.")