"Grandfather's Wooden Bowl"
(Author Unknown)

Versions of this e-mailed heart-wrencher have been on the Internet at least since 1999, but the story itself is centuries older. Leo Tolstoy's (1828-1910) "The Old Grandfather and the Grandson" describes the degree to which an elderly grandfather has become an outcast in his own family through a rendition of this tale, and the Brothers Grimm's "The Old Man and His Grandson lt;http://www.northvegr.org/lore/grimmsf/078.html>" is also a recounting of this story. (It is presented as Tale #78 in /Grimm's Fairy Tales/, volumes of which were variously published between 1812 and 1822. These fairy tales were folktales painstakingly collected by the Brothers Grimm, stories which had been part of the oral tradition of those days.) And a compendium of tales from fifteenth and sixteenth centuries lists this tale as being in circulation around 1535.

2-2-2000 SOW Seeds Service from Church Within #69

Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds]

This week's SOW Seeds - #69, contributed by: Kavita Pai

Story of the Week
"Grandfather's Wooden Bowl"
(Author Unknown)

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year-old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered.

The family ate together at the table. But, the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. "We must do something about Grandfather," said the son. "I've had enough of the spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor." So, the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There Grandfather ate alone, while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since, Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl.

When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye, as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions, when he dropped a fork or spilled food. The four-year-old watched it all in silence.

One evening, before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, "What are you making?"

Just as sweetly, the boy responded, "Oh, I am making a little bowl for Papa and Mama to eat their food in when I grow up." The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though, no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

That evening, the husband took Grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table.

For the remainder of his days, he ate every meal with the family. And, for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

Children are remarkably perceptive. Their eyes ever observe, their ears ever listen, and their minds ever process the messages they absorb. If they see us patiently provide a happy home atmosphere for family members, they will imitate that attitude for the rest of their lives. The wise parent realizes that every day the building blocks are being laid for the child's future.

Let's be wise builders.

The Prayer
Dear God,        
        Thank you for the lesson on teaching Everyone with Respect. Everyone Deserves it!

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal

The Creator's Eternal Love, through me, to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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