An African fable tells the story of an ant carrying a large grain of corn who fell into a pond.
The corn sank deep below the surface. Still, somehow the ant managed to stay afloat, though he struggled to keep his head above water. A pigeon chanced to be nearby for a drink. He felt sorry for the little fellow, so he plucked a leaf and tossed it in the direction of the ant. A grateful ant climbed aboard the floating leaf that eventually brought him safely to the shore.
But no sooner had the ant reached the shore than he saw a boy, with bow and arrow in hand, crouching down and aiming for the pigeon. The grateful ant charged after the would-be hunter, climbed on top of his foot, and bit him on the toe. “Yeeeoow!” the boy cried out, alerting the pigeon to the danger, who flew away to safety.
In so short a time, each had saved the other. The pigeon, feeling compassion for the little ant, saved the very one who would so soon be his savior. If the pigeon had let the little ant drown, he would have doomed himself.
In a real-life story, the late Stevie Ray Vaughn, rose to become one of the most influential blues guitarists of the 20th Century. But how did he get his start? Stevie’s inspiration was the famed blues guitarist of a previous generation—Buddy Guy.
Along with fellow blues musicians, Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Guy is considered one of the great precursors to the Rock n’ Roll era. But by the 1980s Buddy Guy had fallen on hard times and felt he had “lost it.” His musical gift and inspiration had died.
Then he heard Stevie Ray Vaughn play. He was spellbound by the younger artist. Vaughn’s performance energized the Elder Statesman of Rhythm and Blues and he launched on a highly successful comeback. The man he inspired had become his inspiration.
The scripture tells us “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matt. 5:7) “give and it shall be given unto you” (Luke 6:38) “by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you” (Matt. 7:2). God has built a law of reciprocation into his universe. The good or the bad that we do to others will come back to either bless or curse us.
Dear Father in heaven, make me an instrument of your healing and peace. Grant that I may help and not hurt. I leave the rewards for every good deed in your hands. And I humbly thank you for your love and forgiveness—which I need every hour. Amen.