Tuesday, March 3, 2009


An old lady was a frequent visitor to her son-in-law’s house. He disliked the old lady as she used to interfere in his personal matters.

One day, when he returned home in the evening, his wife ran to him, jumping with joy. “We are lucky, dear, she asserted. The heavy cuckoo clock fixed to the wall fell onto the sofa today.” “But what is so lucky about it?” He interfered. She continued, “My mother was seated on that sofa right from the morning. The clock fell down just a few seconds after she got up and moved to the bed room. God saved her.” The son-in law lamented, “That clock is always slow!”

An old grand father had shivering hands. He happened to break many plates and glasses. His daughter-in-law could not tolerate this. She bought a tumbler and a plate made of aluminum for his daily use. With constant use, the vessels lost their charm and looked shabby. One day, the lady went for shopping, with her husband and their child. Seeing cheap vessels in the shop, the child asked his parents to buy some of them. “What are they for?” they asked him. The child innocently replied, “To give you food in these vessels when you grow old like my grandfather.” The couple realized the gravity of their action and its impact on the next generation.

Two spies came to a country disguised as old beggars. Two brothers felt pity on them and helped them, not knowing that they were spies sent by their enemy country. Later the enemy invaded the country and killed many people. But they were kind to the two brothers who had helped their spies earlier. The king told the brothers, “In recognition of your service, I will grant you a favour. You may leave the city carrying the most precious objects along with you.” One brother carried their aged father and the other their bed-ridden mother on their shoulders and moved out of the war-torn city to a safer place.

We see in the Book of Ruth, her exemplary act of affection to her mother-in-law, Naomi. Ruth showed lasting loyalty to Naomi and supported her in her poverty by picking up corn left in the fields after harvest. God blessed her in abundance. Ruth became the great-grandmother of King David. Jesus was born from this royal line.

God commanded, “Respect your father and your mother, so that you may live a long time in the land that I am giving you” {Exodus 20: 12}. This is a commandment written by God for man. This commandment is special in that it is associated with a reward.

St. Paul teaches, “Children, it is your Christian duty to obey your parents, for this is the right thing to do. ‘Respect your father and mother’ is the first commandment that has a promise added,’ so that all may go well with you, and you may live a long time in the land” {Ephesians 6:1-3}.

It is our duty to give gratitude, love, respect, service and support to our elderly relatives. We must take care of them and provide for them especially in their old age, illness and need. By our love and service

We can add days to their life and add life to their days.


By: Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India.

This is story No.112 in this site. Please click ‘older posts’ at bottom of page to read previous stories.


Unknown said...

They leave a lasting impression on the children and grown up alike. May be one tries to relate themselves to the situation in these stories

Unknown said...

They leave a lasting impression on the children and grown up alike. May be one tries to relate themselves to the situation in these stories