The Summer of my eleventh year was a wonderful time of joy and innocence. My days were spent riding my bike, walking in the bright green woods around my home, swimming in the crystal clear river that ran by my house, playing in fields full of wild flowers, and looking up at the clouds. I wished those lazy, peaceful days would last forever. But then it all changed.
It happened in the middle of the night when I heard my grandmother scream. A fire had started in her room and was rapidly spreading through our house. We all ran outside with only the clothes on our backs. I watched in shock as fire devoured our home. There was nothing left. That night I went from a happy and carefree child to a homeless and scared one. The following days were a blur. I didn't know what the future would hold. All I could feel was fear. Thankfully, good friends took us into their home, fed, and clothed us. One night around their dinner table my Mom thanked them for all they were doing for us. Smiling, her friend said, "Honey, it was the least we could do." Later they began to share old stories and laugh. It was then that I smiled for the first time in days and felt the fear finally fading from my heart.
Looking back on that time thirty five years ago, I now see that it wasn't the least they could do. The least would have been nothing at all. Instead they opened their home and their hearts to us. They shared their food and their kindness. They helped us to start over when we had lost everything. They helped a scared boy to feel safe, loved, and happy again.
The next time you are given an opportunity to help another then don't just do the least you can do. Do the most you can do instead. Give from your heart. Share from your soul. Live a life that makes Heaven smile. God put us here to love each other, to feed each other, to help each other, and to make this world a better place for everyone. That is the most we can do.