Jerry Lewis, widely known for his zany comedic touch, helped a woman get a new bathroom earlier this week.
While not directly, Jerry Lewis and the long running Muscular Dystrophy Association’s telethon, helped change a friend of mine while only a child sitting in front of this television more than forty years ago.
“Jerry would have his telethon going on and we’d all sit around and watch it,” said my friend. “We then learned about how another friend in our building had a sister who was suffering from it.”
Suddenly the parade of movie stars and entertainers on the small television screen became very real. To my friend, the three little letters came to life – one with a face of a little girl.
“We all decided to go around the neighborhood knocking on doors to raise money,” said my friend. “This, you’d have to say, was my first experience of charity helping others.”
He talked about how he and his friends would knock on doors of the apartment buildings where they lived collecting coins in small, milk carton-type containers. Later they’d all go down to a nearby church where they’d turn in their donations and watch the donor board numbers climb.
Fast forward decades and my friend is still the little boy — only now he is in a position to help others. As a partner in a company who helps rebuild homes, he has many tools at his disposal.
“One day a contractor of ours pokes his head in my office and tells me about a lady he’s run across suffering from Muscular Dystrophy,” he said. “Apparently she lives in a modest home but because of her disease, she struggles each day to get through life’s even most basic things – like getting into a bathtub or shower.”
My friend will be the first to tell you he is a blessed man. He enjoys his work, he has a beautiful family, and he has his health. And in return, my friend looks for opportunities to repay his debt to God, living life with a servant’s heart.
“So we find out a bit more about the woman and decide we can do something to help her.”
Suddenly, the little boy in my friend is running from door-to-door collecting coins for someone in need.
My friend gets with a crew and together they figure out what they can do to help this woman in need. They survey the situation – determining how they can build a bathroom to best allow this woman access to her basic needs.
Shortly afterwards a crew finished a custom remodeled bathroom for the woman – paid for from my friend and his resources.
The thing about living life with a servant’s heart is you’re not in this for the money or yourself. Rather you’re a part of relationship in which you willfully seek out opportunities to help others as a part of understanding your role in life. My friend believes he owes God a large debt for the blessings in his life. And, if you know my friend, you know the resources he sent to this woman is not a one-time event.
Jerry Lewis and God probably don’t get mentioned too often in the same sentence. But in this case, both played a role in changing the lives of woman in need.
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