We moved into the Ontario village of Fullarton when our daughter was ten years old. The village was located at the crossroads of two county roads and contained twenty-seven houses. There were a few families with children, but many of those houses were occupied by old people who lived alone, widows, widowers and bachelors.
In particular, there were four lonely old men, ranging in age from 70 to 90. They were Jack Davis and Paddy Davis, both widowers with no grandchildren living anywhere nearby, plus Giff Pomeroy and Carl McNeil, both bachelors.
In the centre of the village was an old fashioned country general store. In addition to selling groceries, hardware and gasoline, it was the Post Office and the place where the village residents met and exchanged news. When Michelle got older, she began to work in the store.
When Christmas approached the first year that she was in our church’s youth group, she suggested that they include Carl McNeil in their list of places to carol. Thus, late one evening a large group of young people gathered at Carl’s door and sang some of the old Christmas Carols. They could see Carl hiding behind his newspaper, not reading but apparently not knowing what he should do, never having experienced such a thing in all his ninety years. When the carolers came again the next year he was not in such a state of shock. He listened attentively and when they were done, came to the door and gave them a hearty thank you.
One fall, the youth hosted a supper for all the seniors in the congregation and the surrounding community. Michelle invited the four old men of Fullarton and they all came and enjoyed themselves immensely.
Then one day Michelle came home from working in the store and told us that three of them had asked if they could take her out for supper. I think Giff was already in a nursing home by this time. We gave our permission for her to accept the offer. These were three lonely old men who wanted to show some appreciation for the considerate way that Michelle treated them. And we were confident that they were gentlemen.
Therefore, one evening they came to pick her up and drove to the nearest town with a restaurant, ten minutes away, and had supper together, one seventeen year old girl and three men aged 70 to 90. I believe all four of them enjoyed it.
I don’t think Michelle ever thought that she was doing something out of the ordinary by the courtesy she showed these men when they came to the store, or when she met them in the village. Evidently they did.
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets (Matthew 7:12).