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I had a dream one night. One of the people in the dream said, “God takes care of his own, especially when they’re helping his other children.” This was repeatedly emphasized. “God takes care of his children, especially those who help his other children.”

That made me feel good, thinking about it, because I do try hard to help other people. I give hungry people food, mainly because I’ve been hungry myself and can’t stand to see somebody else go through that.

I try to make the people around me feel like they’re important, because they ARE important and they should feel like they are. But I’m definitely not perfect at this. Christ is such a perfect example. I have a long way to go in truly loving all people like Christ does.

My husband is all heart, though. He’s not perfect, either, but he really cares about people.

One time we were on a ferry boat, traveling across a lake in Vermont. We were on the upper deck, and as we looked around, we noticed a lanky young man holding his young daughter very close to the rail. He was wearing a bunch of large colorful flowers pinned to his hair in the form of a hat, which we thought was pretty odd. His daughter had flowers pinned all over her head, too.

(Turned out that he was a farmer, going to an annual Kentucky Derby party, where everybody was supposed to wear a hat).

Ted turned to me and said, “That man is standing really close to the rail. What would you do if his little girl fell overboard?” I took a deep breath and looked at the heavily churning water down there where it was disappearing under the boat. “Whew, I don’t know what I’d do,” I said.

He said, “I know exactly what I’d do. I’d jump overboard and try to save her.” I looked down at the water again and said, “But…you would probably both be killed.” And he said, “I know.”

Wow, I thought. That’s a selfless act if I ever heard of one. I thought, I better not ever hear any more disparaging remarks about my husband from some people I know. He’s an amazing human being.

What I didn’t tell you is that when I give food to hungry people, my cupboards never seem to get empty. There’s always enough. And when I brighten other people’s lives, it’s strange, but I feel even brighter inside. What we give out keeps coming back to us, and I love it!

I’ve read a lot of near-death experiences. In these experiences, a lot of people talk about having a life review, where they see every minute of their life from the beginning to the end. They see themselves running along the hall of their elementary school and can hear the sound of their shoes as they tap on the floor. They see these experiences, however, from a different perspective. Instead of just reliving their experiences, they see how what they did actually affected the people around them.

If they did something cruel, they FEEL the pain they inflicted, and understand why it hurt the person so much. They see how those negative actions affected more people than they thought, in a negative kind of ripple effect.

On the other hand, when people did something kind, they could feel the effect their act of kindness had on the person they did it to. They experienced the goodness and happiness that permeated the other person’s life, and how that goodness spread out from that person into an-ever-widening circle of love.

The people having these near-death experiences were often amazed that the most important things they ever did in their lives were actually just little things that they never even thought twice about, that had actually made a huge difference. They could see how simple actions such as a few kind words or even a smile created a wonderful ripple effect in other people’s lives.

They learned that nothing they did was insignificant; everything was accounted for, and in the long run, they pretty much judged themselves when they were in God’s presence…they already knew whether they were living up to their potential or not.

As a side note: when people knew that something bad was coming up in their life review, but had already repented of that action, then that thing didn’t even show up, because they’d already dealt with it. The life review was meant to teach them, and they’d already learned that particular lesson. They were amazed that repentance was so simple.

So now I’m wondering if this is partially how God takes care of the people who take care of others…through a form of karma. I think what you do really does come back to you, whether you can only give a little or you’re willing to give everything you’ve got.

“Life is an echo. What you send out, comes back. What you sow, you reap. What you give, you get.  What you see in others, exists in you.” Zig Ziglar

“One of the secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.” Lewis Carroll