A Beautiful Life

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But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. Luke 10:33-34

A Beautiful Life
By William M. Golden, 1918

Each day I’ll do a golden deed,
By helping those who are in need;
My life on earth is but a span,
And so I’ll do the best I can.

Refrain:
Life’s evening sun is sinking low,
A few more days, and I must go
To meet the deeds that I have done,
Where there will be no setting sun.

To be a child of God each day,
My light must shine along the way;
I’ll sing His praise while ages roll,
And strive to help some troubled soul.

The only life that will endure,
Is one that’s kind and good and pure;
And so for God I’ll take my stand,
Each day I’ll lend a helping hand.

I’ll help someone in time of need,
And journey on with rapid speed;
I’ll help the sick and poor and weak,
And words of kindness to them speak.

While going down life’s weary road,
I’ll try to lift some trav’ler’s load;
I’ll try to turn the night to day,
Make flowers bloom along the way.

This song reminds me of my friend who passed away. I think everyone who knew him thought he’d be gone far too soon. He was too good for us to keep forever. He struggled with issues that few people understand. One of the reasons we both seemed to click so well is because we both suffered from depression and anxiety. I still do, but he’s now in a place where there is no setting sun. He had a beautiful smile and it was infectious. He was a beautiful life.

He strove each day to do a golden deed. His golden deed might be telling someone good morning and have a great day, or it might be picking out a greeting card that he thought was perfect for someone he cared about, not for a special occasion but because he wanted to “give you a little happy” as he’d call it. He gave so much to so many. Those of us who knew him felt the love radiate from him.

He wanted to be a child of God. He succeeded because his light shone far and wide. He brought joy to so many and while he himself was a troubled soul, he worked to lift the weary load of other troubled souls. I can remember many times this past summer when I was searching for a job, when he would tell me that God had a plan. When I’d get a rejection letter, he’d say it was because God knew it wasn’t the right job for me. He always had an encouraging word.

While my friend may no longer have an earthly presence, he lived a life that will endure, because he was “kind and good and pure.” Each day he did lend me a helping hand, and I’m sure he lent a helping hand to many others. He was a genuinely good person.

When I needed someone most, he was always there. The only times that I didn’t receive a rapid response to a call for help was when he couldn’t give one. The last time I reached out to him and begged him to respond and let me know that he was okay, he couldn’t answer because he’d already left us. He always helped when I was sick, and he’d help the poor often by giving anonymously. He never wanted credit for his good deeds.

He journeyed down life’s weary road and took on the burdens of others. He believed his own load of worries was too much for anyone to bear, but he’d add on more worries from those who needed help the most. He always could turn my night to day. When I was in my darkest moods, he knew exactly how to cheer me up, and I’m sure he did that with many other people as well.

This song is based on the Parable of the Good Samaritan. You may know that the Samaritans were despised by the Jews, and vice versa. My friend tried to find a church where he lived. He’d wanted to worship God and be in his light, but at several churches he attended, he was told, sometimes in words, sometimes in deeds, that he was not welcomed because he was gay.

One of the lessons of the Parable of the Good Samaritan is that we should see each other equally and help out those in need, no matter who they are, what flaws we may perceive they have. The Samaritan didn’t see the Jew as a Jew, but as a man in need. Remember that a priest and a Levite, both holy men, had passed by the injured man, but it was the Samaritan, the outcast who’d helped.

We cannot turn our heads and ignore those in need, and we should strive to help others. We may not be able to financially, but there are always ways to lend love and support. Love and support are often worth far more than gold and silver. Imagine how wonderful this world would be if it were made up of people like my friend, people who followed the true ideals of Jesus.

My friend was not only a Good Samaritan but he also was a beautiful life.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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