The following story was related to me by my daughter.
A couple of months ago, my five-year-old granddaughter was in the front yard, jumping rope with her sister. The one end of the rope was tied to a tree, the other end, in the hands of her sister was being twirled. My granddaughter was jumping when suddenly the rope became tangled.
Just then a retired neighbor from the next street came walking by. Seeing the girls were in trouble, he stopped to help untangle the rope and retied it properly. He then took hold of the other end and spent several minutes showing them how to twirl it properly. My granddaughter then thanked him.
His answer to her was, "Honey, you don't have to thank me it was my duty," after which he continued walking down the street.
My granddaughter then went into the house and asked her mother, "Mommy, is that man a Mason?" Her mother smiled and said, "Yes, honey, that man is a Mason!"
They say that out of the mouths of babes come words of wisdom. That same man was senior warden 30 years ago, when I was raised a Master Mason. Although, due to ill health, he had not attended lodge in the last few years, he still remembered his obligations. When he was active, he inspired me enough that I vowed to myself that someday I would become master. Due to my work for 20 years, I was unable to fulfill that vow. But, in the last few years, I have been privileged to serve as master, high priest, and now as generalissimo of my Commandery. I am hoping to serve as commander next year.
As such, I have often heard, "Why is attendance in all bodies on the decline?" We strive for perfection in our lodge ritual work, but do we, as Masons, let our light shine before men that they may see our good works?
The Mason of whom I have spoken, although unable to attend lodge, was able to impress a five-year-old girl. Can we not learn from this event that our everyday lives in lodge, work and the home are what it is all about? My little granddaughter has seen me rush home from work, dress and hurry to lodge. The night I was installed as master, she gave me a worshipful master's pin to wear on my lapel.
She may be only five years old, but she seems to know what Masonry is about.
I ask each of you who read this now ... during your lifetime, how many times has the question been asked about you by your neighbors, adults and children alike, is he a Mason?
Earlier this evening we gave this man a Masonic burial service. I than related this event to his widow and family. Upon returning home, I asked myself: How many times has this man let his light before other that they could see his good works?
He served Wellington Lodge as master and was high priest of Wellington Chapter during the year 1947. His name: Lloyd Irish.
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