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Fwd: [Fwd: FW: Carl's Garden]

  • Subject: Fwd: [Fwd: FW: Carl's Garden]
  • From: JMFLIES@aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 14:56:34 EDT

Carl's Garden

Carl was a quiet man. He didn't talk much. He would always greet you
with a
big smile and a firm handshake. Even after living in our neighborhood
for
over 50 years, no one could really say they knew him very well.

Before his retirement, he took the bus to work each morning. The lone
sight
of him walking down the street often worried us. He had a slight limp
from a
bullet wound received in WWII. Watching him, we worried that although he
had
survived WWII, he may not make it through our changing uptown
neighborhood
with its ever-increasing random violence, gangs, and drug activity.

When he saw the flyer at our local church asking for volunteers for
caring
for the gardens behind the minister's residence, he responded in his
characteristically un-assuming manner. Without fanfare, he just signed
up.

He was well into his 87th year when the very thing we had always feared
finally happened.  He was just finishing his watering for the day when
three
gang members approached him.  Ignoring their attempt to intimidate him,
he
simply asked, "Would you like a drink from the hose?"  The tallest and
toughest-looking of the three said, "Yeah, sure", with a malevolent
little
smile. As Carl offered the hose to him, the other two grabbed Carl's
arm,
throwing him down. As the hose snaked crazily over the ground, dousing
everything in its way, Carl's assailants stole his retirement watch and
his
wallet, and then fled. Carl tried to get himself up, but he had been
thrown
down on his bad leg.

He lay there trying to gather himself as the minister came running to
help
him.  Although the minister had witnessed the attack from his window, he

couldn't get there fast enough to stop it. "Carl, are you okay? Are you
hurt?" the minister kept asking as he helped Carl to his feet.  Carl
just
passed a hand over his brow and sighed, shaking his head.  "Just some
punk
kids. I hope they'll wise-up someday." His wet clothes clung to his
slight
frame as he bent to pick up the hose. He adjusted the nozzle again and
started to water.  Confused and a little concerned, the minister asked,
"Carl, what are you doing?"  "I've got to finish my watering. It's been
very
dry lately", came the calm reply. Satisfying himself that Carl really
was all
right, the minister could only marvel. Carl was a man from a different
time
and place.

A few weeks later the three returned. Just as before their threat  was
unchallenged. Carl again offered them a drink from his hose.  This time
they
didn't rob him. They wrenched the hose from his hand and drenched him
head
to foot in the icy water.  When they had finished their humiliation of
him,
they sauntered off down the street, throwing catcalls and curses,
falling
over one another laughing at the hilarity of what they had just done.
Carl
just watched them. Then he turned toward the  warmth giving sun, picked
up
his hose, and went on with his watering.

The summer was quickly fading into fall. Carl was doing some tilling
when he
was startled by the sudden approach of someone behind him. He stumbled
and
fell into some evergreen branches. As he struggled to regain his
footing,
heturned to see the tall leader of his summer tormentors reaching down
for
him.  He braced himself for the expected attack. "Don't worry old man,
I'm
not gonna hurt you this time." The young man spoke softly, still
offering
the tattooed and scarred hand to Carl.

As he helped Carl get up, the man pulled a crumpled bag from his pocket
and
handed it to Carl.  "What's this?" Carl asked.  "It's your stuff," the
man
explained. "It's your stuff back. Even the money in your wallet."  "I
don't
understand," Carl said. "Why would you help me now?"

The man shifted his feet, seeming embarrassed and ill at ease. "I
learned
something from you", he said. "I ran with that gang and hurt people like

you.  We picked you because you were old and we knew we could do it. But

every time we came and did something to you, instead of yelling and
fighting
back, you tried to give us a drink. You didn't hate us for hating you.
You
kept showing love against our hate." He stopped for a moment.  "I
couldn't
sleep after we stole your stuff, so here it is back." He paused for
another
awkward moment, not knowing what more there was to say.  "That bag's my
way
of saying thanks for straightening me out, I guess."  And with that, he
walked off down the street.

Carl looked down at the sack in his hands and gingerly opened it. He
took out
his retirement watch and put it back on his wrist. Opening his wallet,
he
checked for his wedding photo. He gazed for a moment at the young bride
that still smiled back at him from all those years ago.

He died one cold day after Christmas that winter. Many people attended
his
funeral in spite of the weather. In particular the minister noticed a
tall
young man that he didn't know sitting quietly in a distant corner of the

church. The minister spoke of Carl's garden as a lesson in life.  In a
voice
made thick with unshed tears, he said, "Do your best and make your
garden as
beautiful as you can. We will never forget Carl and his garden."

The following spring another flyer went up. It read: "Person needed to
care
for Carl's garden." The flyer went unnoticed by the busy parishioners
until
one day when a knock was heard at the minister's office door.  Opening
the
door, the minister saw a pair of scarred and tattooed hands holding the
flyer.  "I believe this is my job, if you'll have me," the young man
said.

The minister recognized him as the same young man who had returned the
stolen
watch and wallet to Carl. He knew that Carl's kindness had turned this
man's
life around. As the minister handed him the keys to the garden
shed, he said, "Yes, go take care of Carl's garden and honor him."

The man went to work and, over the next several years, he tended the
flowers
and vegetables just as Carl had done. In that time, he went to college,
got
married, and became a prominent member of the community.  But he never
forgot his promise to Carl's memory and kept the garden as beautiful as
he
thought Carl would have kept it.

One day he approached the new minister and told him that he couldn't
care for
the garden any longer. He explained with a shy and happy smile, "My wife
just
had a baby boy last night, and she's bringing him home on Saturday."
"Well, congratulations!" said the minister, as he was handed the garden
shed
keys.  "That's wonderful!  What's the baby's name?"  "Carl," he replied.







  • Subject: [Fwd: FW: Carl's Garden]
  • From: Kirk Brill <kbrill@home.com>
  • Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 12:21:29 -0500



  • Subject: FW: Carl's Garden
  • From: "Brill, Monica A" <Brillma@wellmark.com>
  • Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 07:27:05 -0500
  • content-class: urn:content-classes:message
  • Thread-Index: AcDyvCo6/4YCBjKERuuMHFeyEjppcAAfsJ2A
  • Thread-Topic: Carl's Garden



-----Original Message-----
From:   Straight, Janice M 
Sent:   Monday, June 11, 2001 4:19 PM
To: Staver, Lorraine L; Sackett, Barbara A; Sherman, Jane Y;
Schiltz, Jill A; Brill, Monica A
Subject:    FW: Carl's Garden

 
-----Original Message-----
From: greggjohnstone [mailto:greggjohnstone@email.msn.com]
<mailto:[mailto:greggjohnstone@email.msn.com]> 
Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2001 10:21 PM
To: Karla Culver; r.gritzner@worldnet.att.net;
<mailto:r.gritzner@worldnet.att.net;>  Mark Bigelow; joe smith; Diann
Gritzner
Subject: Fw: Carl's Garden


 
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Herman <mailto:nels41@home.com>  
To: Staebell, Paula <mailto:qmrpone@aol.com>  ; Schares Mrs Leanna S
<mailto:ScharesLS@mfr.usmc.mil>  ; LeAnn Kelly <mailto:leann@iccu.org>
; Hayes, Ruby M <mailto:glittergirl@cfu.net>  ; BMAXRN@aol.com
<mailto:BMAXRN@aol.com>  ; beth klosowski <mailto:kbkk@ticon.net>  
Sent: Friday, June 01, 2001 7:03 PM
Subject: Fw: Carl's Garden

A good story, and a good lesson!  Have a great day!
 
Andi
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Mike Ungs <mailto:mikeungs@home.com>  
 
Carl's Garden 

Carl was a quiet man. He didn't talk much. He would always greet you
with a 
big smile and a firm handshake. Even after living in our neighborhood
for 
over 50 years, no one could really say they knew him very well. 

Before his retirement, he took the bus to work each morning. The lone
sight 
of him walking down the street often worried us. He had a slight limp
from a 
bullet wound received in WWII. Watching him, we worried that although he
had 
survived WWII, he may not make it through our changing uptown
neighborhood 
with its ever-increasing random violence, gangs, and drug activity. 

When he saw the flyer at our local church asking for volunteers for
caring 
for the gardens behind the minister's residence, he responded in his 
characteristically un-assuming manner. Without fanfare, he just signed
up. 

He was well into his 87th year when the very thing we had always feared 
finally happened.  He was just finishing his watering for the day when
three 
gang members approached him.  Ignoring their attempt to intimidate him,
he 
simply asked, "Would you like a drink from the hose?"  The tallest and 
toughest-looking of the three said, "Yeah, sure", with a malevolent
little 
smile. As Carl offered the hose to him, the other two grabbed Carl's
arm, 
throwing him down. As the hose snaked crazily over the ground, dousing 
everything in its way, Carl's assailants stole his retirement watch and
his 
wallet, and then fled. Carl tried to get himself up, but he had been
thrown 
down on his bad leg. 

He lay there trying to gather himself as the minister came running to
help 
him.  Although the minister had witnessed the attack from his window, he

couldn't get there fast enough to stop it. "Carl, are you okay? Are you 
hurt?" the minister kept asking as he helped Carl to his feet.  Carl
just 
passed a hand over his brow and sighed, shaking his head.  "Just some
punk 
kids. I hope they'll wise-up someday." His wet clothes clung to his
slight 
frame as he bent to pick up the hose. He adjusted the nozzle again and 
started to water.  Confused and a little concerned, the minister asked, 
"Carl, what are you doing?"  "I've got to finish my watering. It's been
very 
dry lately", came the calm reply. Satisfying himself that Carl really
was all 
right, the minister could only marvel. Carl was a man from a different
time 
and place. 

A few weeks later the three returned. Just as before their threat  was 
unchallenged. Carl again offered them a drink from his hose.  This time
they 
didn't rob him. They wrenched the hose from his hand and drenched him
head 
to foot in the icy water.  When they had finished their humiliation of
him, 
they sauntered off down the street, throwing catcalls and curses,
falling 
over one another laughing at the hilarity of what they had just done.
Carl 
just watched them. Then he turned toward the  warmth giving sun, picked
up 
his hose, and went on with his watering. 

The summer was quickly fading into fall. Carl was doing some tilling
when he 
was startled by the sudden approach of someone behind him. He stumbled
and 
fell into some evergreen branches. As he struggled to regain his
footing, 
heturned to see the tall leader of his summer tormentors reaching down
for 
him.  He braced himself for the expected attack. "Don't worry old man,
I'm 
not gonna hurt you this time." The young man spoke softly, still
offering 
the tattooed and scarred hand to Carl. 

As he helped Carl get up, the man pulled a crumpled bag from his pocket
and 
handed it to Carl.  "What's this?" Carl asked.  "It's your stuff," the
man 
explained. "It's your stuff back. Even the money in your wallet."  "I
don't 
understand," Carl said. "Why would you help me now?" 

The man shifted his feet, seeming embarrassed and ill at ease. "I
learned 
something from you", he said. "I ran with that gang and hurt people like

you.  We picked you because you were old and we knew we could do it. But

every time we came and did something to you, instead of yelling and
fighting 
back, you tried to give us a drink. You didn't hate us for hating you.
You 
kept showing love against our hate." He stopped for a moment.  "I
couldn't 
sleep after we stole your stuff, so here it is back." He paused for
another 
awkward moment, not knowing what more there was to say.  "That bag's my
way 
of saying thanks for straightening me out, I guess."  And with that, he 
walked off down the street. 

Carl looked down at the sack in his hands and gingerly opened it. He
took out 
his retirement watch and put it back on his wrist. Opening his wallet,
he 
checked for his wedding photo. He gazed for a moment at the young bride 
that still smiled back at him from all those years ago. 

He died one cold day after Christmas that winter. Many people attended
his 
funeral in spite of the weather. In particular the minister noticed a
tall 
young man that he didn't know sitting quietly in a distant corner of the

church. The minister spoke of Carl's garden as a lesson in life.  In a
voice 
made thick with unshed tears, he said, "Do your best and make your
garden as 
beautiful as you can. We will never forget Carl and his garden." 

The following spring another flyer went up. It read: "Person needed to
care 
for Carl's garden." The flyer went unnoticed by the busy parishioners
until 
one day when a knock was heard at the minister's office door.  Opening
the 
door, the minister saw a pair of scarred and tattooed hands holding the 
flyer.  "I believe this is my job, if you'll have me," the young man
said. 

The minister recognized him as the same young man who had returned the
stolen 
watch and wallet to Carl. He knew that Carl's kindness had turned this
man's 
life around. As the minister handed him the keys to the garden 
shed, he said, "Yes, go take care of Carl's garden and honor him." 

The man went to work and, over the next several years, he tended the
flowers 
and vegetables just as Carl had done. In that time, he went to college,
got 
married, and became a prominent member of the community.  But he never 
forgot his promise to Carl's memory and kept the garden as beautiful as
he 
thought Carl would have kept it. 

One day he approached the new minister and told him that he couldn't
care for 
the garden any longer. He explained with a shy and happy smile, "My wife
just 
had a baby boy last night, and she's bringing him home on Saturday." 
"Well, congratulations!" said the minister, as he was handed the garden
shed 
keys.  "That's wonderful!  What's the baby's name?"  "Carl," he replied.



That's the whole gospel message simply stated.   Take 60 seconds give
this a 
shot! Let's just see if  Satan stops this one. All you do is ---- 

1. Simply say a small prayer for the person who sent you this,  (Father
God 
bless this person in whatever it is that You know he or she may be
needing 
this day!) 

2. Then send it on to five other people. Within hours five people have
prayed 
for you, and you caused a  multitude of people to pray to God for other 
people.  Then sit back and  watch the power of God work in your life for

doing  the thing that you know He loves. 









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