The Hawthorne Roses

The magazine Glimpses had an interesting true story: Nathaniel Hawthorne is famed as the author of one of America’s greatest novels — The Scarlet Letter. But it was something entirely different, a small kindness, that influenced his daughter Rose the most.

Nathaniel visited an English poorhouse where a diseased child rubbed his legs and held out hands in a plea to be lifted up. Although shrinking from the child’s repulsive sores, the author nevertheless picked the boy up and caressed him.

Nathaniel said later that he felt as if God had promised the boy that kindness, and if he refused it, he could never call himself a man again. Hawthorne’s daughter, Rose, was so influenced by her father’s actions that she later started charities specifically to deal with patients suffering from cancer. Seven homes in six states are available free of charge to cancer patients because a beautiful Rose grew in the loving soil of a father’s heart.

Well, my little roses decided to spend lunch that day stuffing their cheeks with grapes. As you can probably guess, we were all laughing our tails off.

Still, I can’t help but wonder what small kindness (or, worse, the withholding of some small kindness) will impact them the most. That’s all the more reason to endeavor to be kind.



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