The 50 Year Member - Part Eight : Just and Upright
by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bro. Bill Hosler, PM
“Please pass the all-purpose flour, Amy”, Dianne said, as she started to whisk the contents of her bowl. “As soon as the flour is mixed in I'm going to add the chocolate.” It was a cold, wintery day and the ladies of the house thought it would be the perfect day for baking.
Martha, the wife of the 50 Year member, along with her son’s wives were all making their families favorite desserts. It was a wonderful time of sharing and getting to know each other. With each sharing their favorite recipe as well as their baking secrets and then of course gossip. There were baked goods of every kind; cakes, bread, cupcakes and other desserts for every taste and sweet tooth imaginable. It was a mountain of food, but Martha knew as soon as the kids came inside from playing in the snow it would be gone in a matter of minutes.
Out of the corner of her eye Martha noticed the girlfriend of her youngest son, Katie, sitting in the dining room alone. Martha frowned because from her vantage point it appeared that Katie was all alone and crying. Quietly Martha slipped out of the kitchen and took a seat next to Katie.
“Are you Okay, Katie?” Martha asked. Katie dabbed her eyes with a tissue and in a weak voice she said, “Not really, Rick and I had a fight on the way over here.” Martha smiled. “I understand. Every young couple argues. We did when we were young. It’s just part of starting out in a relationship.”
“Not like this!” Katie exclaimed. “I don't know if we can stay together after this.” Martha frowned. “Goodness! What in the world would cause such a drastic change?” The tears rolled down Katie's face as she tried to steady her voice. “Rick said he was going to become a Freemason! I told him I didn't think it was a good idea. He was adamant about it. He said it was something he had always wanted to do and nothing would stop him. He wouldn't even listen to me!”
“I don't know much about what they do, but what I have read on the internet about it they are very secretive. They do weird ceremonies and worship Satan! Some sites say they even sacrifice animals! I don't want to married to a man who belongs to a cult. It scares me to think what he would do to me. What if we were to have children? How can I think of raising kids with someone who goes off to god knows where and does weird things? I want a man who I know I can trust; a man who will be a good father and husband.”
Martha hugged Katie and held her as she began to cry uncontrollably. “I understand Katie,” Martha said as she dried away her tears. “Many years ago when John and I were dating I was faced with the same thing. John's Grandfather and father were both Freemasons. John told me he planned on joining too. I was scared to death! My mother was shocked how I could even consider marrying a man like that. Our pastor even told me that John was going to Hell and he would drag me there with him. But in all honesty Katie, Rick becoming a Freemason is the best thing that can happen to you and your marriage.”
Katie looked up in amazement with tears streaming down her face “How in the world can Rick becoming a Mason be a good thing for me?” Martha smiled and took Katie’s hand. Sweetie, you love Rick for the man he is. I would like to think I had a lot to do with how he turned out. But a boy looks up to his father. It is the dad that teaches his son how to become a man.
My John was raised with Masonic principals and he passed them down to his sons. Masons take an oath to live a certain way; to take care of each other if in distress even their families. And if, God forbid, he passes away, they are honor bound to take care of the man’s widow and orphans. I can think of many times if we had a problem we couldn't handle, John would call a member of his lodge and somehow the problem would be taken care of.
I remember once a few years ago one of the more elderly widows of the lodge had a problem. She was housebound. Her health was failing and her family had all passed away. She was alone in the world. She needed help with her day to day tasks; getting to the doctor, getting groceries. Those things that become more difficult as you get older. She contacted the lodge and several members visited her. When they arrived, one of the members nearly fell through her front step. The wood was rotted; as it turned out the house was in very bad repair. She explained that she didn't have a lot of money and since her husband had passed away she didn't have any way of getting the house fixed.
After seeing all the issues the woman was going through, the Master of the lodge organized a group of members to help do some needed maintenance on the house. They arranged transportation to get her to the store and to her doctor. The woman was extremely grateful. She came to realize she couldn't continue to live on her own any longer. In response to this, the lodge sponsored her to live at the states Masonic retirement center. Now she was able to receive regular meals, a warm home and the medical care she desperately needed; not to mention she isn't alone anymore. She now has friends who are retired Masons or even a widow of a Mason themselves. God knows what would have happened to her if her husband had not been a Mason!
Even though the aide is usually for the members of the lodge and their families it usually expands outside the lodge. Masons tend to be giving men. They have big hearts and hate to see anyone suffering. You will find many of them giving back to their communities. It is usually an individual contribution, but sometimes it is support from the entire Fraternity. Masons have come together to build hospitals and even create centers for children with learning disabilities. They have raised money to help research cures for many of the worst diseases! Just think how much worse the world would have been if these good men had not banded together!
All of these things I’ve mentioned are great things, but they are not the lodge's main objective. I have been told their main objective is to teach men to become better. I do not understand all of it, but John tells me that Masons are given tools that are used to make men think about their actions and try to rid themselves of their bad habits and actions. They strive to enable a good man to become a better husband, father, son and member of society. How can striving to become a good man be evil?
I will tell you something else that only a Mason's wife will tell you. I doubt if the men have even thought about it, but you will understand it. Your husband being a Mason will give YOU piece of mind too. Men being men are sometimes like boys. They like to have a good time, get together with their friends and have fun.
A man who isn't a member will usually end up at a bar, or someplace worse. They might drink too much and get into a lot of trouble through the years. You may have no idea where he is or who he is with and your mind will start to wonder if he is doing something he shouldn't be doing. Things like that can cause a lot of stress to a relationship. It can cause a wedge between two people and end a relationship. But when your husband goes to lodge, you will know where he is and that whatever he is doing. You can think of it as he is trying to help make the world a better place. He won't be out with women or drinking too much. If he does go out with his friends to have a drink, he will have Brothers around him who are great men. They won't allow him to and drive home or be around people who will lead him down the wrong path.
Martha looked into Katie’s eyes and smiled, “I know this is a lot to take in and you may not believe me, but I can tell you I can't imagine what the last 50 years of marriage would have been like if John had not been a Mason. I just know our life has been better for it. If you don't believe me ask any one of those women in that kitchen. All of Rick's brothers have followed in their Dad and Granddad's footsteps and joined lodge. I think they will tell you the same thing as I am telling you.”
Martha continued, “Masonry isn't some cult that sacrifices babies or anything silly like that. The goal of Masonry is to take a good man and make him better along with making the world a little better place to live in.”
Katie dried her eyes and forced a smile, “I believe what you said. I have looked at Rick's dad and his brothers and I see they are good husbands and fathers and I think those traits are what made me fall love with him. If he is a good man now I know he will be even better once he joins. Thank you, Mrs. Johnson for talking to me and helping put my mind to rest. I am going to tell Rick I stand behind his decision.”
Martha gave Katie a big hug. “It was my pleasure sweetie. I'm glad I could help put your mind at ease. Just one thing; don't call me Mrs. Johnson. Call me Mom. You already feel like a daughter to me and I am sure soon Rick will make it official. I am so glad to have you in my family.”