You are reading the archives for December 2010.

Just Not Now…

One day the Devil gathered his wisest advisors together to decide how to enslave people.

After a few minutes of discussion the first advisor said,

“Let’s convince people that good does not exist and slowly their hearts will become harder, until they care about no one, but themselves.”

“No” – answered another advisor, “People are intelligent and they will realize that if evil exists, so does good, and that it is up to them to chose.”

“So why don’t we convince people that there is more evil than good and that they cannot do anything to change it”

“No, people will understand that while they might not be able to help everyone, they can still make a difference helping one person at a time.”

“Well, then let’s suggest to people that they do not have enough money, time or possibility to help others and that they should fully concentrate their efforts on helping only their relatives and family members.”

“It will not work, because sooner or later people will know that it does not take millions to help just one child and they will do good deeds anyway”

After a long moment of silence the wisest of them said,

I know the way. Why don’t we convince people that good exists, that it is in their power to help others and make this world a little better, but just… not right now…

How often when we have the desire, possibility and time to help another person, do we let the opportunity pass by? How often, when we see pain and sufferings in someone’s eyes, our heart yearns to ask “What happened?” while our mind tells us it is none of our business and we turn away and walk by?

This time it could be different…

The Old Fisherman

Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to out patients at the clinic. One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door. I opened it to see a truly awful looking man.

“Why, he’s hardly taller than my eight-year-old,” I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body. But the appalling thing was his face — lopsided from swelling, red and raw.

Yet his voice was pleasant as he said, “Good evening. I’ve come to see if you’ve a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning from the eastern shore, and there’s no bus ’til morning.” He told me he’d been hunting for a room since noon but with no success, no one seemed to have a room. “I guess it’s my face…I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments…”

For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me: “I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning.” I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch. I went inside and finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man if he would join us.

“No, thank you. I have plenty.”

And he held up a brown paper bag. When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes.

It didn’t take a long time to see that this old man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children, and her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury.

He didn’t tell it by way of complaint; in fact,every other sentence was prefaced with a thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going.

At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children’s room for him. When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded and the little man was out on the porch.

He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said, “Could I please come back and stay the next time I have a treatment? I won’t put you out a bit. I can sleep fine in a chair.”

He paused a moment and then added, “Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don’t seem to mind.” I told him he was welcome to come again.

On his next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning. As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen. He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they’d be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4:00 a.m. and I wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us.

In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden. Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery; fish and oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed.

Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these, and knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly precious. When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning.

“Did you keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away! You can lose roomers by putting up such people!” Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice. But oh! If only they could have known him, perhaps their illnesses would have been easier to bear. I know our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude to God.

Recently I was visiting a friend who has a greenhouse. As she showed me her flowers, we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was growing in an old dented, rusty bucket. I thought to myself, “If this were my plant, I’d put it in the loveliest container I had!” My friend changed my mind. “I ran short of pots,” she explained, “and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn’t mind starting out in this old pail. It’s just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden.”

She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining just such a scene in heaven. “Here’s an especially beautiful one,” God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman. “He won’t mind starting in this small body.”

All this happened long ago — and now, in God’s garden, how tall this lovely soul must stand.

“BALLAD OF THE UNBORN”by Fay Clayton

My shining feet will never run
On early morning lawn;
My feet were crushed before they had
A chance to greet the dawn.

My fingers now will never stretch
To touch the winning tape;
My race was done before I learned
The smallest steps to take.

My growing height will never be
Recorded on the wall;
My growth was stopped when I was still
Unseen, and very small.

My lips and tongue will never taste
The good fruits of the earth;
For I myself was judged to be
A fruit of little worth.

My eyes will never scan the sky
For my high-flying kite;
For when still blind, destroyed were they
In the black womb of night.

I’ll never stand upon a hill
Spring’s winds in my hair;
Aborted winds of thought closed in
On motherhood’s despair.

I’ll never walk the shores of life,
Or know the tides of time;
For I was coming, but unloved;
And that my only crime.

Nameless am I, a grain of sand,
One of the countless dead;
But the deed that made me ashen grey
Floats on seas of red.

Plight of the Silent

Plight of the Silent

 I am dependent. My every need God has delegated to a precious woman. She is called “mother”. She is the one that shall birth me into this remarkable place you call “world”. I am called to be a product of love. She shall be the one that shall call me by name. I know that God calls me the “Apple of His eye” and has set my purpose before the foundations of the earth. What shall she call me? She shall train me up in the way that I shall go. God must really have a deep, undaunted trust in women to give them such an awesome responsibility. For she is the one to see that I enter into this world safely.

She is so warm. Her womb encases me just as though it were her very arms wrapped around me tightly, assuring me that everything will be all right. Without being able to touch or see me she adheres to my every need. She provides protection, warmth, and nourishment to me. I love her. I have loved her from the very beginning. The beginning of my life, which was at conception. I will be able to share this love with her soon. It does bubble within me so. I will be the one that will bring joy within her that she has never known before. It will be the type of joy that will bring tears to the crevice of her eyes as she watches me sleep in the middle of the night.

It is close to the time that I will finally see her, just weeks away now. I know her voice. As I move within her, I hear her laughter. It is such a sweet sound unto my ears. She has such a beautiful, warm voice. I recognize her voice distinctly among the other sounds on the outside. We are connected not only physically but also in spirit. She shall always be a part of me and I a part of her.

She is crying. Mother, what is wrong? She has been crying for several days now. How I wish she knew that I was here for her. When no one else has listened, I was listening. I don’t quite understand why or how but I believe she is blaming me for her pain. But I have done nothing wrong. Have I? If only I could change everything, I wish I were not going to have this baby. What am I going to do? These are some of the many heart wrenching thoughts that flow from her heart onto her lips. I still don’t understand, but I am fearful because it is now my life that is being threatened. She is thinking of killing me. The very woman that has provided all these wonderful things unto me now is considering destroying the very essence of who I am. You can’t do this! Why, Mother? Everything will be all right!!! Please don’t harm me! Don’t you remember! The very thing that you are about to destroy has been marked by God.

She says that she cannot care for me. But mother, you have cared wonderfully for me. How were you able to do it this far? Where did your help come from? It was already within you. Remember. you were made to carry me within your womb. You were made internally to protect me. Please remember these things. Please I beg you, please remember! I want so much to spend my years of growing and learning with you, but allow my life to bring joy and fulfillment somewhere. You have options. Please, please — Your mother chose life for you. You are now in control. Please choose life for me.

How is it that I can hear her cries but she cannot hear the cries from within her own womb? It is not fair! Why won’t she listen to me? I shouldn’t have to feel this anger. This is to be an intimate time between child and mother, but for me, I am frightened. I feel and I am all alone. Will anyone hear my cry? The outside world has grown cold to the plight of a child. Today, I will die. Why? I ask.

The woman that I call “mother” has taken me this day to a dreadful place where they murder innocence. We together will go through such a horrifying experience that no man will be able to remove the scars. They have sedated her now. How will they do this monstrous act? I wonder. They are consoling her. Who is here to console me, I ask? There is no answer. At this time, I shall not continue to weep, for my soul shall be the Lord’s.

I feel tugging. Someone is attempting to turn me. Something cold has taken a hold of my foot and I am turned now. Now my other foot as well has been pinched and pulled by this cold object. At this time, my feet have been taken from the womb and are now on the outside of my mother’s body. I am able to kick them. How free I feel. I am happy now. Oh! She has changed her mind. I will be in her arms and she will love me. I shall live and not die. As my torso is released, I feel chilled. This place called “world” does not provide the same warmth that a maternal womb freely gives unto a child. But I can’t focus on the chill of the present, because shortly I will be embraced with the warmth of my mother. Now my arms are free! I am able to move without feeling constricted. My entire body is outside her precious womb of protection. Now my head shall come forth. I am now beginning to understand the process of what they are doing. They are delivering my head last because it encases my thoughts, feelings, and ideas. It houses the very essence of who I am. This must be why they are so careful to hold it inside the birth canal until the perfect time. I am excited now! It is time. I can almost see the joy of my mother’s face as they place me in her arms.

HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What is happening? Everything is spinning. Something very sharp has just plunged into the back of my neck. I am going into shock. There is such chaos in my world. Why such pain? I can’t bear it!! Please make it stop!!! My heart is pounding. My legs are in full extension now. How could someone that loved so much allow this act of violence? Mother, do you share this horrific pain? Oh, how I hope that you do not. Please take this from me, for I cannot bear anymore. I am weakened and can hardly take my breath. Why would someone do this? I don’t understand!

Now an instrument has been inserted deep inside my brain. I am sorry, but I am again crying. I lay limp now. My very breath has been stolen from me. It is finished, I say, and from this what was gained, I ask? I shall not be able to speak with you again. But please speak for me. Please tell of my plight. There must not be another to follow in my footsteps. I leave it to you now. If you are a woman with life in your womb, listen to the silent cry that lies within you. You have options. Ask for help and someone will come to your side and walk with you. You are not alone. By choosing life, you shall reap life. Remember the cause. Please do not allow this to continue. If I had breath, I would fight a great fight, but now I must ask for you to stand in my place. Stand against the opposing forces and all resistance and the result will be life.

The Stranger

 Imagine this happening to you . . .

It was a cold winter’s day that Sunday.

The parking lot to the church was filling up quickly. I noticed as I got out of my car that fellow church members were whispering among themselves as they walked to the church.

As I got closer I saw a man leaned up against the wall outside the church.

He was almost laying down as if he was asleep. He had on a long trench coat that was almost in shreds and a hat topped his head, pulled down so you could not see his face. He wore shoes that looked 30 years old, too small for his feet with holes all over them, his toes stuck out. I assumed this man was homeless, and asleep, so I walked on by through the doors of the church.

We all fellowshipped for a few minutes, and someone brought up the man laying outside. People snickered and gossiped but no one bothered to ask him to come in, including me.

A few moments later church began.

We all waited for the Preacher to take his place and to give us the Word, when the doors to the church opened. In came the homeless man walking down the aisle with his head down. People gasped and whispered and made faces.

He made his way down the aisle and up onto the pulpit he took off his hat and coat.

My heart sank.

There stood our pastor. He was the “homeless man.”

No one said a word.

The preacher took his Bible and laid it on the stand.

“Folks, I don’t think I have to tell you what I am preaching about today.”

Then he started singing the words to this song.

“If I can help somebody as I pass along.
If I can cheer somebody with a word or song.
If I can show somebody that he’s traveling wrong.
Then my living shall not be in vain.”

“IS YOUR LIVING IN VAIN?”

A Fantastic Attitude

A Fantastic Attitude

There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head. ‘Well,’ she said, ‘I think I’ll braid my hair today?’ So she did and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head. ‘H-M-M,’ she said, ‘I think I’ll part my hair down the middle today?’ So she did and she had a grand day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head. ‘Well,’ she said, ‘today I’m going to wear my hair in a pony tail.’ So she did and she had a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn’t a single hair on her head. ‘YEA!’ she exclaimed, ‘I don’t have to fix my hair today!’

Attitude is everything. Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle. Live simply, Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly…….

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… It’s about learning to dance in the rain, YES!!!

What Goes Around……

His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to eke out a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog.

He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.

The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman’s sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved. “I want to repay you,” said the nobleman. “You saved my son’s life.” “No, I can’t accept payment for what I did,” the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer.

At that moment, the farmer’s own son came to the door of the family hovel. “Is that your son?” the nobleman asked. “Yes,” the farmer replied proudly. “I’ll make you a deal. Let me take him and give him a good education. If the lad is anything like his father, he’ll grow to a man you can be proud of.”

And that he did. In time, Farmer Fleming’s son graduated from St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin. Years afterward, the nobleman’s son was stricken with pneumonia. What saved him? Penicillin. The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill. His son’s name? Sir Winston Churchill.

Someone once said what goes around comes around.

Jesus said it another way:

KJV: Luke 6:38 — “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down and shaken together, and running over, shall men give unto your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” –

Struggles are a Part of Life

A cocoon

 A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon. Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us.We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly!