Archive | March 2013

NYC Taxi driver with an old woman

 

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90′s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940′s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘It’s nothing’, I told her.. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’

‘Oh, you’re such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive through downtown?’

‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly..

‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have any family left,’ she continued in a soft voice..’The doctor says I don’t have very long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired. Let’s go now’. We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

‘How much do I owe you?’ She asked, reaching into her purse.

‘Nothing,’ I said

‘You have to make a living,’ she answered.

‘There are other passengers,’ I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said. ‘Thank you.’

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut.It was the sound of the closing of a life..

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

Source : http://dreamingcub.blogspot.com

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A Crown of Thorns

easter-2013

There was, upon this earth, a Savior
who came to cleanse and heal.
He wore a crown of thorns upon His head, Our souls to ever seal.

He gave up the crown of Glory
that was rightfully His, that day ~
that He came to earth to give
unto all men, a glorious stay.

He put aside His own sweet crown,
His signet ring that day,
That, maybe, all would come and walk
In His dear righteous way.

He loved us with a love so pure.
On His head He wore a crown of thorns,
That His love would cleanse the world
And man could be reborn.

Mighty is the name of this Savior,
Jesus. He redeemed the day
For all who would accept Him
And walk along His righteous way.

They hung Him upon
an old rugged Cross,
A thief on either side.
But, the day He comes back, again,
He’ll take us to be His bride.

If we give our Hearts to Him
Who bore our shame on Calvary’s Cross,
Though we’ve sinned o’er and o’er,
We’ll suffer no loss …

But, only if we claim Him as Savior
And are not filled with shame.
Then, that fateful day, in Glory,
He’ll proudly proclaim our name.

This is the love of one so dear ~
That He suffered agonizing pain
So, when this life on earth is over,
Through Him, we’ll be joined again.

By His tender mercies and pain
Of a crown of thorns upon His head,
He will raise us up to Glory, as was He
After they pronounced Him dead.

Easter Poem by  Pearlie Duncan Walker

Love your parent

After 12 years of marriage, my wife wanted me to invite another woman to dinner and a movie.
She told me: “I love you, but I know that the other woman loves you and would like to spend time with you.”
The Other Woman, which my wife asked to pay attention to, was my mother. She was a widow for over 19 years. But since my job and three children demanded all my strength from me, I could only visit her occasionally.

That evening I called her to invite her to dinner and a movie.
– What happened? Are you okay? – she asked me at once. My mother’s first reaction was usually like this whenever she the phone rang late at night she reckoned it was bad news.
– I thought it would be nice to spend some time with you: – I answered. She thought for a moment, and then said: ‘I really want this.”
On Friday after work I went for it and i was a little nervous. As my car pulled up outside her house, I saw her standing at the door and noticed that she seemed a little too excited.

She stood in the doorway of the house, threw her coat over her shoulders. Her hair was curled in ringlets, and she was in the dress she had bought to celebrate the recent anniversary of my wedding.
– I told my friends that my son will take me to the restaurant today evening, and they were deeply impressed – she said , sitting in the car.
We went to a restaurant. Though it was not luxurious, but it was very nice and cozy. My mother took my arm and walked as if she was my first lady.
When we sat down at a table, I had to read her the menu. My mother’s eyes are now able to distinguish only large fonts. As i finished reading half of it, I looked up and saw that my mother was sitting, staring at me, and a nostalgic smile lay on her lips.
– In the past, when you were little, I read the whole menu for you – she said.
– So, it is time to pay a favor – I replied.

During dinner, we had a very good conversation. It was nothing special. We simply shared the latest events in our lives. But we got so busy that we were late for the film.

When I left her home, she said: ‘Once again, I’ll go with you to the restaurant. Only this time, I invite you. ” I agreed.
– How was your evening? – My wife asked when I got home.
– Very good. Much better than I imagined – I replied.
A few days later my mother died of a massive heart attack. It happened so suddenly that I had no chance to do something for her. A few days later I received an envelope with a payment receipt from the restaurant where we had dinner with my mother.

The receipt had an attached note: “I paid the bill for our second dinner in advance. However, I’m not sure I could have dinner with you. But nevertheless, I paid for two people. For you and your wife. I have no words to explain to you what that dinner to which you invited me, meant to me: My son, I love you.

Take care of your parents! They are the only ones who truly rejoice in your successes and experience for your failures. Be with them more often than possible, because the day when they will not be by your side might come completely unexpected …

Source : http://www.positiwitty.com

A Prayer of Repentance

We come to you, Lord,
knowing that you love us
no matter of what.

That’s why we dare to come to you,
knowing that you will help us.
We put our hearts and souls in your hand.

Generous in love—God, give grace!
    Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.
Scrub away my guilt,
    soak out my sins in your laundry.
I know how bad I’ve been;
    my sins are staring me down.
(Psalm 51:1-3, MSG)

We ask for grace to open our eyes to see all our transgressions.
Show us how we nailed Jesus on the cross.

We ask grace to see our sinfulness and desire repentance.
Show us how we made Jesus to suffer.

We ask grace to see our rottenness and yearn to be made whole.
Show us how we grieve you over and over again.

We ask grace to illuminate our mind to see your will for us.
Show us the way to true life in Jesus.

You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen
    it all, seen the full extent of my evil.
You have all the facts before you;
    whatever you decide about me is fair.
I’ve been out of step with you for a long time,
    in the wrong since before I was born.
What you’re after is truth from the inside out.
    Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.
(Psalm 51:4-6, MSG)

We repent, Lord, forgive us!
Pour out grace upon grace, Lord!
Do whatever you want with us,
just don’t  leave us as we are!

Pour out faith upon faith, Lord!
Redeem, restore, renew!
Get rid of anything and everything unholy!

Pour out hope upon hope, Lord!
Fill us with your Spirit!
Pour out joy upon joy, Lord!
Let us feel your presence!

Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean,
    scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.
Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,
    set these once-broken bones to dancing.
Don’t look too close for blemishes,
    give me a clean bill of health.
God, make a fresh start in me,
    shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don’t throw me out with the trash,
    or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from gray exile,
    put a fresh wind in my sails!
Give me a job teaching rebels your ways
    so the lost can find their way home.
Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God,
    and I’ll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.
Unbutton my lips, dear God;
    I’ll let loose with your praise.
(Psalm 51:7-15, MSG)

Thank you for not giving up on us,
even when we’d deserve it.
Thank you for saving us, Lord!
What glorious plans you have for us!
Empower us to follow your leading.

Thank you for loving us so dearly,
especially when we most need it.
What measures you take to care for us!
Thank you for working in us, for us.
Grant us the grace to become holy like you
and follow you all of our days.
In Jesus’ precious name we pray,
Amen

Author :  Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke

http://www.flowingfaith.com

 

The Empty Egg

 

Jeremy was born with a twisted body and a slow mind.

At the age of 12 he was still in second grade, seemingly unable to learn. His teacher, Doris Miller, often became exasperated with him. He would squirm in his seat, drool, and make grunting noises.

At other times, he spoke clearly and distinctly, as if a spot of light had penetrated the darkness of his brain.

Most of the time, however, Jeremy just irritated his teacher.

One day she called his parents and asked them to come in for a consultation. As the Forresters entered the empty classroom, Doris said to them, “Jeremy really belongs in a special school. It isn’t fair to him to be with younger children who don’t have learning problems. Why, there is a five year gap between his age and that of the other students.”

Mrs. Forrester cried softly into a tissue, while her husband spoke. “Miss Miller,” he said, “there is no school of that kind nearby. It would be a terrible shock for Jeremy if we had to take him out of this school. We know he really likes it here.” Doris sat for a long time after they had left, staring at the snow outside the window. Its coldness seemed to seep into her soul. She wanted to sympathize with the Forresters. After all, their only child had a terminal illness. But it wasn’t fair to keep him in her class. She had 18 other youngsters to teach, and Jeremy was a distraction. Furthermore, he would never learn to read and write. Why waste any more time trying?

As she pondered the situation, guilt washed over her. Here I am complaining when my problems are nothing compared to that poor family, she thought. Lord, please help me to be more patient with Jeremy.

From that day on, she tried hard to ignore Jeremy’s noises and his blank stares. Then one day, he limped to her desk, dragging his bad leg behind him.

“I love you, Miss Miller,” he exclaimed, loud enough for the whole class to hear. The other students snickered, and Doris’ face turned red. She stammered … “Wh-why that’s very nice, Jeremy. N-now please take your seat.”

Spring came, and the children talked excitedly about the coming of Easter. Doris told them the story of Jesus, and then to emphasize the idea of new life springing forth, she gave each of the children a large plastic egg. “Now,” she said to them, “I want you to take this home and bring it back tomorrow with something inside that shows new life. Do you understand?”

“Yes, Miss Miller,” the children responded enthusiastically … all except for Jeremy. He listened intently; his eyes never left her face. He did not even make his usual noises. Had he understood what she had said about Jesus’ death and resurrection? Did he understand the assignment? Perhaps she should call his parents and explain the project to them.

That evening, Doris’ kitchen sink stopped up. She called the landlord and waited an hour for him to come by and unclog it. After that, she still had to shop for groceries, iron a blouse, and prepare a vocabulary test for the next day. She completely forgot about phoning Jeremy’s parents.

The next morning, 19 children came to school, laughing and talking as they placed their eggs in the large wicker basket on Miss Miller’s desk.

After they completed their math lesson, it was time to open the eggs. In the first egg, Doris found a flower.

“Oh yes, a flower is certainly a sign of new life,” she said.
“When plants peek through the ground, we know that spring is here.”

A small girl in the first row waved her arm.
“That’s my egg, Miss Miller,” she called out.

The next egg contained a plastic butterfly which looked very real.

Doris held it up. “We all know that a caterpillar changes and grows into a beautiful butterfly.
Yes, that’s new life, too.”

Little Judy smiled proudly and said,
“Miss Miller, that one is mine.”

Next, Doris found a rock with moss on it.

She explained that moss, too, showed life.

Billy spoke up from the back of the classroom “My daddy
helped me,” he beamed.

Then Doris opened the fourth egg.
She gasped.

The egg was empty.

Surely it must be Jeremy’s she thought, and of course, he did not understand her instructions. If only she had not forgotten to phone his parents.
Because she did not want to embarrass him,
she quietly set the egg aside and reached for another.

Suddenly, Jeremy spoke up.
“Miss Miller, aren’t you going to talk about my egg?”

Flustered, Doris replied, “But Jeremy, your egg is empty.”

He looked into her eyes and said softly …
“Yes, but Jesus’ tomb was empty, too.”

Time stopped.

When she could speak again, Doris asked him,
“Do you know why the tomb was empty?”

“Oh, yes,” Jeremy said, “Jesus was killed and put in there.
Then His Father raised Him up.”

The recess bell rang.
While the children excitedly ran out to the school yard …
Doris cried.
The cold inside her melted completely away.

Three months later, Jeremy died.
Those who paid their respects at the mortuary were surprised to see 19 eggs on top of his casket … all of them empty

source : http://www.fathershands.com

Easter Blessings

 

 

I must share a true story that is so miraculous, so inspiring, that it must be known… I hope to lift your spirits and create a bright light for you and within you when you read this incredible story!Do you still believe goodness and abundance can blossom in the midst of challenging circumstance? As a child, I learned that there was wonder and brilliance, but I also learned the reality of intense sadness and pain in the world. More than anything, my parents wanted me to believe that good could prevail; they wanted me to believe that no matter what, even in the darkest of places, beauty and love could bloom.

When I was seventeen, I was handed a newspaper clipping. It was one of the most painful things I had ever read, about a little 2-year-old baby by himself in the closet of his home, playing with a Bic lighter (at the time, there were no child-proof safety latches). Within seconds the entire closet and all the clothes were consumed in fire around him; he was completely helpless. His body was burned so completely, the doctors didn’t know if this small child would live.I was so affected by this story. I remember the feeling vividly. I was touched and felt deeply connected with this little boy. I didn’t know what it was, but something about the story would not let go of me. It was one of those situations where you pause and think, “There is no good that can come from this. There is no reason. There is no way.” I felt hopeless. I carried that story with me my whole life and never forgot that little baby.

I could not have known that years later, at age 32, I would be burned. I too was consumed by fire all around me in an enclosed space. I was watching myself in a horrific scene – burning alive. I was trapped and unable to breathe when a total stranger ran towards the colossal blaze, kicked in the window and saved my life. The pain I went through was beyond my ability to explain. I should be dead, but I came through. I healed.

After my accident, I understood at the deepest levels the needs of other burn survivors. I was compelled to create a program for teens with burn injuries, and with the help of volunteers, my dream became reality. The program has been running for over a decade now, through the Adaptive Sports Center in Crested Butte, Colorado. The minute these kids get off the plane, there’s a jam-packed schedule. They go to snowboarding and skiing lessons. They go dog sledding, ice climbing, rock climbing and snowshoeing at night… The week is full of adventure. It’s an incredible thing, a privilege, to spend time with these remarkable young people; year after year, we’ve healed together. I’ve witnessed again and again how the right attitude changes everything.

One participant was an extraordinary young man named CJ. His face and body were burned in totality, and his fingers were gone except for nubs an inch above the palm, but he did have one knuckle- and a very charismatic smile. Year after year, he was the guy who would show up and throw a party for everyone. He’d play the music. He’d get the snacks. He’d spread the word. He was that person who walked into the room with such a quiet assuredness that you quickly forgot he was burned; his love just burst out of his body. He is in his twenties now and is an amazing person.One day I was on the phone with CJ. We were talking about life, brainstorming ideas, catching up. “CJ,” I said, “All these years I’ve known you, we’ve always had fun when we talk… But I never asked you what your story was. How were you burned?”He paused, “Did you ever hear the story of the baby with the Bic lighter? That was me.”

I was silenced.It took me two weeks to call him back. I was so stunned. I finally contacted him and told him how I knew of his story when he was just two. We were both speechless. There was love there. It was real. My whole life, I needed to know if that little baby was okay. Not only is he okay, he’s an incredible person. He’s my friend.

Even in the most painful of places, in the most tragic and horrific of stories, love and beauty can unfold in ways we never imagined. Life carries poetry. This is a reminder to watch for the goodness – to pay attention. Don’t let the poetry of life pass you by. Turn the pages of life with expectation for magic, because the miraculous is budding everywhere.

Written by Allison Massari

www.AllisonMassari.com

 

7 Ways To Become An Ideal Friend

Great ideas

Good Time Stories

Friendship, Göteborg, Sweden

 

We have always heard of the famous proverb ‘A friend in need is a friend in deed’. But all we understand is almost nothing in terms of this simple yet complex relationship. Friendship is one of the most precious relationships and how to be an ideal friend is an equally important question when maintaining this relationship is concerned.

You tend to be friends with many around you. But you are not a real or an ideal friend to all of them. There are several answers to the question of how to be an ideal friend. All you need to do is, go through them and help yourself build a better relation with your dear friend.

Being an ideal friend is not an easy job. There are complexities, fights, misunderstandings, arguments and so on to bring your and your friend’s spirit down. But an ideal friend is one who gets…

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