Expressions of Love
During my second month of nursing school, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"
Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.
"Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello."
I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.
I was taking my usual morning walk when a garbage truck pulled up beside me. I thought the driver was going to ask for directions. Instead, he showed me a picture of a cute little five-year-old boy.
"This is my grandson, Jeremiah," he said. "He's on a life-support system at a Phoenix hospital."
Thinking he would next ask for a contribution to his hospital bills, I reached for my wallet. But he wanted something more than money.He said, "I'm asking everybody I can, to say a prayer for him. Would you say one for him, please?"
I did. And my problems didn't seem like much that day.
One night, at 11:30 pm an older African-American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rainstorm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car.
A young white man stopped to help her (generally this was unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s). The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab. She seemed to be in a big hurry! She wrote down his address, thanked him and drove away.
Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant combination console color TV and stereo were delivered to his home. A special note was attached.
The note read: "Dear Mr. James: Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night The rain drenched not only my clothes, but my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others.
Mrs. Nat 'King' Cole."
Ultimate Expressions of God's Love
Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at Stanford Hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liza who was suffering from a disease and needed a blood transfusion from her five- year-old brother. He had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes I'll do it if it will save Liza."
As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away?"
Being young, the boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give her all his blood.
After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno's damage. One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick.
When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother's wings. The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her babies to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise.
She could have flown to safety but refused to abandon her babies. When the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been willing to die, the little ones under the cover of her wings would live.
My sister read this in the paper a week ago:
The firemen arrived at a residentual fire, the home ablaze. One of the firemen noticed a tawny cat come flying out a window that had shattered from the heat, carrying a kitten. She ran across the street and deposited her kitten in a safe place.
The firemen tried to catch her, but she was a cat on a mission. Back through the window, into the flaming house she went. The firemen started shouting to each other and all of the hoses were aimed at that window, trying to give that mother cat some protection from the flames.
Out she came again with another kitten. Again, she could not be stopped. Seven times, she went back into that blazing house, each time returning with a kitten.
After the last kitten, she collapsed beside her kittens, covered with second and third degree burns. The EMTS scooped her and her kittens up and made an emergency run to the animal hospital.
The little cat is covered with scars, but she is now the mascot of that Fire Station and she wants for nothing. [Her kittens all have good homes.] I love happy endings... :-))
Have a great day!
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