Friday, July 22, 2011

Friendship And A Lesson

Good morning my friends !It is a nice day out  and looks like we just might get a little more rain.I am sure it will make my flowers happy to feel the cooling drops of rain .I love nice sunshine filled days but have always found  the sound of a gently falling rain to be comforting.

I was sitting here contemplating all the things my home needs and to be honest was a bit down about it, decided to check my emails and found just what I needed to pick me up and to make me think.I have things that need to be done to the house ,most of us do,but I have so much to be grateful for and should be ashamed of being down about the things I don't have at the moment. Life is meant to be a struggle at times I think so that we can be appreciative of the things that are easy . I have a very dear sweet friend that lives in Tennessee and her faith is amazing.We met several years  ago through an ebay purchase and she is always sending me little encouraging emails. Love her to death even though we have never met person to person.Amy is inspirational in my life and I am thankful to have become her friend.I would like to share the story that she sent me and hope that  you enjoy it.It really touched my heart and I felt compelled to share it.


Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. We lived downstairs & 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 & 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, & there's no bus 'till 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 & 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 over sized heart crowded into  that tiny body. He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children & 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 thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He was thankful for 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, & 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 & 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 & 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. 
And on his next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning. As a gift, he brought a big fish & 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 & fresh. I knew his bus left at 4 a.m., & 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 & 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 & 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 illness 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 & the good with gratitude.

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.  There'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.

The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.'

Friends are very special. They make you smile & encourage you to succeed.  They lend an ear &  they share a word of praise. Show your friends how much you care.

Pass this on, & brighten someone's  day.
Nothing will happen if you do not decide to  pass it  along.
The only thing that will happen if you do  pass it on is that someone might smile because of you ! 
Never  look down on anybody, unless 
you're helping them up.
   "Life without  God is like an unsharpened pencil 
-  it has no  point."

Have a wonderful weekend my friends!Hugs,Jen


Angela said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angela said...

Oh Jen, THanks so much for sharing such a touching story. I could just visulize the old little man. There is a great message inside this story. Brought tears to my eyes. God is good and I am so proud he sees the beauty inside our hearts instead of our outward appearance. Have a wonderful day.

Trace4J said...

What a wonderful post friend.The best one I read in a long time. Just what I needed. Thank you for sharing friend!
Hugs Trace

Frieda said...

Thanks for sharing! As I read this story, my eyes became so blurry with tears that I could hardly see to finish reading it. You are right - sometimes we fail to be thankful for our blessings and God has to send us a reminder from time to time. Have a wonderful day!

Shirlee said...

Thank you for sharing this lovely post Jen. You are right ... many people complain about the littlest inconveniences & then there are those like this little old man who are such special souls. God bless you. Blessings, Shirlee

purensimple-Theresa said...

Oh Jen, What a wonderful post that your friend shared with you. Thank you for sharing it with me. Made me stop and think...and Thank God for all the blessings he has given me. Hugs to you and thanks for always stopping by my blog.
Blessings ♥*T

Cat Nap Inn Primitives said...

OH I loved this story!!!! really puts things into perspective doesn't it?..thanks for sharing and reminding us..because sometimes we need to be reminded..hope you have a great weekend.;)

TheCrankyCrow said...

Amen. This story is wonderful ~ Thank you for passing it on.....Have a wonderful weekend. Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

Mary said...

Hi Jen, what a wonderful, touching post, Thank you so much for sharing with us, I loved the story!!! Makes one stop and think. Maybe I should send this to my neighbor..... Hope you continue to keep feeling better,enjoy your weekend! Big Hugsssss Mary

Tolentreasures said...

Great post! I love that story and how true it is. Thanks for sharing.


Bee Lady said...

Beautiful story Jen.

How is that bunny doing? So cute.

Cindy Bee

A Primitive Homestead said...

How this man must have been hurt so many times will never be known. Hurt is something that never goes away & the acts of kindness are always remembered by the receiver & the giver is blessed beyond measure even if they do not know it. If everyone could see whats inside another there would be so less hurt to carry in ones life. This mans life was not easy but he was able to go on & still bless others during his own hurt. Blessings!

renee said...

What a beautiful post!
You know, that saying Never look down on anybody unless you are helping them up is one of my favorite sayings.
We all do have struggles in life, I know sometimes it's hard when you see others who have so very much, while it seems like you have to scrap and struggle along. I have felt that way many times, TOO many times to count!
I also try not to covet~ or be envious of others, it creeps in on occasion, but God supplies what we need, there are plenty of unfinished things in our home, someday, I hope to get some of them completed, but I will try and keep a right attitude, thankfully, we have a heavenly father that is most gracious! Hang in there!
Thanks for visiting my blog, I am enjoying getting to know you Jen. Those wooden bowls~ aren't real! LOL! That is treenware~ reproduction~ it's all resin material. I could NEVER afford the real ones! My real ones are much smaller versions! If I ever get my clutter better under control, I will show more pictures eventually.
Organization is NOT my strong point!
See we all have battles.
Have a great week.

jennifer said...

I don't know how I missed this but I did. Thanks for sharing and I notice you've past the 100 followers. Yay for you:)