He who obtains has little. He who scatters has much.
- Lao Tzu -
He who obtains has little. He who scatters has much.
- Lao Tzu -
Perhaps, this being my Sunday post, my thoughts on this quote have been slanted some but I suspect the title of “wordlessness” is not one you’d expect a writer to jump to. Oh, but one can be inspired at any given time and love, peace, inspiration, and other delights do not always require words, do they? My thoughts might not be what the original quote relates to, but sometimes messages go from one being to another in the way we clasp hands, enjoy a sunset, a walk on the beach, or paging through a book of memories . . . simply heart to heart and soul to soul . . .
- Katherine Boo -
Jesus said “I am the way, the truth . . . ” and I ask you, have you ever met a bored Christian? This quote will get you thinking (with a cup of tea perhaps)
- William Inge -
We do not often know how our actions impact the lives of others . . . even a simple smile can change the world. Here is a quote for today:
My hands are still shaking as I write this to you. I just ran an errand to the nearby grocery store for milk and shampoo. Something we all do a couple times a week . . . grab milk, bread . . . as I drove down the two-way main parkway in my subdivision, which has no sidewalks and is a family neighborhood, a two-year old girl wearing only a diaper and a pair of men’s flip-flops walked up to my moving car saying “Daddy?”
I could only think of the cars driving on the road that very moment and how hard it was to see a tiny baby in bright sunshine and during rush hour. She couldn’t tell me her name, age, or point to her house. I left my car in the middle of the road literally and tried to appear calm as I took her hand. I resisted the urge to pick her up fearing she’d be scared or her (surely nearby) family would think I was taking the child. As I knocked on door after door, either nobody answered or the folks didn’t know her.
One neighbor grabbed his phone and called the authorities as we kept the child safe in his front yard. Before the police came the family finally found us. They lived around the corner and everyone thought everyone else was with the baby, but one went to toss the laundry into the dryer, one was doing homework, one was preparing to head to work, and the child was far from the house very quickly. Two year olds slip away so easily. They showed no signs of being neglectful parents and siblings, they simply turned away for just a moment. The instant I led her out of the street a car came zooming down the street just where she stood.
The timing of my being in that spot at that time was all the Lord’s doing. This was not the way I planned my day. Again, her family were known to others in the neighborhood who came out wondering what was going on. They are just like you and me. They are good people. A tragedy could have happened if the Lord had not intervened.
None of us want to be overprotective or nagging with the ones we care for, but PLEASE I beg of you, take this to heart. I would never have thought it could happen near my house, my neighborhood . . . it can happen anywhere. Thanks be to God for His giving me His eyes and for His protection for this baby. I am still stunned.
I was driving home from lunch with Mom a few minutes ago. As we pulled up to the traffic light and intersection the light turned red. I stopped. Mom grew quickly angry and complained about the light (assume language used) and followed that with “I hate this place.” I can’t think of anywhere in my adult life which hasn’t found her “hating” it, but when she moved to the next place, suddenly the last was a dream come true. It annoys me partly because she lives in my home and I love it here. As to traffic lights I have come to love the “extra” time to sip my water, say a quick prayer, adjust the radio, check email . . . if I’m running late, it’s my own fault, right? Can’t blame the light. So, Mom’s bad reaction added to the “why does she always complain.” Now, the rest of the story . . . .
It is true, MOm does complain a lot. It is a habit that she’s had long as I can remember. She is so quick to say “I hate this rotten place” that if the sun shines too bright or the sky is too blue, it’ll prompt that phrase to be spoken. Habits. The bad news? Habits are hard to break. But, there is good news! Habits are hard to break!!! Does this surprise you? Both statements are true. I promise.
You see, those habits become instinctive and reflex/response to any stimuli whether remotely appropriate or not. BUT they can be broken if we are stubborn and willing. Stubborn minds got us into the bad habit, why can’t it make us break the old bad habits and instill new ones? Okay, confession time.
I used to hate red lights. I’d waste gas driving the long way to avoid them. At some point I had little money (like now) and so gambled that I’d hit a few green lights and thus maybe the short way could work? I am by nature an early bird, so the timing wasn’t critical. I trained myself to use my quiet time in the car for prayer, breathing exercises, listening to MY MUSIC and the like. It made me like red lights and like driving (which I’d hated) and during times of concern praying while driving is HUGELY comforting. During times of elation, praying while driving is ALSO hugely comforting. Win win, win!
The rest of the story. Mom’s quick “I hate this place” about everywhere is a habit and this one comes so quickly I’m not sure she even knows where she is when she declares it. But, as I sat at the light, I was thinking of lunch. I had gone to a buffet place which she likes. I’m gotten away from a diet of nothing but fried, salty, fat filled, and starchie foods which I used to load up on even though I felt sick later and gained weight . . . I “loved” them. I’ve come to eat a diet filled with fruit, veggies, sushi, water . . . don’t care for meat much . . . I’m healthier, lost weight, and it looks and tastes really good. Oh, but the rest of the story? Most of that stuff . . . my new diet? It is all stuff I always turned up my nose on. Yuck, I don’t like veggies. I hate fruit. Suchi? Icky . . . raw fish? Just thinking about it made me . . . you know. At some point, my God Daughter, whom I can deny nothing, stuck a piece of sushi on my plate and in a comando voice told me to eat it. She sternly glared and said “all sushi is NOT raw fish. Hardly any is raw fish.” I ate it. I then stole another off her plate. I then began to gingerly taste fruit and veggies. Do you know how amazing they are? Yum. How is it that I didn’t know this? Oh, and when did Alice become the adult and me the foolish child? (She was born AMAZING) LOL
Know what? When I eat hamburgers, deep-fried food, etc., now? I don’t like it much. Sometimes not at all. Spinach? Yum! I eat a lot and I look better all the time. Good habits are as hard to break as bad ones. Try it!
What do you think? Do good fences make good neighbors? What does that cliché really mean? Like many of you, I can recall “different times” from childhood which compared to “these days” . . . and am thinking of unlocked front doors, neighborhood parties, knowing each and every neighbor by name . . .
Our neighbors were our friends and we were, as they say, there for one-another. I didn’t know many of my neighbors where I last lived, and actually got to know some of them when they saw the “for sale” sign go up and got curious.
I’m a friendly person. It seems to me, though, that we or I anyway, get so busy these days with all that we “do” and many of the people I know from church, from work, from this meeting or that have said something about not really knowing their neighbors . . . I can recall there always being someone to chat with, to play with, to lend a hand to. If my dad was doing yard work, home repair, adding an addition to the house, there was usually one or two neighbors who’d come over and help.
Mom never had to worry about where we children got our Halloween candy from. She knew all the neighbors. Several of the neighbors, my Mom included, would make homemade treats. I can recall one or two neighbors who had cans of beer on the ready for the Dads taking us kids out while Mom was home giving out treats. I don’t get many kids to my house anymore . . .
I can recall Mom sending me to school with food for my teacher . . . something from the garden or something she baked. I wonder if teachers still receive such gifts and if they fear eating them? We have a lot of those kinds of fears these days.
So, the question remaining to be answered is “do good fences make good neighbors?” I don’t know the answer, but in looking at my neighbor’s yard from my deck which was my vantage point in snapping the photo this piece began with, I’d have to say I’m glad that he left an opening in the fence to invite folks in. Life is different today in lots of ways. Some changes are good, but . . .
Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.
I just read a great quote:
- Thomas Campbell -
I love this quote NOT because I never wish to leave this life, for I do at some point seek to live “up there” with Jesus and to sit at His feet, but there is another reason this quote touched me. Gosh, in a very short time not too far back in my life it seemed so many people I love were passing on all within a few weeks or months of each other. It may have been a broader period of time, but my broken heart-felt like “there’s nobody left.”
When we hear that “they” live in our hearts forever, it sounds cliché and initially comforts us very little, yet eventually the grieving passes or at least becomes less crippling and when it does life continues and “they” truly are still with us. Each time I pick up a hammer, I feel my Dad’s hand on my own. Whenever I sit on the left hand side of the church in the first or second pew, Becky’s there with me and I feel her sisterly hugs and see her beautiful smile with Jesus reflected in her eyes just as He always was. I can’t pass a yard sale without hearing Betty say “Ooo!” and recalling how she could do a three-point turn ANYWHERE when there was a yard sale sign in sight!
When I see a nurse lovingly treating a patient, I think of Barbara, and when I see a seagull I think of Uncle Bob and his summer hat with plastic seagull poop on it, and I feel his smile charging through my body. I can’t pass through a yarn store without thinking of Nana and all the vests she made. Nana was not well and was a “shut in” for years and years, but from her one room apartment, she warmed many a body and many a heart hand crocheting vests and hand writing letters which I mailed for her. She always had “Rocko” who owned a small corner market and delivered her groceries to her (and put them away for her) bring my favorite flavor of ice cream and several other treats that she couldn’t even eat, just because we enjoyed so many long visits in her tiny and really hot apartment. The heat never bothered me when I was there. I remember Rocko and his demeanor of grumpy old man, but he didn’t offer delivery service . . . just had compassion for Nana and for many of us in the neighborhood in one way or another.
Those who’ve passed through my life and moved away or have gone to be with Jesus . . . they truly are still with me and will forever be a part of me. Mr. Campbell had it right!