Posts Tagged ‘Comfort’

The Lady in Apartment 218

Mom in apron As was her custom each day following work, the lady drove home, checked her mail box, took the elevator to her second floor apartment, and put on her apron to begin her supper meal. While the vegetables were steaming she changed from her work shoes to her walking shoes, poured herself a glass of ice water and sat down to read another chapter from her favorite book. She always seemed to feel more relaxed and refreshed when she followed this accustomed routine after a day of work.

Nightly Routine…
Gaining energy from the steamed vegetable dinner, she placed the pan over to the side of the stove, took off the well-worn apron and laid it across the back of the chair in the living room. She ran a brush through her silver-white hair, and left the apartment for her evening walk. Hers was a simple life, and generally followed this familiar routine. This night however, would not be quite like any night before, and would certainly not be like any ordinary night ever again.

She greeted many friends as she left the building to begin her walk. She seemed to be happy, and to be feeling a great deal of satisfaction with her life just as it was. This had not always been the case with the lady, but because of recent events, she had somehow made peace with those events that could not be changed, and seemed full of confidence about the future. The list on her bulletin board above her sewing machine reflected that confidence in the many projects she had outlined for herself. She had drawn a line through the projects which she had already completed: cut out brown suit, sketch faces on canvas for portrait, sew purse, – and there in the apartment were the cut out pattern pieces waiting to be stitched, the sketch awaiting paint, and the completed designer purse. The other projects were listed, but not yet begun.

Perhaps…perhaps as she began her walk that evening these many projects were on her mind. Glendora last pixShe was always such an industrious lady. She could have been thinking of the cake she took to the sick family down the hall, or of the bread she routinely made for the elderly lady who lived next door. She could have been thinking of the patients she had visited in the hospital the day before or maybe of the events in the chapter from the book she had just been reading. Maybe she was thinking about the home she had always dreamed about. Maybe she thought about her children or her grandchildren, or her husband of nearly forty-eight years.

There is no way to know for sure the thoughts the lady may have entertained as she strolled through the neighborhood. The neighbors of the lady in apartment 218 never again saw her. She never returned to her apartment. She never again spoke with any family member. In fact, she only spoke to about four people the entire evening, and they were strangers. They had never met her before, they knew nothing about her before their brief encounter, and then she was gone, leaving them to ponder only those few moments they had shared.

The invisible door into eternity…
Within just a few hours of the lady leaving the apartment for her walk, she stepped through an invisible door in the universe. No one could see exactly how she did it, they were merely spectators, but they were certain she did indeed step through. She mentioned something to one of the strangers who was standing close by. She said, “I’m in terrible pain . . . but it’s okay, I’m going home tonight”, and then she stepped through the door. One moment she was with them, and then with a sigh, she was gone. The strangers stood by the lady, not completely sure about what they had witnessed. They had seen this happen on numerous occasions, but it was somehow different with this lady. They talked of it at length that night, and again on many occasions since.

Ah, but the lady . . . let us continue her story…

As the lady stepped through the invisible door something wonderful happened. She immediately noticed that the terrible pain in her head had ceased. The pulverized pelvis and leg bones were once again strong, and bearing her weight as she walked. The cuts to her cheek and lips were somehow totally healed. Her arm and hand were pain free, the bruises all Zilpha Pearl for tributegone. Gone was the arthritis that had been her companion for many years. The confusion in her heart at leaving her children and family was changed into understanding. For one moment she had a distant memory of a car crashing into her body as she walked, and then she looked up and saw her mother coming to greet her. The tears that had streamed down her face just moments before were now being wiped away.

She felt comfort, love, compassion, tenderness, and joy unspeakable and full of glory. She realized that she had come to the City to which she had never been before. This beauty surrounding her was that which just a short time ago she had been reading about from her favorite Book. As far as her eyes could see the lady saw only beauty. She saw streets of gold. She saw gates with gems, sparkling in the brightness . . . a brightness comparable to nothing she had ever known. As the lady looked around her new surroundings a wonderful excitement began to fill her with anticipation.

One by one friends she had longed to see, missed terribly, and grieved because of their absence from her life began to come and welcome her Home. Perhaps just for a fleeting moment the lady felt sadness about leaving her family so abruptly, but then she remembered that they too knew the Way and would someday meet her just inside the Middle Eastern gate.

New Sights and Sounds…

Suddenly the lady noticed something else new, which was no great surprise, for all things in the City were new. She was hearing the sound of running water. Ah, yes, the river, the streams of which will make glad the City . . . of course she could hear. Why was she so surprised at this simple event? Her hearing had been restored and for the first time in many years she was able to hear all the everyday sounds. She listened intently for a moment. She heard the leaves fluttering as the breeze blew gently through the tree of life. She heard singing, and laughter, and praising, and then she heard the Voice she had waited sixty-eight years to hear. The Voice that had spoken to her when she was a young girl and had called her to a life of service was a familiar one. This Voice had directed her paths through the many mazes of life, and had often called her back from her willfulness of going her own way. This was not the voice of a stranger. This was the Voice that had said to her in recent years and especially in recent days, “come unto me all ye who are weary, and I will give you rest.” Yes, she recognized this Voice. She turned and as she did she looked into the most blessed face she had ever seen. She saw there in those eyes what she had desired more than anything in her life.

The lady in apartment 218 had finally come Home.The hills

In honor and memory of my Mother  on Mothers Day, 2014
Glendora Faye Singleton Oldham
September 14, 1927 – September 22, 1995

…she taught me to trust God and lift my eyes unto
the hills, from whence comes my help…” 

Thanks, Mom….you did a great job. I miss you.

 

 

 

 

 

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Where Go the Boats

Capsized Boat on Christmas Day

Capsized Boat on Christmas Day

My Bed is a Boat.

My bed is like a little boat;
Nurse helps me in when I embark;
She girds me in my sailor’s coat
And starts me in the dark.

At night I go on board and say
Good-night to all my friends on shore;
I shut my eyes and sail away
And see and hear no more.

And sometimes things to bed I take,
As prudent sailors have to do;
Perhaps a slice of wedding-cake,
Perhaps a toy or two.

All night across the dark we steer;
But when the day returns at last,
Safe in my room beside the pier,
I find my vessel fast.
Robert Louis Stevenson, 1913

This childhood poem encapsulates my fascination with boats. Though I’ve never owned one, my imagination is always piqued as I sense the adventure a boat offers. It can carry me, gently rock me and lull me into restful sleep, or allow my mind to completely relax as I float across the water to new places; places accessible only by boat.

On a billowy Christmas morning in 2009, my husband and I were out for a morning adventure at a cove on the Gulf Coast in central Florida. We discovered several large vessels in various stages of capsize – all completely destroyed. Three were totally hull up, one floating upright but full of water, and the one pictured, rolled over, almost beneath the waves.

This morning at 4:30 I awakened with those images in my mind as I thought about the carpal tunnel surgery I have scheduled for today. Perhaps you are asking me to “connect the dots” in my thinking processes.

Let’s see:

  1. By design and purpose, boats are intended to float.
  2. Boats left untended can encounter conditions which will compromise or deteriorate their seaworthiness.
  3. Boats unmoored will drift with the flow of the water and be unavailable when needed.

Last night, my husband knew that I was having a few anxious thoughts regarding my surgery. He reminded me, “it’s minor surgery” to which I replied as does everyone, “it’s minor when it’s someone else – major when it’s you.”

We prayed together, and then he shared this precious verse out of Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Immediately to my memory came the picture of a boat bobbing on the water, securely moored at the dock. The realization that my life is secure in the vessel of God’s love and moored in confidence to His protection and care, brought total calm to my heart.

As I lay there praying; my thoughts turned outward regarding many who need to know this calm today. My friend’s husband, Rod, is in terrible pain this morning and facing serious surgery in just a few hours. April, my second cousin, is battling cancer and has chemotherapy treatments in progress. Another dear friend is hearing the words that she must be moved from her home and into a rehab facility away from her family. A friend down the street seems unable to regain her strength since a recent surgery. A man is desperately lonely as his wife has decided to move out and pursue other interests.

Today, I pray for those I know whose boats are being buffeted about by howling winds. For those who feel the tempestuous waves battering against their souls, and for those who see dark foreboding skies that strike fear in their spirit. Father, help us to trust our little boat to your care and protection. Help us bring our vessel to a safe mooring.

Thank you Father, that You, and You alone,  can cause the storm to stop, and bring us safely to our desired haven (Psalm 107:30).

Magic Dust

October 1995 

     I hurt. Bed had been my habitat now for the past 2 weeks.  To move, to cough, to sneeze, to breathe too deeply, put so much stress on my herniated disk that the pain was unbearable.  It was raining.  It had rained for most of the past 6 days.  It was dreary.   Four weeks ago my mother had been out walking.  She was struck by an on-coming car, and her life ended a few hours later.  Tonight, I was hurting more intensely physically, emotionally, and spiritually than ever in my life.  I wept silently alone in my bed.  I couldn’t sleep because all the pain was too much.  My soul ached.  My heart ached! 

      My husband came into the room to be of comfort, but there was nothing he could do but pray.  After kneeling beside my bed and pouring out his heart to our loving heavenly Father, he left the room.  The pain was no less intense, so I prayed for death.

      Then God, who loves His children said, “Dear child, I’m here, How can I help?”  With a timidity and hesitancy I had never known before, with a releasing of my own willful pride, and an understanding that there was nothing that anyone in the world could do to lift this pain, I spoke aloud; “Father, Abba, Daddy…this is the relationship you have promised to me your child.  You have said that you would send the Holy Spirit to be the Comforter.  I am hurting so intensely tonight.  I don’t know exactly how you do it…maybe it’s a bit of magic dust you sprinkle upon your children when they reach the end of themselves…however You do it, please right now, send the Comforter. In Jesus name, amen”.

     There in that dark room, in that dark hour, God gave me peace.  I awoke the next morning and was able to get up from the bed with no pain.  I had a song in my heart and suddenly realized that I was singing aloud the praises of God. The Comforter had come.

     I had known God the Creator since I was old enough to explore the world. I had know Jesus, the Savior, since my mother led me to accept Him when I was 7 years old.  Now I truly for the first time knew the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.

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