Thoughts for Sunday

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Jogeephus

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THE OLD FISHERMAN

Our house was directly across the street from the clinic
Entrance of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore .

We lived downstairs and 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 and 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 , and 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 and 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 oversized heart crowded into that tiny body.
He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter,
Her five children and 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 thanked God for giving him 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,
And 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4 a.m. , and 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 and 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 and
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 and the good with gratitude
To God.

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 and encourage you to succeed.
They lend an ear and they share a word of
praise. Show your friends how much you care.

Pass this on, and 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.


Friends are special Hugs from GOD!
 

chrisy

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Thanks for sharing Jo, how heart warming and so selfless.

SW, even though sometimes you drive me mad with your comments I wish you no ill, I hope you find what you are looking for, as there is nothing worse than not being able to breath. I use a paper bag if I run out of Ventolin, (not that it happens often always have a good supply), find it helps.
 

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