Friday, June 17, 2022

The Hospital Room


Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes and jobs, their military service, and their travels. And every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods when his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. With this pleasant daily interlude, days and weeks passed.

One morning, when the day nurse arrived, she found the lifeless body of the man by the window. He had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendant to take the body away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the world outside. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it for himself. He strained to look out the window.

It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have possessed his deceased roommate, who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded, “Why, that man was blind. He couldn’t even see the wall! Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Someone Who Understands

A farmer had some puppies he needed to sell. He painted a sign advertising the pups and set about nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard. As he was driving the last nail into the post, he felt a tug on his overalls.

He looked down into the eyes of a little boy. “Mister,” the lad said, “I want to buy one of your puppies.” “Well,” said the farmer, as he rubbed the sweat off the back of his neck, “these puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of money.”

The boy thought for a moment. Then, reaching deep into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of change and held it up to the farmer. “I’ve got thirty-nine cents. Is that enough to take a look?” “Sure,” said the farmer. And with that he let out a whistle, “Here, Dolly!” he called.

Out from the doghouse and down the ramp ran Dolly, followed by four little balls of fur. The little boy pressed his face against the chain link fence. His eyes danced with delight. As the dogs came up to the fence, the little boy noticed something else stirring inside the doghouse. Another little ball appeared; slowly and awkwardly, the little pup began hobbling toward the others, doing its best to catch up.

“I want that one,” the little boy said, pointing to the runt. The farmer knelt down at the boy’s side and said, “Son, you don’t want that puppy. He will never be able to run and play with you like these other dogs would.” At that, the little boy stepped back from the fence, reached down, and began rolling up one leg of his trousers. In doing so he revealed a steel brace running down both sides of his leg, attached to a specially made shoe.

Looking back up at the farmer, he said, “You see, sir, I don’t run too well myself, and he will need someone who understands.”

The Heart of a Lesson

His name was Bill. He had wild hair, wore a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans and no shoes. This was his wardrobe for his entire four years of college. He was kind of eccentric but very, very bright. He became a Christian while attending college.

Across the street from the campus was a prosperous and very conservative church. They wanted to develop a ministry to the students, but were not sure how to go about it.

One day Bill decides to go to the church. He walks in with his wild hair, jeans, T-shirt, and bare feet. The service has already started, so Bill starts down the aisle looking for a seat. The church is completely packed and he can’t find a seat. The well-dressed people look a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything. Bill gets closer and closer to the pulpit, and when he realizes there are no seats, he just sits down right on the floor.

By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick.

About this time, the minister realizes that from the back of the church, a deacon is slowly making his way toward Bill. The deacon is in his eighties, with silver hair and a three-piece suit. A godly man, very elegant, very dignified! Leaning on his cane, he walks down the aisle toward the boy.

The church is utterly silent except for the clicking of the man’s cane. All eyes are focused on him. The minister can’t even preach the sermon until the deacon does what he has to do. Everyone expects the deacon is going to eject Bill from church - and who could blame him?

But now they see the elderly man drop his cane on the floor.

With great difficulty, he lowers himself to sit down next to Bill and worship with him so he won’t be alone. Everyone chokes up with emotion. When the minister regains his control, he says, “What I’m about to preach, you will never remember. What you have just seen, you will never forget.”

Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible some people will ever read.