Saturday, March 28, 2015

As Long As It Takes!

I love to read!  I just finished Jan Karon's book Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good where the reader has more adventures with Father Tim in Mitford. 

There is a scene in the book when Coot's mother died.  A neighbor calls Father Tim to come in the midst of a major snowstorm.  Nothing but snowplows are moving, and Coot lives too far away to walk. 

So Father Tim actually rides the snowplow until he is close enough to "plow" through the 15-inch snow on his own.  When Father Tim arrives, Jan Karon writes: 

Seminary didn’t teach specifically about consoling the bereaved; that was something that came with on-the-job training. … Mostly, he was simply there, a warm body in a sweater with a reindeer on the front.  He found a tea bag and made tea and added sugar and gave it to Coot. Then he sat next to him on the side of the bed and held on to his old friend and didn’t let go for a long while.

That pretty much nails it!  It doesn't take a seminary degree or training in counseling to be a presence of comfort!  It may and often does require a great deal of effort!  It does require heart!  Father Tim braved a blizzard to get to Coot so he can BE that presence!

I have a sister and brother-in-law* (*spelled brother-in-love) who are caring for his aged father who is deeper into his dementia every day.  It's not easy!  It is exhausting!  It requires loss of sleep, constant diligence, energy that might feel like it has got-up-and-when, and presence to be the hand, feet, and heart of Jesus for another person!  They are walking that walk because they can and because they must!  Someone is depending on them in big ways and small!  And they love that man.  They are willing to give new meaning to sitting next to him on the side of his bed.  They hold onto him and don't let go for a very long time - as long as it takes!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Angels Wear Blue Jeans and Carry Snow Shovels!!!

We got a lot of snow last night for one night in Pittsburgh!  My hubby went out to clear the drive this morning.  First thing after he started the snow blower was that the belt snapped.  The snow blower wasn't going to blow ANY snow without a belt.  Our driveway is at least as long as a football field and straight up a hill accessing and egressing US 19.  Well, knowing we needed to get out to get a belt, we started to shovel.  We shoveled a lot.  Then a truck pulled up to the end of the drive to the side of US 19, a young man in blue jeans jumped out and started running through the deep snow up the hill.  I turned to John and said, "If he wants a job, say yes."  He kept coming and reached out his hand asking for a shovel.  "I've come to help,"  he said.  He started slinging snow like no-body's business!  Then we found out that his wife and 15-day-old son were in the truck waiting for him to take them to lunch.  It was amazing!  He was like a whirling dervish!  The driveway was soon cleared to the bottom, and he was on his way!  He had a name - actually a well-known name around here.  His son was the 8th generation in his family, he said.  I don't care what anybody says, he was an stranger in the snow who did the work of an angel.  Don't let anyone EVER tell you that angels don't wear blue jeans and carry snow shovels!  I know they do!