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“I’m Invisible”

It started to happen gradually. One day, I was walking my son Jake to school. I was holding his hand, and we were about to cross the street when the crossing guard said to him,

“Who is that with you, young fella?”

“Nobody,” he shrugged.

“Nobody?” said the crossing guard, and I laughed. My son is only 5, but as we crossed the street I thought, “Oh, my goodness, nobody?”

I would walk into a room, and no one would notice. I would say something to my family like, “Turn the TV down, please,” – and nothing would happen. Nobody would get up, or even make a move for the remote. I would stand there for a minute, and then I would say again, a little louder,

“Would someone turn the TV down?”

Nothing.

That’s when I started to put all the pieces together. I don’t think he can see me. I don’t think anyone can see me.

I’m invisible.

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude – but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.

She’s going – she’s going – she’s gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean.

My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip, and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said,

“I brought you this.”

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription: “To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.”

In the days ahead I would read – no, devour – the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

* No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no record of their names.
* These builders gave their whole lives for a work they might never see finished.
* They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.
* The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam! He was puzzled and asked the man,

“Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.” And the workman replied,

“Because God sees it.”

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me,

“I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become.”

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.

The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving,

“My Mom gets up at 4:00 a.m. in the morning and bakes homemade pies, bastes the turkey for three hours, and then presses the linens for the table.”

That would mean I’d built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add,

“You’re gonna love it there.”

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

~ Written by Nicole Johnson who is s bestselling author, performer, and motivational speaker and is a sought-after creative communicators in America today. Her unique ability to blend humor with compassion as she captures the inner-most feelings of women facing life’s daily struggles, has enabled her to create a unique sense of community for people of all ages. Her web site is a most enjoyable visit at https://www.nicolejohnson.org ~

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“Angel Flight – I’m Taking You Home”

 

 

 

 

 

 

All I ever wanted to do was fly
Leave this world and live in the sky
I left the C130 out of Fort Worth town
I go up some days I don’t wanna come down
Well I fly that plane called the Angel Flight
Come on brother you’re with me tonight

Between Heaven and earth you’re never alone
On the Angel Flight
Come on brother I’m taking you home
I love my family and I love this land
But tonight this flight’s for another man

We do what we do because we heard the call
Some gave a little, but he gave it all
I fly that plane called the Angel Flight
Come on brother you’re with me tonight
Come on brother you’re with me tonight

Between Heaven and earth you’re never alone
On the Angel Flight
Come on brother I’m taking you home
Come on brother I’m taking you home

Well, the cockpit’s quiet and the stars are bright
Feels kinda like church in here tonight
It don’t matter where we touch down
On the Angel Flight its sacred ground
I fly that plane called the Angel Flight

Gotta hero riding with us tonight
Between Heaven and earth you’re never alone
On the Angel Flight
Come on brother I’m taking you home
Come on brother I’m taking you home

By Radney Foster and the Confessions (click for song and video)

 

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Einstein’s Warmth and Wonder

When Jerome Weidman was young, he was invited to visit a rich old friend who had a lovely big home. After supper that evening they went through to the drawing room. Other guests were pouring in and the servants were arranging chairs for a musical recital. Jerome said he was not able to listen to heavy music and sat with some ear plugs in his ears. At the first interval he took out his ear plugs.

An old gentleman sitting next to Jerome took him by the arm and led him to an upstairs room, which was a book-lined study. The old gentleman introduced himself as Albert Einstein.

“Tell me,” said Einstein, “Is there any kind of music that you do like?”

” Yes,” said Jerome, “I like songs that have words.”

Einstein proceeded to put a record on the turntable. Jerome knew the voice and the music, it was Bing Crosby’s “When the Blue of the Night Meets the Gold of the Day”. Einstein let the record play a few phrases then stopped the record player and asked,

“Will you tell me please what you have just heard?” The simplest answer seemed to be to sing the lines, which he did.

The expression on Einstein’s face was like the sunrise. “You see!” he cried with delight when he was finished. “You do have an ear!”

He mumbled something about being one of his favorite songs, something he had heard hundreds of times, so that it didn’t really prove anything.

“Nonsense!” said Einstein. “It proves everything! Do you remember your first arithmetic lesson in school? Suppose, at your first contact with numbers, your teacher had ordered you to work out a problem in, say, long division, or fractions. Could you have done so? No, of course not. Precisely!” Einstein made a triumphant wave with his pipe stem.

“It would have been impossible and you would have reacted in panic. You would have closed your mind to long division and fractions. As a result, because of that one small mistake by your teacher, it is possible your whole life you would be denied the beauty of long division and fractions. So it is with music.” Einstein picked up the Bing Crosby record.

“This simple, charming little song is like simple addition or subtraction. You have mastered it. Now we go on to something more complicated.” He found another record and set it going. The golden voice of John McCormack singing “The Trumpeter” filled the room. After a few lines Einstein stopped the record.

“So!” he said “You sing that back to me, please?”

He did with a good deal of self-consciousness but with, for him, a surprising degree of accuracy. Einstein stared at him with a look on his face that his father had as he listened to him deliver his valedictory address at his high school graduation.

“Excellent !” Einstein remarked when he finished. “Wonderful! Now this!”

‘This’ proved to be Caruso in what was to him a completely unrecognizable fragment from “Cavaleria Rusticana”. Nevertheless, he managed to reproduce an approximation of the sounds the famous tenor had made. Einstein beamed his approval.

Caruso was followed by at least a dozen others. He could not shake the feeling of awe over the way this great man, into whose company he had been thrown by chance, was completely preoccupied by what they were doing, as though it were his sole concern.

They came at last to recordings of music without words, which he was instructed to reproduce by humming. When he reached for a high note, Einstein’s mouth opened and his head went back as if to help him attain what seemed unattainable. Evidently he came close enough, for he suddenly turned off the phonograph.

“Now, young man,” he said, putting his arm through Jerome’s. “we are ready for Bach!”

As they returned to their seats in the drawing room, the players were tuning up for a new selection. Einstein smiled and gave a reassuring pat on his knee. “Just allow yourself to listen,” he said. “That is all.”

It wasn’t really all, of course. Without the effort he had just poured out a total stranger he would never have heard, as he did that night for the first time in his life. Bach’s “Sheep May Safely Graze.” When the concert was finished Jerome was able to add his applause to that of the others.

He has heard it many times since and will never tire of it. Because he never listens to it alone. He is sitting beside a small, round man with a shock of untidy white hair, a dead pipe clamped between his teeth, and eyes that contain in their extraordinary warmth all the wonder of the world.

~ by Jerome Weidman who is author of the book, “I can get it for you wholesale” ~

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Unconditional Love

I was in a local grocery store the other day when suddenly I heard the sound of breaking glass behind me. I turned around to see what had happened. A young mother had turned away from her shopping cart for a second to look in one of the freezers.

That second was all it took for her growing, baby boy to test out his newfound ability to grab and lift things from his seat in the cart. Unfortunately, the big jar of spaghetti sauce was more than he could handle.

I smiled when I walked back to help and saw the look of utter surprise on his face. His arms were still outstretched where the jar had been a few seconds before. On the floor below the puddle of red was slowly oozing across the aisle.

After making sure that both Mom and baby were alright, I headed down the aisle to get help from a store employee. As I glanced back at them, though, I saw something that truly warmed my heart.

The baby had finally taken his eyes off the shattered jar and looked up at his Mom. Instead of scolding him or even giving him an angry look she smiled down at him with eyes full of gentle understanding and unconditional love.

Her tender gaze and kind smile never changed, not even when a friend gave her some good-natured teasing about the mess. I knew then that this Mom was going to give her son a lifetime full of laughter and love.

I think that God must smile down on us with that same look at times. We are His beloved Children and yet as hard as we try, we often make a mess of things, too.

We want to learn to love. Still, we stumble, we fall, we let important things slip through our fingers, and even break a few hearts along the way. God never gives up on us, however. He forgives us and fills our hearts, souls, and lives with His gentle understanding and unconditional love.

May we learn to love each other as He loves us. May we all learn to live our lives in joy, laughter, love, and understanding.

~ Written by Joseph J. Mazzella and used with permission. Joe is both a sensitive and loving person as well as an insightful writer. His website is well worth the visit at http://www.angelfire.com/wv2/joecoolwv/index.html ~

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A Room with a View

Two men who were 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 his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. 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 where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside. He came to know the window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.

Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young couples walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color 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. One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by.

Although the other man couldn’t hear the band – he could see it. In his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

One morning, the nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants 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 real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.

It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse why his deceased roommate had always described such wonderful things outside this window.

She said, “He always knew how much you enjoyed and where encouraged by the beauty outside the window.”

Take a look. What can you do – right now – to put a smile on someone’s face and make them feel a little bit more happy. Will you? Now?

Thank you. The world is now a little bit more loving 🙂

~ Author Unknown .. plus a little help from Sandy ~

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