Saturday, April 21, 2007

Are You An Encourager?

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, 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. 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 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 details, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene. One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man could not hear the band - he could see it in his mind ' s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words. Days, weeks and months passed. One morning, the day 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 besides the bed. It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."

Epilogue: There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy.

"Today is a gift, that is why it is called The Present ."

23 comments:

jennifer said...

I love this, I read it awhile ago. Thanks for posting it for me to print!

luvvom said...

Today is a gift. Sometimes I forget that. I forget to thank my Heavenly Father for all the gifts He continuously pours upon me even when I'm ungrateful. Being truly thankful to God, will spill forth upon others for their encouragement.

Teresa said...

I love this!! I love it so much!! You just write the uplifting and wonderful things. Thanks so much! Oh, by the way, the end of this year will finish my 25th year. You betcha honey, we're that old but it sure doesn't seem like it.

CONNIE'S THOUGHTS FROM THE HEART said...

Pam, I read this a few years back and it touched my heart so much and as I read it just now, it touched my heart in the same way. I love this story. Thanks for sharing it. connie from Texas

Pat said...

Cried through this the first time I got it......
thanks for the perspective!!

Hope you are feeling better....
see you tomorrow!!

Baptist Girl said...

Good post Pam!
Pam, I remember a dear friend sharing with us what happened one day when she was walking through the mall. She was walking by this older woman and she thought to herself How beautiful this dear lady looked. She went up to her and felt the need to tell her so. The lady responded with tears in her eyes " Thank you so much, you do not realize how your words touched my heart, I was just diognoised with termnal cancer"
We don't realize at times what a few kind words can mean to someone.
Thank you for sharing Pam.

Cristina

Abouna said...

Pam, if I may, I would like to share a little something concerning grief, mainly how we react to others who are grieving.

Very often, because we are merely human, we sometimes don't know exactly what to say to some one who has suffered a great loss. Even I, as a priest, often have difficulty in this area, thenone day, I received the following story in my email:

There was an elderly gentleman who lost his wife, of 56 years, to cancer. He would spend hours sitting in his rocking chair on the front porch grieving for his dead wife.

Down the street lived a little 5 year old boy with his parents. One day the little boy, going past the old man’s house, saw the man in his rocker, rocking sadly. The little boy went up on the porch and gently climbed into the old man’s lap and leaned his little head against the man’s chest.

A couple of hours later the little boy returned home, whereupon his mother asked him where he had been. The little boy said that he had been over to visit the old man. His mother asked him what he had said to the old man. The little boy answered: “I didn’t say anything, I just helped him cry.”

Sometimes that is all we need to do for those who suffer a great lose, just “help them cry.”

jennifer said...

(2nd comment, I know:)
Pam,
I am encouraged by you and your upbeat personality. I am in awe of when you sleep, because your comments are always so late, but most of all I am so lifted up by you, that selfishly I am glad that you are forever attached to the monitor.

Thank God we all have this internet, I have found so many faithful servants of the Lord, so I am pleased to know that Christians are so strengthened through blogs like yours.

Sleep well my witty friend!!!

groovyoldlady said...

Optimists live to make other people happy!

Kitty said...

This was such a beatiful story, I loved it!! Same with the one Abouna left in a comment above. Both were very touching. Thanks for sharing!!

Julie's Jewels said...

I'm not sure if I've ever read that before or not. That was good!!! And I like what you said at the end of today being a gift and that is why it is called the present. I've not heard that statement before either. I like that too!!!

Happymama said...

Hey, I haven't read this....I will soon though....just wanted you to know that I did leave you sort of a comment in my most recent post. LOL

Love ya,
~Kristi

Jungle Mom said...

I love this story and Abouna's. help them cry!

Professor Howdy said...

Sure hope you have a nice weekend...

Candy said...

Hiya :) Loved this story.

Thanks for the comment today and yes Rocko is 9 years old :) Thanks for praying for him and I will pray for your son tonight too.
Thanks so much and God Bless you,
Love Candy
xoxoxox

Penless Thoughts said...

I'd heard this before but it is always touches the heart. I love your epilogue. Sooooo true.

Happymama said...

Several have said they've read this before. I must admit that I have never read it. It was really good!! I'm glad you posted it.

~Kristi

Lyndy said...

Great story. Hope you are feeling well this week.

Love and Hugs, Lyndy

Pat said...

Pam,
I miss you----your answering machine is full.....

PLEASE EMAIL ME!!

Sherry said...

This is a wonderful story. Please email Pat, she misses you very much! I've been doing alot of studying lately and have come across some very interesting research on the Bible.

PortraitofPeter said...

A deeply touching emotive story in which shows the true meaning of life - as one can visual for the luv of others.

Blesings to you all - thank you for sharing with us.

Peter

Webutante said...

Beautiful, Pam.

Jodi said...

What a great story ~ I've never heard it. I also really enjoyed Abouna's comment as well. Both very touching.