Showing Love Unawares

Several years ago, I was viciously attacked at work. I believe, had someone not walked in the door (and the Lord’s gracious intervention) I would not be here today.

Through the years, even though I am basically very shy, I have taught myself because of the jobs I have held, to be more outgoing and friendly. However, after the attack, I withdrew into myself for years.

One day, as I was leaving physical therapy, I felt the Lord nudging me to start being more outgoing. I normally would have smiled and said “Hi” to people as I passed them but the attack left me extremely fearful of even my own shadow.

The nudges kept coming so to the next person I passed by I said, “Hi,” then hurried on my way to the car.

A few seconds later, I heard steps behind me and even though fearful, I didn’t turn around. Then the man I had just said hi to was in front of me and facing me. My immediate instinct was to scream and run, and the poor guy must have seen the fear in my eyes, because he very kindly said, “Ma’am, thank you!”

“For what?” I asked.

“For treating me like a human. You are the first person in years to look me in the eye and say hello, and for that I thank you.”

I stammered out the words you’re welcome to him and then rushed to my car before the tears became full-fledged sobs.

In my fear and hesitation, I would have walked right past him, but the Lord knew we both needed each other that day, because we both needed to feel humanity at its least, but feel it nonetheless.

The Lord exhorts us throughout the New Testament to love our neighbors as ourselves and that day, quite unaware that I was, I followed the precepts of Matthew 19:19b, Matthew 22:39b, Mark 12:31 and John 15:17.

I wish I could say that broke the dam and I have been able to continue since, but I can’t. I can say, though, that I try to find something nice to say to everyone I pass-from “What a pretty necklace” to “I like your tie.”

It is not easy.  More often than not, I want to run – not say something – but the Lord strengthens me and gives me the words. Oh, the joy on their faces when the realization hits them they are more than just a number in a sea of people.

 

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Schedule

Beginning next week Cptive Dreams schedule will be as follows:

Monday will be musings and memories;

Wednesday will be book reviews;

Friday will be reflections and devotionals.

Schedule

A MEMORIAL

This is very hard for me to write. I lost my Dad on February 2nd.

I had gone to visit my sister while my Dad was visiting, too. During his visit, just before I got there, the Drs did a procedure to help Dad’s circulation in his legs.

He spent a few days in the hospital then went to a 2-week intensive rehab, to be followed by a less intensive program. The last day of his intensive rehab, with no warning or clue of a problem, he stopped breathing and despite valiant and resolute efforts by everyone at the rehab and the hospital-we still lost him.

I rest in the comfort of knowing he is in heaven and much happier and healthier than he was here on earth.

My Dad was not tall in comparison to most men; he was only 5′ 6” (though he kept telling people he had shrunk to 5′ 8″!) but he was larger than life to everyone that knew him.

His nicknames were superman and mighty mouse in his younger years and in his later years, he was known as the ornery flirt.

Dad was the youngest of five children and the only male. His father left Dad and his family when Dad was just a toddler. At age 5, my Dad went to work throwing papers to help support his Mom and sisters.

As Dad grew, he took on several jobs, sometimes as many as 3, in addition to going to school, so he could help supplement the family income.

He joined the marines when he was barely 17, lying about his age in order to join. When they discovered his ruse, he was given an honorable discharge. Dad then turned around and joined the Army Air Corps. (Not long after he joined the Army split and became the Army and the Air Force, Dad opted to go Air Force.)

He met my Mom in January of ’53 and by March, they had married. Dad told us he never asked Mom to marry him-he told her she was going to marry him. Mom had just turned 17 in November and Dad was 22. They were married for a little over 57 years until my Mom passed away in 2010.

During their marriage, they had five children, the first a year after they were married. The last one lost at birth, and Mom had three miscarriages besides.

Dad had wanted to re-enlist in the Air Force but couldn’t because 2 days before he was to sign the papers, he and Mom had a baby. Dad, the typical proud papa, was bragging to the re-enlistment officer about being a new Dad. Unfortunately, at that point his fate was sealed, as you couldn’t have children while you were in service at that time. The officer repeatedly told Dad, “I wish you had waited to tell me until later!”

Times were rough for my parents, Dad wanted Mom to stay home and take care of the children while he worked. Money was ALWAYS tight.

I remember one time when our car broke down, we didn’t have money to fix it and Dad would ride a bicycle several miles to and from work in ALL kinds of weather until we had saved enough to fix the car.

Dad was an inveterate flirt. Of course, in the early years of marriage, this was a problem, but Mom finally realized Dad was a people person and that was as much a part of him as breathing.(He said he would flirt til the day he died and he did!)

Dad was also a wonderful father and loved his children, grands and great grands mightily.

One of my nieces penned this tribute to him:

Feisty, ornery, hard-working, charming, affable, tough and determined are some of the words I think of when I remember my Grandaddy. I am glad we got to spend so much time with you since October. We will miss you.

There is so much more I could say-but for now, I’ll close with:

We WILL miss you, Dad.

 

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