Tag Archives: elderly

Who Is Calling For Your Help Today?

An ordinary day. An ordinary walk.

Just my youngest daughter and I at the downtown mall.

Suddenly I heard the sound.

So faint I almost missed it.

“Please help me.”

I glanced around wondering where those words had come from.

My eyes fell on the form of an elderly woman crouched on the steps of a building.

I slowed my steps to look and I heard those words again.

“Please help me.”

My heart leapt with mixed longing and caution.

Alone she sat while people walked back and forth busy about their plans.

Her aged eyes met mine

and she spoke again. “Please help me.”

Placed before her on the brick walk was a solitary bowl containing a few bills.

I kept on slowly walking pondering the need suddenly put right on my path.

“Was she really in need?”

She was clothed simply as far as I could see. But those words pierced my heart.

As my daughter and I walked on past we softly spoke.

“We should give something to her,” we agreed.

I knew that we didn’t have much with us. And was this a genuine need?

In this day it is common to ask this question.

And then I thought again. My daughter –young and growing so quickly these days

was learning. What would my life teach her?

Caution? To hold tightly to what we have? To shut our hearts to the needs of another?

Lord, help me live with open heart and open hands, I prayed.

He knew the bigger need at that moment.

In the distance I could hear the shaky voice call again, “Please help me.”

And in that moment I knew.

Life is lived by giving;

not grasping.

By emptying ourselves;

not hoarding our treasured possessions.

By loving;

not selfishness.

It took only a few second until we stood in front of her.

We both rummaged in our wallets.

Time seemed to stop as I watched my daughter step forward

to place our offering in the bowl.

Multiply that simple offering, Lord, and bless this dear soul.

Yes, Lord.

In as much as you do it unto her you do it unto Me. (Matt. 25:37)

A sacred moment when we touched His Robe.

Let me never become so cautious and careful

that I miss an opportunity to join You in Your Work here

and I turn deaf ears to a cry for help.

“Please help me.”

Who is calling for your help today?

PC NoelleBraniPhotography

Doing The Best We Can

It was quite a spontaneous thing to do –

although aren’t  those sometimes the most memorable?

It was a few days before Christmas and I was looking for Christmas.

Decorations were all around

carols were playing

gifts under the beautifully decorated Christmas tree

But something was missing.

Something that I have longed to experience

since that time many years ago when I slipped the Christmas wrapped shoebox

up the rickety stairs and placed it

at the front door

of the poorest of families.

Big, brown eyes had met mine and danced during the summer Head Start program

and I oftentimes prayed for that sweet little boy.

After I left that mysterious box I had many moments of pleasure

imagining the joy this family had upon finding it.

So once more I looked and prayed for opportunities to give.

To give and to do

just because

Love is

and love came down at Christmas time.

So on this particular afternoon a few weeks ago

my daughters and I walked into a nearby nursing home

and sang carols with the residents.

My eyes scanned the wrinkled faces as I played the piano

and my heart rejoiced

for once more showing me Christmas.

He comes unexpectedly

and whispers peace.

He shows His Presence in quiet off the busy highway places.

He reaches out to those hungry, thirsty with nothing to give back

and He pours out His amazing love.

Those moments of song continue to brighten my days

and give warmth though now we are deep into January.

But the truth whispers still –

Don’t worry about what you can’t do.

“We can only do the best we can with what we have. That, after all, is the measure of success: what we do with what we have.”
― Marguerite de AngeliThe Door in the Wall

Not just at Christmas

but every day.

What do you have?

What can you do?

No matter how small it might seem –

Yes, even a smile,

give it, share it, pour it out generously,

and great will be your reward.


january 12 amazing

Shining Moments

It was a moment that I will never forget and still leaves me deeply touched

   days later.

A moment where I saw love brilliantly displayed.

   Love with its shirt sleeves pushed up.

   A strong love that shone brightly on an ordinary afternoon at the beach.

My girls and I had been sitting on a bench looking out at the ocean

   soaking up the last few hours of our time at the beach

when out of the corner of my eye I noticed a small grey haired woman in a wheelchair

    and what might have been her granddaughter pushing her. I’ll never know.

They parked right beside us.

My oldest nudged me and I glanced again.

Such a beautiful sight.

One that we were very familiar with.

Time after time I had pushed Nana in her wheelchair

    around the park to see the flowers

       in and out of restaurants and churches.

Precious memories. How I miss those days. How I’d give anything for one more.

Tears pushed behind my eyes and I looked again at my daughters.

My eyes met theirs.

Slowly I felt a tear trickle down my right cheek.

It’s hard work to push that chair,

    to lift it in and out, in and out of the car

    but when you love

           the burden is easy

             the load is light.

My daughters shared those wonderful outings with Nana too.

    They also miss her more than words can language.

We watched as  the younger woman stooped beside the chair

     and spoke softly to the elderly lady.

My heart beat with joy that they were experience what had meant so much to me

       to all of us.

“Maybe we can share something with them,” I whispered scanning our recent purchases.

“How about the pretzels?”

My eyes fell on the small bag we had gotten only a few minutes before at the candy store.

It was our last visit there and we were getting a few things to remember.

Two chocolate covered pretzels, we had said to the gal behind the counter.

A rare treat for us. Something we could enjoy later.

But now as I looked at the small white bag

   my heart spoke in words above the sound of the ocean.

Both girls nodded. Perfect.

I reached for the bag, brushed a few tears from my face and rose to my feet wondering what in the world I would say. There really were no words.

“I saw…my girls and I watched you both enjoying this lovely afternoon

    and we are deeply moved that you can be together

       yes you can share today together”

     The wrinkled older woman looked at me with twinkly eyes and I thought my heart would burst with joy

“so we want you both to enjoy this and to have a wonderful day.”

I handed the white bag to the younger woman who smiled back at me

   and then we went on our way down the street.

That was all.

A flood of tears followed.

Sweet tears remembering yesterday

   Happy tears to glimpse another picture of love today.

Powerful feelings.  Love is so unbelievably strong.

Love is something you do

    One day after another

       Never counting the cost.

Listening to your heart and pouring it out in whatever way you can.

And Love is eternal. It lasts and lasts and lasts.

I will never forget that moment for as long as I live.

Never be able to see another chocolate covered pretzel without remembering.

Do all the good you can

    in every way you can

        for as long as you can.

And in the doing your heart too will be filled and your life will shine brightly.