This I Believe

Linda - Centennial, Colorado
Entered on April 21, 2009

THIS I BELIEVE

Who would have the courage to live life without help? We all need other human beings to laugh and grieve with, to help us out, and to console us. I believe that our purpose in life is to give succor to one another. My friend says that life is not about beauty and possessions but about heart and soul.

I can share two instances of angels’ mercies in the form of humans who appeared when I needed them. Leo, one of my husband’s colleagues, sat all night with me in a hospital waiting room. In our early 30’s, my husband and I had moved to Alaska seeking life and adventure. A toddler daughter kept me busy at home while my husband built houses during the pipeline boom. Much to our shock, Dan suddenly suffered a brain aneurysm and was hospitalized. Neighbors stepped in to care for our daughter while I sat alone at night in a hospital waiting room, under a picture of Jesus Christ, wondering what would happen to us. I looked up to see a tall, slender man I barely knew walking toward me. Leo took my hand and said, “I heard about Dan. Since your family is not in Alaska, I figured you’d be alone here. I came to sit with you awhile.” Leo will always have a mention in my prayers. Dan survived the illness, and so did I because of friends and neighbors who rallied to our aid.

Another kindness comes to mind. We moved to Littleton, Colorado, and money was tight when I got a job teaching at the community college. Since I had been staying home with our children, I lacked a professional wardrobe. Shortly after a colleague and I had chatted about my clothes situation, she hosted a party for our department faculty. At the get-together, the hostess caught my eye and nodded her head toward her bedroom. As I followed her in, she opened her closet door and said, “I’ve sorted my clothes. Take everything you can wear from this side.”

To pass service to others, I have trained my eye to be aware and act when needed. I provide a hot meal when someone comes home from the hospital and patience with a store clerk doing her job. I water plants when a neighbor is on vacation or care for the children in a family while a new baby is being born. Nevertheless, often, I try to do a good turn without it being known. Therefore, you see, there is much I cannot tell you. What service I give is between me, the person for whom I do the deed, and my Lord. I do these things not to feel righteous, but because it is the right thing to do. The Golden Rule tells us to do unto others, as we would have them do unto us. It is in giving that we receive…I believe we are on earth to share joy and sorrow, to provide comfort, and to answer the call to look after each other.