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WITandWISDOM(tm) - April 25, 2005
A smile is the lighting system of the face, the cooling system of the head and the heating system of the heart.
Source: Carol's Thought for Today, http://www.kalama.com/~carola/
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
As we drove across town, I prepared my two children for what they were about to see. A lady from our new church was dying of cancer, and I had volunteered to help her with the housework. "Annie has a tumor in her head, which has disfigured her face," I cautioned them.
Annie invited me to bring my children with me one day, as I had told her so much about them. "Most children are frightened by my appearance," she said. "But I will understand if they don't want to meet me."
I struggled for the words to describe Annie's appearance to my son and daughter. Then I remembered a movie I'd seen two years earlier with my son, when he was ten. I wanted him to understand that disabled people are like anyone else - their feelings can be hurt, too.
"David, remember the movie Mask about the boy with the facial deformity?"
"Yes, Mom. I think I know what to expect." His tone told me it was time to stop mothering him so much.
"What does a tumor look like?" Diane asked me.
Answering my nine-year-old daughter would be tricky. In order to prevent Diane's revulsion when she met Annie, I needed to prepare her just enough but not too much. I didn't want to frighten the child.
"Her tumor looks like the skin on the inside of your mouth. It sticks out from under her tongue and makes it hard for her to talk. You'll see it as soon as you meet her, but there's nothing to be afraid of. Remember, don't stare. I know you'll want to look at it . . . that's all right . . . just don't stare." Diane nodded. I knew she was trying to picture a tumor in her mind.
"Are you kids ready for this?" I asked as we pulled up to the curb.
"Yes, Mom," David said, sighing as only a preteen can.
Diane nodded and tried to reassure me. "Don't worry, Mommy. I'm not scared."
We entered the living room, where Annie was sitting in her recliner, her lap covered with note cards for her friends. I stood across the room with my children, aware that anything could happen next.
At the sight of my children, Annie's face brightened. "Oh, I'm so glad you came to visit," she said, dabbing a tissue at the drops of saliva that escaped from her twisted mouth.
Then it happened. I watched David stride across the room to Annie's chair, wrap his arms around her shoulders and press his cheek to her misshapen face. Smiling, he looked into her eyes and said, "I'm happy to meet you."
Just when I didn't think I could be more proud, Diane copied her big brother and gave Annie the precious, accepting hug of a child.
My throat tightened with emotion as I saw Annie's eyes well up with grateful tears. I had nothing to worry about.
By Victoria Harnish Benson
Source: The Inspired Buffalo, mailto:email@example.com
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
There are 566 members in our church, but 100 are frail and elderly. That leaves 466 to do all the work. However, 80 are young people away at college. That leaves 386 to do all the work.
However, 150 of them are tired businessmen, so that leaves 236 to do all the work. 150 are housewives with children. That leaves 86 to do all the work.
There are also 46 members who have other important interests. Which leaves 40 to do all the work, but 15 live too far away to come regularly.
So that leaves 25 to do all the work. And 23 of them say they've done their part. So, Pastor, that leaves YOU and ME and, frankly, I'm exhausted. Good luck to you.
Source: Sermon Fodder, http://www.sermonfodder.com
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
My daughter's third-grade teacher had assigned the children to write a story titled "My Biggest Surprise."
Not until the end of the school year did we see Marina's work. It read: "I got up this morning and I ran into Mommy and Daddy's bed and hopped in. But it wasn't Mommy at all. It was Mrs. Del Campo!"
What her essay neglected to say was that we had called Mrs. Del Campo late at night to stay with our children while I took my wife to the hospital to have our third child.
Source: Pulpit Supply, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
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Source: How Stuff Works, http://www.howstuffworks.com