Tag Archives: help

Not alone

“One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.” ― Shannon L. Alder The online world is full of contradictions, and none more obvious than its tendency to create feelings of isolation even as it facilitates digital connection. Still, the anonymity and freedom …

Continue reading

The jangled soul can flee

‘Tis fitting in these days of noise, Here in these thunder years of steam, The soul should keep its equipoise And think its thoughts and dream its dream. We scar the placid vales with mills, We scoop the seas and shear the hills: ‘Tis well that to these temples of the mind The jangled soul …

Continue reading

A never-tiring affection

“One by one, as they march, our comrades vanish from our sight, seized by the silent orders of omnipotent Death. Very brief is the time in which we can help them, in which their happiness or misery is decided. Be it ours to shed sunshine on their path, to lighten their sorrows by the balm …

Continue reading

A friend knows

“A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.” — Donna Roberts In April, during the weeks Jeff was recovering from the surgery to remove his brain tumor, we were unable to travel to our York home. I started to worry about various things I needed to take …

Continue reading

Vitally appealing

“The emotional energy created by the critical illness of a child is unlike anything else in a family. The medical situation devours much of the family’s life and leaves its mark on everyone involved: parents and siblings, grandparents and friends. Passions are generated, enormous resources are called upon, any moment can suddenly turn into a …

Continue reading

Part of your life

“Trouble is part of your life, and if you don’t share it, you don’t give the person who loves you a chance to love you enough.” — Dinah Shore Jeff is a pretty tough guy.  In more than 25 years of Air Force service, I don’t recall him ever taking a single sick day until …

Continue reading

What we give

“Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.” ― Ben Carson “No one has ever become poor by giving.” ― Anne Frank WOW, thanks to everyone who participated in the second anniversary blog celebration on Monday.  I will go into all the details below, but the short version is that $2600 …

Continue reading

These four words

“I bring you the gift of these four words: I believe in you.” — Blaise Pascal I might never have met you face to face.  In fact, I may not even know who you are, or that you are reading this blog at all.  But I still believe in you. I believe in you because …

Continue reading

Those moments

“What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness. Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering and I responded…sensibly. Reservedly. Mildly.”   –  George Saunders There’s nothing at all wrong with acting in ways that are sensible, reserved, and mild.  But there are times when such demeanor …

Continue reading

People together

“Adversity not only draws people together, but brings forth that beautiful inward friendship.” – Soren Kierkegaard Working together under difficult circumstances tends to strip away the vacuous and trivial concerns that we are too often preoccupied with, especially in affluent societies.  None of us want adversity or crisis, nor do most of us wish it …

Continue reading

Sought and found

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.” ― Albert Schweitzer Matt was so happy to be able to return to Camp Baker this year, after missing last year due …

Continue reading

Incredible power

“Words have incredible power. They can make people’s hearts soar, and they can make people’s hearts sore.” – Mardy Grothe Never underestimate the effect words can have, for better or worse.  The Bible’s book of James (chapter 3) is one of many sources of wisdom that remind us of the importance of guarding what we …

Continue reading

For the good guys

“Unfortunately, it is often the bad guys who play the leading roles in our memory…Let’s write a script for the good guys…It will be a musical, full of drama, laughter and tears, sorrows and triumphs, and it will end with a joyful song of praise and thanks.” — Barbara Gill, in Changed by a Child, …

Continue reading

Anyone who loves

“We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also …

Continue reading

As the magnet finds iron

“The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!”  — Henry Ward Beecher As I write this, two weeks before publication, much of the country is in the grip of yet another …

Continue reading

Filled with joy

“One filled with joy preaches without preaching.” ― Mother Teresa So often, words are painful without being beneficial.  Most of us who say harmful things aren’t deliberately trying to hurt anyone, but we end up doing it anyway.  We may be trying to help someone else by pointing out where we believe the person is …

Continue reading

Our neighbors

“While the spirit of neighborliness was important on the frontier because neighbors were so few, it is even more important now because our neighbors are so many.”  — Lady Bird Johnson Almost everyone I know would like to make the world a better place.  We long to do great things, to make a difference.  For …

Continue reading

No ordinary people

“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.” — C. S. Lewis My favorite author C. S. Lewis wrote many passages that touch my heart and open my mind, but none is more sobering and remarkable to me than the text that includes the quote above.  Think about it: every …

Continue reading

Service is joy

“I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.” ― Kahlil Gibran One of the great things about any sort of volunteer work is meeting people who care about other people and the world in …

Continue reading

Your message

“If you want to get your message across, shut up.” — Dr. Mardy Grothe I don’t take this advice nearly as often as I ought to, but today, I get it.  I schedule these posts about two weeks in advance, so I have no idea how I’ll be feeling when this post is published.  But right now, …

Continue reading

Do not wait

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.” — Mother Teresa If I’ve learned anything at all since Matt was born, I’ve learned this: no government or agency can match the power of one dedicated and compassionate person to improve the life of another. Agencies, laws and governments are necessary, but to …

Continue reading

Sowing a seed

You never can tell when you do an act Just what the result will be; But with every deed you are sowing a seed, Though the harvest you may not see. — Ella Wheeler Wilcox It’s not surprising that several research studies document the benefits of volunteering to help others, whether formally or informally.  While …

Continue reading

The most powerful drug

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” ― Rudyard Kipling I don’t remember when I first realized that not everyone was as fascinated by words as I am, but it’s something that I still don’t fully understand.  I have always been so drawn to words; their meaning, their rhythms and sounds, the …

Continue reading

A friend who cares

“The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” ― Henri J.M. Nouwen …

Continue reading

Here to change the world

“We are here to change the world with small acts of thoughtfulness done daily rather than with one great dramatic leap in results.” — Rabbi Harold Kushner Everyone loves to see results.  There’s nothing more satisfying than completing a major project or putting the final touches on something we’ve labored over for weeks.  But in reality, …

Continue reading