Compassioneering on my birthday
WHATS IN THIS BLOG:
• Birthday blahs.
• Birthday happiness.
• What turned it around?
I AWOKE THIS MORNING, AND IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY. So I lingered in bed, listening to National Public Radio.
As I was brushing my teeth, my step-daughter Kim called from the classroom. An enthusiastic chorus of Happy Birthday Popper came through my iPhone. About twenty 6-year olds remembered me from a class I once taught in there…..a memorable experience playing a didgeridoo for them!
Lots of birthday wishes came through Facebook, and that was pretty cool.
HOWEVER MY ARTHRITIC HIP WASN’T FEELING SO GOOD, and the promise of a third snowstorm in one week left me feeling down. Can also blame no sunshine to speak of this past week, and I am definitely a “Sundowner”.
To shake it off, I fastened up my knee brace and decided I would head out to play pickleball (poor-man’s tennis). When I started up the car, the legs didn’t feel too good, so I decided not to take the risk. I unstrapped my brace.
I piddled around with my new book called Fracman, but gave up and treated myself to breakfast at Hannah and Nates. Veggie omelet, and fruit instead of hashbrowns. Eat healthy and feel better, I was thinking. But I didn’t feel better.
DROVE TO THE GROCERY STORE and heard the stockmarket was down another 400 points. Blame China’s lousy economy, and the lousy price of a barrel of oil (at $33 the lowest in 12 years).
All the berries in the store were over-priced. Another disappointment as I thought their antioxidants might cheer me up.
I couldn’t tell which kind of Windex to buy, so I called my wise and trustworthy home cleaner Paula. She asked what I was doing in the store on my birthday, when I should be out playing. I thought about telling her of my attempt at pickleball, but it was too hard to explain. She clarified the Windex situation, and told me to do something special on my special day.
I promised her I would, after I found the Chicken Teriyaki frozen dinner put out by Marie Callender. My favorite. While I was searching, I saw a man in a wheel chair further down the aisle. I couldn’t figure out what he was doing. He was old and frail with long hair and a bushy gray beard. He was leaning out of his wheelchair, trying to use his foot to scrape a box of frozen food toward the chair. I looked closer. The box wouldn’t slide on the floor, and the man nearly fell out of his chair.
I WALKED QUICKLY UP TO THE MAN AND ASKED IF I COULD HELP. He said nothing. So I reached down to pick up the box, and as I gave it to him, his hands and arms shook. They shook a lot, and they didn’t stop shaking! Parkinsons? There were two other boxes on the floor. I picked them up also. He said he didn’t need them, and I could return them to the freezer. He thanked me, saying it was nice of me to come by to help, and drove away.
As I loaded my groceries into the car, my eyes misted up thinking about the gray man’s condition and what a struggle that must be. I cried all the way home. And a word popped into my mind: Compassioneering (stands for actively engineering compassion).
BUT HAPPINESS RETURNED, and strangely I am having a happy birthday after all. And I wonder if perhaps God closed the pickleball door so that I would be in the grocery store when the gray man dropped the boxes of frozen food…….so I could help him and he could help me.
The Gray Nomad
Probing the practice of Christian believers……
Do not store up for yourselves [material] treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart [your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centers] will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body; so if your eye is clear [spiritually perceptive], your whole body will be full of light [benefiting from God’s precepts].
[Book of Matthew, chapter 6, Amplified Bible].