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March 14th, 2011

What Do You Hear?

What Do You Hear

A Native American and his friend were in downtown New York City, walking near Times Square in Manhattan. It was during the noon lunch hour and the streets were filled with people.

Cars were honking their horns, taxicabs were squealing around corners, sirens were wailing, and the sounds of the city were almost deafening. Suddenly, the Native American said, “I hear a cricket.”

His friend said, “What? You must be crazy. You couldn’t possibly hear a cricket in all of this noise!”

“No, I’m sure of it,” the Native American said, “I heard a cricket.”

“That’s crazy,” said the friend.

The Native American listened carefully for a moment, and then walked across the street to a big cement planter where some shrubs were growing. He looked into the bushes, beneath the branches, and sure enough, he located a small cricket. His friend was utterly amazed.

“That’s incredible,” said his friend. “You must have superhuman ears!”

“No,” said the Native American. “My ears are no different from yours. It all depends on what you’re listening for.”

“But that can’t be!” said the friend. “I could never hear a cricket in this noise.”

“Yes, it’s true,” came the reply. “It depends on what is really important to you.

Here, let me show you.” He reached into his pocket, pulled out a few coins, and discreetly dropped them on the sidewalk. And then, with the noise of the crowded street still blaring in their ears, they noticed every head within twenty feet turn and look to see if the money that tinkled on the pavement was theirs.

“See what I mean?” asked the Native American. “It all depends on what’s important to you.”

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What’s important to you? What do you listen for? Some people say that there is no God, and that He never speaks to us anymore. But perhaps they can’t see or hear Him because they aren’t listening for Him. They are living for themselves, not for God.

If you are in tune with God, you will be able to notice Him at work in your life and in the world. And you’ll be able to hear Him when He speaks.

March 8th, 2011

Story : Don’t We All Need Help?

Need Help

I was parked in front of the mall wiping off my car. I had just come from the car wash and was waiting for my wife to get out of work.

Coming my way from across the parking lot was what society would consider a bum. From the looks of him, he had no car, no home, no clean clothes, and no money. There are times when you feel generous but there are other times that you just don’t want to be bothered. This was one of those “don’t want to be bothered times.”

“I hope he doesn’t ask me for any money,” I thought. He didn’t. He came and sat on the curb in front of the bus stop but he didn’t look like he could have enough money to even ride the bus. After a few minutes he spoke. “That’s a very pretty car,” he said. He was ragged but he had an air of dignity around him. His scraggly blond beard keep more than his face warm. I said, “thanks,” and continued wiping off my car.

He sat there quietly as I worked. The expected plea for money never came. As the silence between us widened something inside said, “ask him if he needs any help.” I was sure that he would say “yes” but I held true to the inner voice. “Do you need any help?” I asked.

He answered in three simple but profound words that I shall never forget. We often look for wisdom in great men and women. We expect it from those of higher learning and accomplishments. I expected nothing but an outstretched grimy hand. He spoke the three words that shook me. “Don’t we all?” he said.

I was feeling high and mighty, successful and important, above a bum in the street, until those three words hit me like a twelve gauge shotgun. Don’t we all?

I needed help. Maybe not for bus fare or a place to sleep, but I needed help. I reached in my wallet and gave him not only enough for bus fare, but enough to get a warm meal and shelter for the day. Those three little words still ring true.

No matter how much you have, no matter how much you have accomplished, you need help too. No matter how little you have, no matter how loaded you are with problems, even without money or a place to sleep, you can give help. Even if it’s just a compliment, you can give that.

You never know when you may see someone that appears to have it all. They are waiting on you to give them what they don’t have. A different perspective on life, a glimpse at something beautiful, a respite from daily chaos, that only you through a torn world can see.

Maybe the man was just a homeless stranger wandering the streets. Maybe he was more than that. Maybe he was sent by a power that is great and wise, to minister to a soul too comfortable in themselves. Maybe God looked down, called an Angel, dressed him like a bum, then said, “go minister to that man cleaning the car, that man needs help.” Don’t we all?

March 3rd, 2011

Jesus Waiting For Sunday

Jesus Waiting For Next Sunday

How often do you go to church? Just on Sunday, the visiting day?

Story : Sunday The Visiting Day

He was looking forward to this moment all day long, after 6 days of labor and it finally arrived – Visiting Day!

The man with the keys arrived to swing open the large, heavy doors. The cold gray hall springs to life in the warm glow of light. He could hardly control His emotions.

The families began to arrive. He peers from the corner of the room longing for the 1st glimpse of His loved one. He lives for the weekends. He lives for these visits.

As the cars arrive, He watches intently. Then, finally, they arrive, for whom He would do anything. They embrace, eat a light lunch and reminisce how things used to be.

At one point, they break into singing, with interruptions of laughter and applause. But all too soon it is over. A tear comes to His eyes as they depart.

Then the man with the keys closes the heavy doors. He hears the key turn in the lock marking the end of a special day. There He stands, alone again.

He knows that most of His visitors will not contact Him again till next week. As the last car pulls away from the parking lot, Jesus retreats into loneliness as He waits until next Sunday – Visiting Day.

Reflection:

Is the time that we spend with Jesus an everyday thing, or do we just visit Him on Sunday?

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