‘I should have been beginning them with PRAISE’

The Window Through Which We Look (unknown)

A young couple moved into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they were eating breakfast, the young woman saw her neighbor hanging the wash outside. “That laundry is not very clean,” she said. “She doesn’t know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.” Her husband looked on, but remained silent. Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments. About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice, clean wash on the line and said to her husband, “Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this.” The husband said, “I got up early this morning and CLEANED our WINDOWS.”

And so it is with life. What we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window through which we look.

Morning Song (Ruth Graham)

I had been getting up early, fixing myself a cup of coffee, and then sitting in the rocker on the front porch while I prayed for each of our children, and for each of theirs. One morning, I awoke earlier than usual. It was five o’clock with dawn just breaking over the mountains. I collected my cup of coffee and settled into the old rocker. Suddenly, I realized a symphony of bird songs was literally surrounding me. The air was liquid with music, as if the whole creation were praising God at the beginning of a new day. I chucked to hear the old turkey gobbler that had recently joined our family gobbling away down in the woods at the top of his voice as if he were a song sparrow! And I learned a lesson. I had been beginning my days with petitions and I should have been beginning them with PRAISE.

The Rose (unknown)

When I was a little pigtailed six-year-old, I went to our old-time dime store which was complete with squeaky, wooden floor and the smell of popcorn and penny candy. I was in search of just the right Mother’s Day gift. After carefully examining the items my small allowance could buy, I choose a plastic, red rose. Smuggling it into my bedroom, I composed a poem for the special occasion and proudly presented the gift to my mother.

After her death, I found that rose, faded and dusty, but still proudly displayed in a crystal vase on a silver tray. Not until then did I realize how much it had meant to her. She had saved it for thirty years. The Christmas that followed her death was a time of grief. We missed the traditional family dinner she prepared with her lavish color coordinated Christmas table of green plates and red goblets, and her love of giving, especially to her grandchildren.

To console me, my husband bought several special gifts we really couldn’t afford. After opening these, I still grieved. Then, I saw the gift from my son. “I picked it out myself, Mom,” my six-year-old proudly announced, hand extended. I smiled broadly and felt great consolation as I accepted his treasure. An angel must have whispered in his ear as he made his choice. His gift was an artificial RED ROSE.

Millie’s thought for today: our values define who we are…living in concert with our values brings peace to our souls.