Archive for September, 2016

Another Monday Morning

By Kathy NickersonSeptember 26th, 2016mercy, work1 Comment

2016-09-03-14-29-13

My mother is famous for reminding those of us who have day jobs that Monday is “a day the Lord has made” and we should rejoice and be glad in it.

Last Monday, it was extra hard to remember.

That day started like every Monday. A little bleary. Slightly full. Yet holding the promise of a fairly decent week ahead. Then, the thirteenth patient of the day in our clinic was my mama. And before the day ended, I was attempting to sleep in a chair by her hospital bed.

I will spare you the unpleasant details that followed. They took my siblings and I on journeys we never expected to take, making decisions we never wanted to make, and ended in an intensive care unit with our mother on a respirator. The one thing she had told us never to allow.

“It’s temporary,” we assured her. “You can get well,” we promised. Then we turned away and shook our heads at one another.

I was pretty sure our promises were empty.

But, I underestimated my mother. And the army of people praying for her. Plus the miracles of modern medicine and the hand of God upon her life.

Today is Monday again. And our mother is taking her second walk around the hospital hallways this morning. She is learning leg exercises from the therapist and forcing herself to take one-more-bite of whatever the kitchen offers so she can gain her strength and go home.

All this only proves that we never know what a Monday will bring. Or any other day, for that matter. And that is why, Dear Reader, it is so important to embrace my mother’s words. Today really is a day the Lord has made. It may be our best. Or it may be our last, at least on this side of the veil.

So, let’s rejoice. And love. And give thanks. And not waste our time on anything less.

 

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Looking for the Helpers

By Kathy NickersonSeptember 9th, 2016mercyNo Comments

bins of flowers

 

On this anniversary of 9/11, I can only look at so many heartbreaking images again before I have to pull on my soft sweater, change into my sneakers, and think about this perfect advice from Mr. Rogers:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'” — Fred Rogers

This year, I discovered a whole new batch of helpers in a beautiful book called “The Day the World Came to Town.” This is the story of the small town of Gander, Newfoundland, where hundreds of planes and thousands of people were suddenly grounded without warning. Fifteen years after the massive tragedy, I am discovering details I had never considered.

I had never even thought about what happened to all those people who were half-way across the ocean when their planes were ordered to land at the nearest airport. But, in one small Canadian town, more than 6000 of them were welcomed, warmed, housed, and fed for nearly a week. I’ve barely started the book, and already I want to send a boquet of flowers and a box of chocolates to the people of Gander and possibly to author Jim DeFede who tells their story. Because they are reminding me of the beautiful truth Mr. Rogers’ mother knew all along.

The helpers win.

When towers fall or nightclubs explode, the bad guys always think they have won. But their victory is so small. So temporary. The hatred that drove them will devour them. The real winners are the helpers who reach out beyond walls of race, religion, social status, or cultural expectations.

They simply turn toward the noise and start walking with their blankets or their soup or their huge, strong, brave selves that say, “you shall not pass this way again today.”

Those people are the ones who win in the long run. They are the ones who will know peace even in the middle of conflict.

Because when you help someone, you touch the heart of Jesus.

 

 

 

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