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Archive for June, 2011

The old yellow Cadillac pulled up to the front door of the Physical Therapy Office and parked under the No Parking sign. An elderly wife got out of the driver’s seat, walked to the back of the car, and popped open the trunk. Stretching, she reached in and pulled out a folded up wheelchair. Putting the chair down on the ground, she unfolded it, and then wheeled it to the front passenger door.

It took a little while and a bit of help from the wife, but the husband was finally out of the car and seated securely in the wheelchair. The wife pushed her husband in the chair up the sidewalk ramp, and then put it in park next to the front door railing. Assuring him she’d be right back, she went into the car, started it up, and drove to a legal parking space.

The husband patiently waited in his chair for her to return. When she had walked from the parking lot back to him, they smiled at each other. She then stood next to her husband. Curious, and wondering why they weren’t moving, I looked closer and saw that the husband was slowly, carefully, moving his arm up and out so his hand could push the handicapped door opener. When he had successfully opened the door for his wife, she thanked him and then pushed his chair into the Physical Therapy Office.

© Diane L. Neuls DeBlasio 2011

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It was hard to say goodbye, even though the person had suffered from cancer and death assured the physical pain was over. I had questions about the suffering, wondering why it had to be this way and if there had been anything else that could have been done, the feeling of having no control very frustrating.

With a mind full of doubts and second guessing at the end of the day, I went out to the back deck. I sat on the deck swing, facing west, watching the sunset on this late Spring evening. The humidity was low, the temperature comfortable, and the neighborhood was quiet. I took several deep breaths, trying to clear my mind.

As I became still, I could hear the soft peeps from the new batch of baby sparrows in the birdhouse on the south side of the porch. The parents’ were faithfully bringing food fifteen hours after they had started at the sunrise. A starling family was out on the back lawn, the mother teaching the youngster how to forage his own bugs and worms. She kept bending and picking up bugs; he’d try but didn’t seem to get the coordination yet. The younger bird would get impatient, and then squawk for food from his mother. She would oblige, placing a bug in his opened beak. I laughed at the amusing sight: the baby was the same size as his mother!

They were joined by a mother cottontail rabbit and her baby, who took up residence off to the side, nibbling on the clover in the lawn. The baby rabbit was adorable – its ears were the size of the tip of my pinky finger, its head barely seen over the grass.

The sun continued to get lower, until it disappeared and sent soft pink arms of color stretching over the sky.

As the sun melted into the horizon, doubts did also. A sense of peace came over me; in the quiet scenes before me I saw a gentle reminder that God is here, in the ordinary, and He has it all under control.

            O Gracious Light   Phos hilaron 

            O gracious Light,

            pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,

            O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!

 

            Now as we come to the setting of the sun,

            and our eyes behold the vesper light,

            we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

 

            You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,

            O Son of God, O Giver of life,

            and to be glorified through all the worlds

                  – From the 1979 Book of Common Prayer

© Diane L. Neuls DeBlasio 2011

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Cell Phone Lesson

Where was it? I had looked everywhere I could think of in the house for my cell phone. I went to the house phone, and embarrassed at what I had to do next, I nonchalantly looked around to make sure the kids couldn’t see what I was about to do. Then I dialed my cell number.

I was happy to hear it ringing down the hall, in the study. I followed the sound to the desk, where it sat next to the computer my daughter was using. Snagged.

Kathy looked up with a grin as I picked up my cell. “Loose your phone again, Mom?” I sheepishly smiled back.

When had I become so dependant on this electronic device? If I forgot it at home, I would retrace my steps to return home to retrieve it. It was a smart phone, delivering personal and work emails and text messages throughout my day. It keeps my calendars, contact lists. I use it to surf the web, looking for directions to where I’m going, or for information I need instantly. It holds important files, and has games for long waiting rooms. I’ve taken many pictures with it, and then emailed the picture to a vendor or to family.

Sometimes, if I see the little red light flashing, I stop what I’m doing to reach for the phone, checking out the new email, text, or appointment reminder. The device is constantly on.

It occurred to me the other day that my obsession with my phone was crowding God out, not giving myself the time I needed to hear Him, or time to spend alone with Him in prayerful companionship.

What if I paid attention to God with the same amount of time I paid attention to my phone? If when I saw the little red light, instead of immediately reaching for the phone, I offered a prayer of thanksgiving for something good that was happening in my life, or if I offered a prayer for someone?

And imaging how different my life could be if I spent as much time in prayer as I did surfing the web!

© Diane L. Neuls DeBlasio 2011

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