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Archive for October, 2011

“You’re kidding me!” I said to the Postal Clerk when he told me how much the Halloween Care Package was going to cost to send to my daughter the grad student in New Mexico. The price was $8 more than last year’s package to upstate New York where she had done her undergrad work.

“The price is based on weight and distance” the guy patiently explained. “If you use a Medium Flat Rate box, you’ll save $5”. He pointed to the display of boxes in the back of the Post Office.

“Can’t you just give me that rate with the box I already packed?” I asked. He said no, that the box had to have the proper label on it to get the lower price. Mulling my options, I took back my package, went to the display and pulled out a Flat Rate box.

Standing at the counter in the back, I put together the Medium Flat Rate box, then went to open up the one I came in with to move the contents over. That one was simply labeled  ‘Mailing Box’ and was also medium-sized.  Just before I opened it, I gave the sizes of the two boxes a closer look. “It can’t be this easy” I thought to myself as I gently pushed the expensive-to-send carton inside the Flat Rate Box. With a little coaxing, the care package, still inside the original carton, fit inside the Flat Rate box. I sealed the edges and returned to the line.

I brought the now heavier double carton to the counter,  where the guy rang up the fee, $5 less than before. All because of a label.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Reflecting on the label scenario later on, I realized I’m guilty of relying on labels at times when I meet or interact with someone. I’ll judge that person, consciously or unconsciously, based on a label I or society gave them. Yet Jesus didn’t care about labels. He saw the face of God in each and every person he came across, befriending all, instructing everyone to do the same. Not easy at times for me to do, but something I’m working on with His help.

Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. Matthew 18:10

I smile as I think about my daughter opening the Care Package only to find another box inside… a bonus Halloween Trick and sure to generate conversation!

© Diane L. Neuls DeBlasio 2011

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Blue eyes sparkling, he moved his right arm into an upright “L”, bent his wrist, and then touched his four fingers to his thumb.  He turned his hand toward his face, opened and closed the fingers, and without speaking pretended to have a conversation with this creative goose he had made.  The shy child smiled.

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, and Nursing Home Courtyard was filled with families enjoying the sun, visiting loved ones who were residents or Rehab patients. The entertainer continued his show for a few more minutes, until the child’s attention was drawn elsewhere.  Watching the child return to her mother, the entertainer’s eyes continued to sparkle and he smiled as he rolled his wheelchair across the courtyard toward another resident, sitting alone. His antics continued with her, until she dozed off.

He turned his chair around, and then wheeled over to a woman sitting next to her sleeping mother. The daughter was holding tight onto a tissue, which she used to dab her eyes every now and then. The entertainer’s eyes softened, and he gently took a pen from his pocket. Without speaking, he caught the daughter’s attention. Using a wide-eyed expression and his mouth in an “O”, he held the pen upright between two fingers, and moved it to make it look like it was rubber. The daughter smiled, and thanked him. He smiled back, turned his chair around, and headed toward another corner of the yard.

A gentle face of God in the Ordinary: an elderly resident with no visitors of his own, unable to speak, had communicated volumes about the love of God to the lonely and afraid.

Diane L. Neuls DeBlasio 2011

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