> THE LOVE OF FRIENDS
> Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man
> was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help
> drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only
> The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men
> talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their
> homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where
> they had been on vacation. And every afternoon when the man in the bed
> by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his
> roommate all the things he could see outside the window.
> The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where
> his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and
> color the world outside. The window overlooked a park with a lovely
> lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their
> model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every
> color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine
> view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. As the man by
> the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other
> side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque
> One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by.
> Although the other man couldn't hear the band-he could see it in his
> mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive
> Days and weeks passed. One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring
> water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the
> window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and
> called the hospital attendants to take the body away.
> As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be
> moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and
> after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly,
> painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at
> the world outside. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it for
> He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It
> faced a blank wall! The man asked the nurse what could have compelled
> his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside
> this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not
> even see the wall. She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage
> Epilogue...There is tremendous happiness in making others happy,
> despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but
> happiness, when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just
> count all of the things you have that money can't buy.
> "Today is a gift, that's why it is called the present.
> To realize the value of one year:
> Ask a student who has failed a final exam.
> To realize the value of one month:
> Ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.
> To realize the value of one week:
> Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.
> To realize the value of one hour:
> Ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
> To realize the value of one minute:
> Ask a person who has missed the train, bus or plane.
> To realize the value of one-second:
> Ask a person who has survived anaccident.
> To realize the value of one millisecond:
> Ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.
> Time waits for no one. Treasure every moment you have. You will
> treasure it even more when you can share it with someone special.
> The origin of this letter is unknown, but it brings good luck to
> everyone who passes it on. Do not keep this letter. Do not send
> money. Just forward it to five of your friends to whom you wish good
> luck. You will see that something good happens to you four days from
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GOD WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS
It was an unusually cold day for the month of May.
Spring had arrived and everything was alive with
color. But a cold front from the North had brought
winter's chill back to Indiana. I sat, with two
friends, in the picture window of a quaint restaurant
just off the corner of the towns-square. The food and
the company were both especially good that day.
As we talked, my attention was drawn outside, across
the street. There, walking into town, was a man who
appeared to be carrying all his worldly goods on his
back. He was carrying a well-worn sign that read, "I
will work for food." My heart sank. I brought him to
the attention of my friends and noticed that others
around us had stopped eating to focus on him. Heads
moved in a mixture of sadness and disbelief.
We continued with our meal, but his image lingered in
my mind. We finished our meal and went our separate
ways. I had errands to do and quickly set out to
accomplish them. I glanced toward the town square,
looking somewhat halfheartedly for the strange
visitor. I was fearful, knowing that seeing him again
would call for some response. I drove through town
and saw nothing of him. I made some purchases at a
store and got back in my car. Deep within me, the
Spirit of God kept speaking to me: "Don't go back to
the office until you've at least driven once more
around the square." And so, with some hesitancy, I
headed back into town. As I turned the square's third
corner, I saw him. He was standing on the steps of
the storefront church, going through his sack. I
stopped and looked, feeling both compelled to speak to
him, yet wanting to drive on. The empty parking space
on the corner seemed to be a sign from God: an
invitation to park. I pulled in, got out and
approached the town's newest visitor.
"Looking for the pastor?" I asked.
"Not really," he replied, "just resting."
"Have you eaten today?"
"Oh, I ate something early this morning."
"Would you like to have lunch with me?"
"Do you have some work I could do for you?"
"No work," I replied. "I commute here to work from
the city, but I would like to take you to lunch."
"Sure," he replied with a smile.
As he began to gather his things. I asked some
"Where you headed?"
"Where you from?"
"Oh, all over; mostly Florida."
"How long you been walking?"
"Fourteen years," came the reply.
I knew I had met someone unusual. We sat across from
each other in the same restaurant I had left earlier.
His face was weathered slightly beyond his 38 years.
His eyes were dark yet clear, and he spoke with an
eloquence and articulation that was startling. He
removed his jacket to reveal a bright red T-shirt that
said, "Jesus is The Never Ending Story."
Then Daniel's story began to unfold. He had seen
rough times early in life. He'd made some wrong
choices and reaped the consequences. Fourteen years
earlier, while backpacking across the country, he had
stopped on the beach in Daytona. He tried to hire on
with some men who were putting up a large tent and
equipment. A concert, he thought. He was hired, but
the tent would not house a concert but revival
services, and in those services he saw life more
He gave his life over to God. "Nothing's been the
same since," he said, "I felt the Lord telling me to
keep walking, and so I did, some 14 years now."
"Ever think of stopping?" I asked.
"Oh, once in a while, when it seems to get the best
But God has given me this calling. I give out Bibles.
That's what's in my sack. I work to buy food and
Bibles, and I give them out when His Spirit leads."
I sat amazed. My homeless friend was not homeless.
He was on a mission and lived this way by choice. The
question burned inside for a moment and then I asked:
"What's it like?"
"To walk into a town carrying all your things on your
back and to show your sign?"
"Oh, it was humiliating at first. People would stare
and make comments. Once someone tossed a piece of
half-eaten bread and made a gesture that certainly
didn't make me feel welcome. But then it became
humbling to realize that God was using me to touch
lives and change people's concepts of other folks like
My concept was changing, too. We finished our dessert
and gathered his things. Just outside the door, he
paused. He turned to me and said, "Come Ye blessed f
my Father and inherit the kingdom I've prepared for
you. For when I was hungry you gave me food, when I
was thirsty you gave me drink, a stranger and you took
I felt as if we were on holy ground. "Could you use
another Bible?" I asked.
He said he preferred a certain translation. It
traveled well and was not too heavy. It was also his
personal favorite. "I've read through it 14 times,"
"I'm not sure we've got one of those, but let's stop
by our church and see."
I was able to find my new friend a Bible that would do
well, and he seemed very grateful.
"Where you headed from here?"
"Well, I found this little map on the back of this
amusement park coupon."
"Are you hoping to hire on there for awhile?"
"No, I just figure I should go there. I figure
someone under that star right there needs a Bible, so
that's where I'm going next. " He smiled, and the
warmth of his spirit radiated the sincerity of his
I drove him back to the town-square where we'd met two
hours earlier, and as we drove, it started raining.
We parked and unloaded his things.
"Would you sign my autograph book?" he asked.
"I like to keep messages from folks I meet."
I wrote in his little book that his commitment to his
calling had touched my life. I encouraged him to stay
strong. And I left him with a verse of scripture from
Jeremiah. "I know the plans I have for you," declared
the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you.
Plans to give you a future and a hope."
"Thanks, man," he said. "I know we just met and we're
really just strangers, but I love you."
"I know," I said, "I love you, too."
"The Lord is good."
"Yes, He is. How long has it been since someone
hugged you?" I asked.
"A long time," he replied.
And so on the busy street corner in the drizzling
rain, my new friend and I embraced, and I felt deep
inside that I had been changed.
He put his things on his back, smiled his winning
smile and said, "See you in the New Jerusalem."
"I'll be there!" was my reply.
He began his journey again. He headed away with his
sign dangling from his bed roll and pack of Bibles.
He stopped, turned and said, "When you see something
that makes you think of me, will you pray for me?"
"You bet," I shouted back, "God bless."
And that was the last I saw of him. Late that evening
as I left my office, the wind blew strong. The cold
front had settled hard upon the town. I bundled up
and hurried to my car. As I sat back and reached
for the emergency brake, I saw them... a pair of
well-worn brown work gloves neatly laid over the
length of the handle. I picked them up and thought of
my friend and wondered if his hands would stay warm
that >night without them. I remembered his words:
"If you see something that makes you think of me, will
you pray for me?"
Today his gloves lie on my desk in my office. They
help me to see the world and its people in a new way,
and they help me remember those two hours with my
unique friend and to pray for his ministry. "See you
in the New Jerusalem," he said. Yes, Daniel, I know I
If this story touched you, forward it to a friend! "I
shall pass this way but once. Therefore, any good
that I can do or any kindness that I can show, let me
do it now, for I shall not pass this way again
FORWARDED From Holcomb
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