Then Jesus said to his disciples,
"If anyone would come after me, he must first deny himself and
take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life
will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.
( Matt. 16:24 )
When I was quite young, my father had one of the
first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember
the polished, old case fastened to the wall. The shiny
receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little
to reach the telephone, but used to listen with
fascination when my mother talked to
wonderful device lived an amazing person. Her name
was "Information Please" and there was nothing she
did not know. Information Please could supply
anyone's number and the correct time.
My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle
day while my mother was visiting a neighbor.
whacked my finger with a hammer, the pain was
terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because
was no one home to give sympathy.
finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone!
Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged
it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver
in the parlor and held it to my ear. "Information, please"
mouthpiece just above my head.
"I hurt my finger..." I wailed into the phone, the tears
now that I had an audience..
and it hurts."
finger," said the
where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math.
She told me my pet chipmunk that I had caught in the
park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts.
I called, Information Please," and told her the sad story.
She listened, and then said things grown-ups say to
soothe a child. But I was not consoled.
beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up
as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a
quietly, "Paul always remember that there are other
worlds to sing in."
Northwest. When I was nine years old, we moved
across the country to Boston. I missed my friend
very much. "Information Please" belonged in that
old wooden box back home and I somehow never
thought of trying the shiny new phone that
As I grew into my teens, the memories of those
childhood conversations never really left me. Often,
in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall
the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated
now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to
her time on a little boy.
put down in Seattle. I had about a half-hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my
sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking
what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator
and said, "Information Please."
"Could you please tell
how to spell fix?"
answer, "I guess your finger must have healed
have any idea how much you meant to me during
meant to me. I never had any children and I used to
look forward to your calls."
years and I asked if I could call her again when I
came back to visit my sister.
different voice answered,
been working part-time the last few years because she
was sick. She died five weeks
say your name
in case you
Let me read it to you."
in. He'll know
on others. Whose life
you touched today?
Back to Inspirational Poems and Stories
Bye 4 Now!
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