Your Cross Outreach Ministry



             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 )     




Real Help 4 Real Issues!  God Loves You!!







Information Please



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 it.

Then I discovered that somewhere inside the

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

came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor.

Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I

whacked  my finger with a hammer, the pain was

terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because

 there was no one home to give sympathy.

I walked around the house sucking my throbbing

 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"

 I said  into the mouthpiece just above my head.

A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear.


 "I hurt my finger..." I wailed into the phone, the tears

came readily enough now that I had an audience..

"Isn't your mother home?" came the question.

"Nobody's home but me," I blubbered.

"Are you bleeding?" the voice asked.

"No," I replied. "I hit my finger with the hammer

and it hurts."

"Can you open the icebox?" she asked.

I said I could..

"Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your

finger," said the voice.

After that, I called "Information Please" for everything.

I asked her for help with my geography, and she told me

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.

Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary, died.

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.

I asked her, "Why is it that birds should sing so

beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up

 as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?"

She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said

quietly, "Paul always remember that there are other

worlds to sing in."

Somehow I felt better.

Another day I was on the telephone,

"Information Please."

"Information," said in the now familiar voice.

"How do I spell fix?" I asked.

All this took place in a small town in the Pacific

 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 sat
on the table in the hall.


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

have spent her time on a little boy.

A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane

 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."

Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew

so well. "Information."

I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying,

"Could you please tell me how to spell fix?"

There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken

answer, "I guess your finger must have healed

by now."

I laughed, "So it's really you," I said. "I wonder if you

have any idea how much you meant to me during

that time?"

I wonder," she said, "if you know how much your call

meant to me. I never had any children and I used to

look forward to your calls."

I told her how often I had thought of her over the

years and I asked if I could call her again when I

came back to visit my sister.

"Please do", she said. "Just ask for Sally."

Three months later I was back in Seattle. A

different voice answered, "Information."

I asked for Sally.

"Are you a friend?" she said.

"Yes, a very old friend," I answered.

"I'm sorry to have to tell you this," she said. "Sally had

been working part-time the last few years because she

was sick. She died five weeks ago."

Before I could hang up she said, "Wait a minute, did you

say your name was Paul?"

"Yes." I answered.

"Well, Sally left a message for you.. She wrote it down

in case you called. Let me read it to you."

The note said, "Tell him there are other worlds to sing

in. He'll know what I mean."

I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant.

Never underestimate the impression you may make

on others. Whose life have you touched today?

Author Unknown



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