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WITandWISDOM(tm) - March 21, 2007
Our extremities are the Lord's opportunities. - Charles H. Spurgeon
Source: Turning Point Daily Devotional
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
Charles grew up in poverty in a New York ghetto. His 'tough guy' image served him well until he was severely handicapped by a gunshot wound incurred in a street fight. His spine was shattered, and he was paralyzed from the waist down.
When I met Charles, he had just completed training in a rehabilitation center and was looking for a job at The Floating Hospital. Charles wanted an opportunity to teach children how to avoid getting into trouble the way he had. He became part of my staff and an inspiration to everyone around him.
One day I walked into one of our classrooms and found Charles sitting with a group of children surrounding him. He was answering all the burning questions that young people have when they look at a handicapped person.
"What does it feel like not to be able to walk?"
"What should I say to someone in a wheelchair?"
"How do you go to the bathroom?"
At one point, Charles asked the group what they thought a handicapped person wanted the most.
"Right!" answered Charles, and all the children spontaneously jumped up and hugged him, shouting, "I'll be your friend!"
I don't know who got more out of the session - Charles, the children, or me.
On another occasion we were giving a party for a new group of senior citizens. Although we had hired a three-piece band for the festivities, the seniors were hesitant about getting into the swing of things. All of a sudden, Charles pushed his chair into the middle of the room and started "dancing" with the music.
"Come on, everyone. If I can get out here and dance, so can you."
Within minutes, he had everyone dancing, laughing, singing and clapping. His spirit was infectious. The strangers in the room quickly became friends. He never missed the opportunity to show people that, with a positive attitude, value can be created from anything that happens to you in life.
I had plenty of opportunities to talk with Charles. He told me that in the early days of his disability he had lost all hope, all will. As he described it, "It wasn't easy for a macho kid to lose his ability to walk, let alone to lose all control of his bladder and bowels."
He was referred to an excellent rehabilitation center, but refused to be helped. The center was about to send him home to make way for someone who was willing to take responsibility for his own life. That was the turning point. Charles knew that if he was sent home, he would have no chance at all. This was his moment to say yes or no to his universe. His thankful he chose to say yes.
Once that choice was made, his progress was remarkable. Opportunities opened up to him that he'd never thought about before. He decided that his life could have a purpose: to help others in their struggle, whatever that struggle might be. He would be a model, saying, "If I could do it, so can you."
Charles admitted that, strangely, he was grateful now for his handicap, because it made him aware of how much he had to contribute to the world.
Before the accident, Charles had been blind to the fact that his life had meaning. Now he believes he was more handicapped before the accident; only since then has he derived satisfaction from living.
By Susan Jeffers
Excerpt from "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway", http://isbn.nu/0151305595
Source: Marcella's Inspiring Collection http://tinyurl.com/w9nb9
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
Hollywood Squares, Revisited
Peter Marshall: You’re standing among the oldest living things on Earth. Where are you?
Totie Fields: Miami Beach.
Peter: In a survey by the National Safety Council, are you more likely to die from choking, drowning, or poisoning?
Martin Mull: …I would think probably choking.
Contestant: I agree.
Peter: No, it’s poisoning, then drowning. Choking came in third and paid two-eighty.
John Davidson: What did Noah finally do at the age of 952?
Joan Rivers: Finish paying for his daughter’s wedding.
Peter: In the Middle Ages, Paul, people in convents were not allowed to eat beans because they believed something about them we now know isn’t true. What?
Paul Lynde: Well, I know they took a vow of silence….
Peter: Which of your five senses tends to diminish as you get older?
Charley Weaver: My sense of decency.
Peter: If you surprised your wife with a gift of a roll of aluminum foil, what anniversary would you be celebrating?
Vincent Price: It would be my last!
Peter: Don, you’re having trouble sleeping at night. Are you more likely a man or a women?
Don Knotts: That’s what’s keeping me awake!
Peter: What makes water hard?
Charley Weaver: Winter.
Peter: Can chewing gum help prevent a child from catching a cold?
Paul: No, but it’ll plug a runny nose.
Peter: Is Billy Graham considered a good dresser?
Paul: No, but he’s a terrific end table.
Peter: What do you call a cow that won’t give milk?
Selected from http://classicsquares.com
Source: Mark Mail, http://mrhumor.net/
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
After eight wonderful years as an Air Force pilot, I reluctantly accepted a non-flying assignment. My wife and daughter were delighted that I wouldn't be flying for a while, but my four-year-old son seemed unhappy about the whole thing. He revealed his feelings one day when we heard the familiar roar of a fighter aircraft overhead. As I glanced longingly upward, I heard him sigh and then say quietly, "There goes somebody else's daddy."
Contributed to "Humor In Uniform" by MAJ. C. R. McKelvy
Source: America In Uniform, http://www.beliefnet.com/user/newsletter_choose.asp
A number of years ago there was a well-known television circus show that developed a Bengal tiger act. Like the rest of the show, it was done "live" before a large audience.
One evening, the tiger trainer went into the cage with several tigers to do a routine performance. The door was locked behind him. The spotlights highlighted the cage, the television cameras moved in close, and the audience watched in suspense as the trainer skillfully put the tigers through their paces.
In the middle of the performance, the worst possible fate befell the act: the lights went out! For twenty or thirty long, dark seconds the trainer was locked in with the tigers. In the darkness they could see him, but he could not see them. A whip and a small kitchen chair seemed meager protection under the circumstances, but he survived, and when the lights came on, he calmly finished the performance.
In an interview afterward, he was asked how he felt knowing that the tigers could see him but that he could not see them. He first admitted the chilling fear of the situation, but pointed out that the tigers did not know that he could not see them. He said, "I just kept cracking my whip and talking to them until the lights came on. And they never knew I could not see them as well as they could see me."
By Thomas Lane Butts, Tigers in the Dark, in James S. Hewett’s Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 205, http://isbn.nu/0842315691
Source: A Dose of Inspiration, http://www.quietstones.com/mydailydose