At times 19 year old Helen McKittrick enjoyed leafing through the pages of a Familiar Quotations book her father gave her on her 18th birthday. Helen found by going to her book of quotations she could, it seemed, meet some of the great men and women of the past. As she read their words, she felt as though she could actually hear them speak words of great wisdom and power that encouraged her when she felt overwhelmed, tired or frustrated with the day to day problems of a college freshman.
Reading Shakespeare, Harding, Nightingale and others inspired her but they also intimidated her as well. Intimidating because she thought she could never say anything so profound as to affect the behavior or thinking of anyone.
With the spring semester just beginning, Helen and many of her fellow students returned from their Christmas break with a new sense of hope and excitement about the classes they had enrolled in. An exception was Anita McCullough. Anita’s performance during the Fall semester caused her to be placed on academic probation. Following her first Russian history class, Anita was very irritated, nervous and preoccupied. Wanting to help her best friend, Helen encouraged Anita to join her in the quiet and serenity of their dormitory reading room and library.
Struggling to find a way to comfort her, Helen said, “Annie you’re among a friend. You have talents, skills and abilities yet to be realized and discovered. Relax. Everything going to be just fine if you give your troubles to God. He knows who you are and how hard you’re working to be a good student. Place your trust in Him and let Him work His magic in your. Okay!”
Anita was very quiet for a moment. Within seconds a smile began to appear on her lips. She then said, “Ya, know. You’re right, Helen! Give your troubles to God! That’s one the most encouraging phrases I’ve ever heard. Thanks! You’re the best, Helen!”
Memorable words—at times God put them in our hearts, mind and on our lips to demonstrate His unconditional love, mercy, compassion and forgiveness of those around us no matter the time, place or season. All we have to do is to draw then in. Then let Him do the rest!