Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Volunteer (11/23/06)
TITLE: Baby Blankets & Prayer
By Betty Overstreet
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She had always loved tending her roses, tulips and all the tasty vegetables but now, she was no longer able to dig into the rich, black soil. No longer able to reach and bend to care for each plant as it needed special attention.
Helen sat staring out the window and wondering, “Why am I still alive, with nothing left to keep me busy? I just sit here day in and day out becoming more stiff each day from nothing to do. I just can’t stand to read another book or watch the television in this house all by myself.”
As she sat there contemplating life as it had become, she lifted her eyes toward the clouds outside the window. “Lord, I know this is not the life you would want me to be living. I have always heard, “Idle hands are…..oh, I can’t remember the rest, but I know it means we must be doing something useful as long as we are on this earth of yours. Father, I have no idea what you would have me to do at this time in my life. I can’t believe I am eighty-six years old and sitting here doing nothing. Please tell me what you want me to do.”
As Helen sat in her recliner, her eyes began to close and she gradually slipped into a deep sleep. She was walking through her garden trimming the roses when she saw someone walking toward her. It was a man who looked somewhat familiar. Dressed in clothing from long ago, he should have seemed a little strange but somehow she was not at all afraid. As he came closer she looked into his gentle, caring eyes and knew he had come a long way to spend time walking through the garden with her. He commented on the beauty of her garden and how she always seemed to grow so that she might share with others. She agreed that the most important part of growing her garden was the joy of sharing with others.
They continued to walk along and the man said, “ Helen, you have been a wonderful child of God, always helping others. Now that you are unable to work hard in your garden perhaps it is time to think of other skills and talents I have given you. This is the time in your life to begin to use those skills to make life better for others. Pray to your Heavenly Father for direction and ideas as to how He would have you spend your days. You are far too valuable to others to sit here, just staring out at your garden.
As Helen began to awaken she realized it was Jesus who was walking in the garden with her. She thought about what He had said and remembered how she had always loved to knit and crochet baby blankets. There was nothing wrong with her hands, no reason she couldn’t still knit.
She arose from her chair and walked into the room that had always been her sewing room and pulled open a drawer filled with yarn-many colors right at her fingertips. She opened another drawer and discovered she still had the necessary needles.
Helen walked slowly back into the living room and picked up her phone. Susan, the church secretary answered the phone, and Helen quickly asked who she needed to contact in order to volunteer to knit baby blankets for all the new babies in the church. Susan answered, “ Helen, that is a wonderful idea and by the way, would you consider also volunteering for our Prayer Hot Line? We really need people who are at home quite often so that they can be reached easily”.
Helen had always been obedient to pray for others but now she realized that the time was right for her to use her love of God and ability to communicate with Him to help others in need. Perhaps she would use her beautiful garden as her secret place for prayer. After all, we all know that when we are walking or sitting in our garden, Jesus is right there with us!
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