Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Actions Speak Louder than Words" (without using the actual phrase). (02/21/08)
TITLE: SHOW UP AND DO
By Paul Potenza
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At a funeral I overheard the following statement about a million times:
"If there's anything I can do, just call me."
I never called one of those people.
Now I just show up. I don't ask any questions when I show up either. I just look around and do. If the lawn needs mowing I mow it. If the floor needs scrubbing I scrub it. If there's no smell of freshly cooked food in the house I go buy some and cook it. Then I wash the dishes and put them away.
While I'm doing, I tend to chat a bit and then shut up and listen a lot. If the conversation gets personal, I stop what I'm doing and sit and hold hands with the one who is doing the talking. Sometimes there are tears. Then hugs. Then promises that I'll be back and then I leave. Later I'll show up and start doing again.
It's not always after a funeral.
I live in a military community and lots of spouses are in Iraq. In those cases I'll show up and start mowing. Then I'll leave, often before anyone knows that I've been there. When I'm at home I'll get a knock on the door and a display of gratitude from a young bride whose husband is in harm's way. She usually wants to pay for the service rendered. I insist that she has already paid by loaning me her husband who has stepped into the gap to protect me. When the husband finally gets home, I usually get another appeal to accept payment which I decline. I am so humbled that a man can return from war and feel that he owes me anything more that I often start to cry.
Don't forget the old guy in the grocery store who is minus the one dollar it would take to buy his bread and ham so he could feed himself tonight. I just reach into my well blessed wallet and fork it over to the cashier who seems to have been so impatient with the poor fella for holding up the line. Somehow this seems to bring smiles and expressions of gratitude from all points.
The thing is that I know that I'm nothing special.
My name is Jesus.
I live in all the people who just show up and do.
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