Psalm 90:12-17, The Message, tells us,
“Oh! Teach us to live well!
Teach us to live wisely and well!
Come back, God—how long do we have to wait?—
and treat your servants with kindness for a change.
Surprise us with love at daybreak;
then we’ll skip and dance all the day long.
Make up for the bad times with some good times;
we’ve seen enough evil to last a lifetime.
Let your servants see what you’re best at—
the ways you rule and bless your children.
And let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us,
confirming the work that we do.
Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do!”
The longer I live, the more I sense God wooing me to Him, calling me to gain a heart of wisdom.
WE ONLY GET ONE CHANCE TO LIVE AND TO LOVE!
THE CAB RIDE
I walked to the door and knocked. “Just a minute,”answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.
After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her nineties stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like someone out of a 1940’s movie.
By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.
There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
“Would you carry my bag out to the car?” she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.
She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.
She kept thanking me for my kindness. “It’s nothing, “I told her. “I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated.”
“Oh, you’re such a good boy,”she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, and then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?”
“It’s not the shortest way, “I answered quickly.
“Oh, I don’t mind,” she said…”I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.”
I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. “I don’t have any family left,”she continued. “The doctor says I don’t have very long.” I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.
“What route would you like to take.” I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building she had once worked as an elevator operator.
We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.
Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and we would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of the sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, “I’m tired. Let’s go now.”
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.
Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.
I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
“How much do I owe you?” she asked, reaching into her purse.
“Nothing,” I said.
“You have to make a living,”she answered.
“There are other passengers.” I responded.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.
“You gave an old woman a little moment of JOY.” she said.
I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.
I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift?
What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?
On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life.
We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.
But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.
PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID, ~BUT~
THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.
“WE CAN DO SMALL THINGS WITH GREAT LOVE.” Mother Teresa