Knotty Musings

Ideas, philosophies, and evil plots to take over the world through love hatched here.

I Am Enough

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people
won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,

we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically
liberates others." ~ Marianne Williamson

Remove the Nots

Remove the Nots

Sunday, January 31, 2010

What If I Don't Know My Spouse's Love Language?

Help! I Don't Know My Spouse's Love Language

Do you know your love language? Do you know the love language of your spouse? Many couples are sincere. They love each other, but they are not speaking the right love language. My research indicates that there are only five basic languages of love.

1. Words of Affirmation - using words to affirm your spouse.
2. Gifts - the gift is evidence that you were thinking about them.
3. Acts of Service - doing something for your spouse that you know they would like.
4. Quality Time- giving your spouse your undivided attention.
5.Physical Touch - holding hands, kissing, embracing, putting your hand on their shoulder; any touch so long as it is affirming.

Out of these five, each of us has a primary love language. One of these speaks more deeply emotionally than the others. If you don't speak the primary love language of your spouse he/she may not feel loved, even when you are speaking the others.

What does your spouse do or say that hurts you most deeply?

The thing that hurts you most deeply is probably a clue to your love language. It may not be what they do or say, but rather what they fail to do or say. One wife said, "He never lifts a hand to help me around the house. He watches television while I do all the work. I don't understand how he could do that if he really loved me." Her love language is acts of service. In her mind, if you love someone, you do things to help them. For her, actions speak louder than words.

However, for others, words may speak louder than actions. One husband said, "All she ever does is criticize me. I don't know why she married me. It's obvious she doesn't love me." For him if you love someone, you speak kindly to them. His love language is words of affirmation. That is why her critical words hurt him so deeply.

If you want to discover your spouses' love language you might ask: What is it that I do or say, or fail to do or say that hurts you most deeply? Their answer will reveal their love language.

What does your spouse most often request of you?

What your spouse requests of you most often, is a clue to his/her love language. You may have interpreted their requests as nagging. In fact, they have been telling you what makes them feel loved.

If your spouse is requesting that you take a walk after dinner, go with them on a picnic, cut the TV off and talk, or get a weekend away together, they are requesting quality time. That is his/her primary love language. The thing that makes them feel most loved is when they have your undivided attention.

One wife said, "I feel neglected and unloved because seldom does he spend time with me. He gives me nice gifts on my birthday and wonders why I'm not excited about them. Gifts mean little when you don't feel loved." Her husband was sincere, but he was not speaking her love language. He later said, "if I had known that sitting on the couch talking with her was more important than gifts, I could have saved a lot of money." Discover the love language of your spouse if you want a growing marriage.

How does your spouse most often express love to you.

Observe their love expressions carefully. Is it Words of affirmation? Gifts? Acts of Service? Quality time? Or, Physical Touch? The way they express love to you is likely the way they wish you would express love to them.

If he is often hugging and kissing you, his love language is probably physical touch. He wishes you would take initiative to hug and kiss him. If she is always cooking meals, washing and folding your clothes, cleaning up the bathroom after you leave, then her love language is probably acts of service. She wishes that you would help her with the work around the house. If you don't, then she feels unloved. For her, your taking out the garbage is more important than your hugs and kisses. One husband said, "If I had known that my taking out the garbage would make her feel loved and more responsive sexually, I would have been taking out the garbage years ago." Too bad it took him so many years to learn his wife's primary love language.

What does your spouse complain about most often?

What your spouse complains about reveals his/her love language. We usually interpret their complaints as negative criticism, but they are actually giving us valuable information. Complaints reveal the heart.

If your spouse says, "We don't every spend time together. We're like two ships passing in the dark." They are telling you that quality time is their love language and their love tank is setting on empty.

If your spouse says, "I don't think you would ever touch me if I didn't initiate it." They are revealing that physical touch is their love language.

If you return from a business trip and your spouse says, "You mean you didn't bring me anything?" They are telling you that gifts is their love language and they can't believe that you came home empty-handed.

If your spouse complains, "I don't ever do anything right." They are telling you that words of affirmation is their love language and they are not hearing those words from you.

If they say, "If you loved me, then you would help me." They are shouting that their love language is acts of service. Discover and speak the love language of your spouse if you want a growing marriage.
Adapted from The 5 Love Languages The Secret to Love that Last by Dr. Gary Chapman

Step Back

"Step back!"
By Bob Perks

I love watching football. I'm just not
up on all the terms. I simply love the
idea of it. I love to see a pass thrown so
precisely that the receiver doesn't even
have to look until the last second, just
show up at the designated
spot and open their arms.
Oh, if life was that way!
In a sense it is.
Make a game plan.
Follow through.
Be where you are supposed to be, when you
you are supposed to be.
Be receptive and flexible enough to adjust.
Be aware that others will be there, too, ready to
get what you want before you do or stop you from
If you fail, try again.
Listen to "The Quarterback and Coach."
When all odds are against you, play like you're the best.
Even when others appear to be winning, play like you still
have a chance. You do.
Work as a team. When one scores, everyone does.
I love this one. In order to get ahead you have to step back.
The quarterback does it all the time. The ball is on the line
of scrimmage, but gets sent back in order to move ahead.

Yes, doing so sometimes causes loss of yardage, but
like in life, you'll never get ahead without stepping back to
see where you want to go.
If you want to get ahead, step back.

"I wish you enough!"
Bob Perks
I encourage you to share my stories but
I do ask that you keep my name and contact
information with my work.
P.O. Box 1702
Shavertown, Pa. 18708
Contact Bob

If you would like to receive Bob's Inspirational
stories, please visit
and submit your email address.

"I Wish You enough!"
© 2001 Bob Perks
I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear
much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough "Hello's" to get you through the final "Goodbye."

Enlarging Our Vision

This post really sums up the thoughts I have about advocating for those less fortunate. Please take the time to read it.

by Bob Perks

"You are the sum total of everything you believe and see in the world," I said.

I was speaking to a small group recently, sharing my thoughts and ideas for the new year. I went on to urge everyone to look for the opportunity to see life in the details.

"For having spent this time together today, we are now a little bit more than we were yesterday," I concluded. "You are now a part of me wherever I go."

As it happens after every talk I share, people come up to offer their kind words and general comments and ask a few questions. From experience, I know that some will be brief and some, well, they will dominate the little time I have until the next speaker takes the podium. I make every attempt to speak to each person waiting, even if I must take them out to the hallway in order to permit the meeting to go on.

Eye contact is key. I try to "see what they are saying." Keeping a promise I made to myself, I did speak with about a dozen people that day. I managed to speak with all the people in the line, but as I was gathering my notes, I heard someone say, "It's also what you didn't see."

I looked around and saw no one. Shrugging it off, I continued my effort to collect myself.

I picked up my belongings and turned quickly, nearly running into a man standing directly behind me.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't know you were there, my friend," I said.

"I didn't mean to startle you," he said. "I heard your talk."

"Oh, thanks for being there."

"It's also what you didn't see," he said.

Not having any idea what that meant, I looked over my glasses and paused for a second before asking, "What didn't I see?"

"You said, ‘You are the sum total of everything you believe and see in the world,’" he explained, "but I believe it's more about what you don't see."

I asked him to explain. "It's easy to say that we need to see life in the details, but we must also learn what to look for."

He was right. "So you’re saying we are what we choose to see," I said.

"Yes, and your job is to help us learn what to look for," he added. He then shook my hand, placed his hand on my shoulder, smiled, and walked away.

I sat down and thought about what he said. I thought about the many things we don’t see:

It's easy to see the light, but we need to value the darkness, too. There we will find the lost and lonely who are always left behind.

Anyone can find a rose in a field of dandelions, praise its beauty, and bathe in its perfume, but who will see the value in what appears to be weeds?

We can celebrate the first one to cross the finish line, but who will see the magnificent effort of the one who finished last?

We can stand in awe of the master architects who built the Taj Mahal, but who is moved by the maintenance workers who clean it and make it shine daily?

We can climb to the top of a mountain and congratulate ourselves for having accomplished the feat. But who sees the miracle in the creation of both us and the mountain?

Yes, we are the sum total of all we believe, all we choose to see, and all we don't.

Maybe we are given just one day at a time to live but many chances to see it differently. The question to ask ourselves is, “What have I been missing?”

Friday, January 29, 2010

Now Is The Time

"Now is the time"
by Bob Perks

Now is the time to set my sails
to harness the wind and run the rails
And if that wind won't blow for me
I'll capture the sun to set me free.
If perhaps the sun won't shine,
I'll lasso the moon and make it mine.
For there's nothing I'm told that I can't do.
God said, "If it's going to be it's up to you!"
"I wish you enough!"
Bob Perks

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Time To Act

by Jim Rohn

Engaging in genuine discipline requires that you develop the ability to take action. You don’t need to be hasty if it isn’t required, but you don’t want to lose much time either. Here’s the time to act: when the idea is hot and the emotion is strong.

Let’s say you would like to build your library. If that is a strong desire for you, what you’ve got to do is get the first book. Then get the second book. Take action as soon as possible, before the feeling passes and before the idea dims. If you don’t, here’s what happens…


We intend to take action when the idea strikes us. We intend to do something when the emotion is high. But if we don’t translate that intention into action fairly soon, the urgency starts to diminish. A month from now the passion is cold. A year from now it can’t be found.

So take action. Set up a discipline when the emotions are high and the idea is strong, clear and powerful. If somebody talks about good health and you’re motivated by it, you need to get a book on nutrition. Get the book before the idea passes, before the emotion gets cold. Begin the process. Fall on the floor and do some push-ups. You’ve got to take action; otherwise the wisdom is wasted. The emotion soon passes unless you apply it to a disciplined activity. Discipline enables you to capture the emotion and the wisdom and translate them into action. The key is to increase your motivation by quickly setting up the disciplines. By doing so, you’ve started a whole new life process.

Here is the greatest value of discipline: self-worth, also known as self-esteem. Many people who are teaching self-esteem these days don’t connect it to discipline. But once we sense the least lack of discipline within ourselves, it starts to erode our psyche. One of the greatest temptations is to just ease up a little bit. Instead of doing your best, you allow yourself to do just a little less than your best. Sure enough, you’ve started in the slightest way to decrease your sense of self-worth.

There is a problem with even a little bit of neglect. Neglect starts as an infection. If you don’t take care of it, it becomes a disease. And one neglect leads to another. Worst of all, when neglect starts, it diminishes our self-worth.

Once this has happened, how can you regain your self-respect? All you have to do is act now! Start with the smallest discipline that corresponds to your own philosophy. Make the commitment: “I will discipline myself to achieve my goals so that in the years ahead I can celebrate my successes.”

To Your Success,
Jim Rohn

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Change Is Gonna Come

Hello friends,

I have been swamped so please forgive me for not checking in more often.

There are tons of things going on, so where to start:

Well, I've been working on getting healthier this year which means more movement and better meals. I'm educating myself and walking with a friend every day at work. This week I'll be kicking it up a notch and adding a morning "get sweating" workout.

Classes are going OK: I have a term paper in progress on the power of positive thinking versus sarcasm as ego boosters. It has been interesting reading.

I am changing my major to Human Service so I begin Intro to Human Svc next quarter. I value the critical reasoning and organizational skills that Legal Assisting has taught me but it won't get me where I want to be and that is close to those who need a hand up and someone to believe in them to turn their lives around. I am set to launch an ageout aftercare outreach program for emancipated foster care youth (my idea, my time, my efforts on the line - lots of phone calls, community meetings and research later) there is a program and coalition of churches and persons committed to this.

Here is the mission statement:

MISSION STATEMENT: Persons Becoming Inc., provides transitional support for foster children who have aged out of the system. Persons Becoming offers cooking classes, budgeting classes, basic needs for a first apartment or dorm room ie., towels, food storage containers, basic dishes, silverware, cleaning supplies, etc.

"And he will answer, 'I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.' Matthew 25:45

I have a new photography theme for this year: I'll be doing churches and rescued handiwork this year.

So lots of things in the frying pan but I'm glad to be able to learn, grow and become.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I Want To Be A Mountain

I Want to be a Mountain
Michael Smith

The year drew to a close. What would I accomplish in next?

I looked up at the mountains in the distance. They were white now. Not long ago,
they were brown. In the eighteen months I've lived in Idaho, I've had the opportunity
watch the cycle of seasons make their changes on these mountains that I never tire of

My first sight of them came in September of 2008. The sides of the mountains
were painted green with the leaves of sage brush. The days moved on. The weather
cooled and the rain didn't fall. The leaves browned. The mountain changed.

Fall gave way to winter. I stood in the rain and watched the top of the
mountains turn a dazzling white. Each week the snow crept further down the slopes
and long before the first snows fell in the valley, the mountains were covered with fresh
powder. When the sun set, the lights on the ski slopes lit the side of the mountains a
dazzling white at night. I'm not a skier, but I imagined the excitement of speeding down
the side of those mountains - free, fast, and thrilled.

Winter turned to spring. The snow in the valley disappeared and made its
retreat up the slopes until it was gone once again. As the weeks passed, the green in
the valley flowed steadily up the slopes like a reversed waterfall. The mountains
were as I first saw them, green and lush.

On this New Years Eve, the mountains are white again. On New Years Day
they will be peppered with the dark dots of the distance skiers as they daringly
fall down it's slopes.

I saw so many changes, but were they changes? The mountains are never
changing. Like people, they only changed coats to fit the weather. They didn't
allow outside influences to alter what lie beneath their coats of changing colors.
They were always the same. You could have faith in them.

I'm in my third season of life. A little snow is gathering at my peak. Some of the
sage brush is gone all together. My clothing changed to fit my season. Next year and all
my years to follow, I want to be as constant as a mountain. Although my looks change,
I want to be reliable. My body will change coats many times, but when my day is
done, I want people to say, "No matter what the seasons of life brought, he never changed
inside. He never allowed the pressures of the seasons or the weathers of life to change
what he was underneath. He was a mountain you could rely on to watch over those
who looked up to him."

For this New Year and all the New Years that I have left, whether it is at my job,
at home, or with friends, I want to be a mountain.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

ABC's of Motivation

ABC's of Motivation

A void negative sources, people, places, things and habits.

B elieve in yourself.

C onsider things from every angle.

D on't give up and don't give in.

E njoy life today, yesterday is gone, tomorrow may never come.

F amily and friends are hidden treasures; enjoy their riches.

G ive more than you planned to.

H ang on to your dreams.

I gnore those who try to discourage you.

J ust do it.

K eep trying no matter how hard it seems, it will get easier.

L ove yourself first and most.

M ake it happen.

N ever lie, cheat or steal, always strike a fair deal.

O pen your eyes and see things as they really are.

P ractice makes perfect.

Q uitters never win and winners never quit.

R ead, study and learn about
Everything important in your life.

S top procrastinating.

T ake control of your own destiny.

U nderstand yourself in order to better understand others.

V isualize it.

W ant it more than anything.

X cellerate your efforts.

Y ou are unique of all God's creations, nothing can replace YOU.

Z ero in on your target and go for it!

"What it is"
By Bob Perks

I've discovered something important. I don't think it
is earth shaking. Still, once I realized it, I suddenly
began to understand my life a little better.

This all came about because of recent health issues
both Marianne and I have been facing.

In an effort to understand what was wrong, we were
actually discovering what was not.

Confused? So was I until my wife and I found ourselves
in the emergency room again. It was then that we both
discovered it and began laughing hysterically.

After all our testing, poking and prodding the doctors could
not tell us what was wrong, they could only eliminate all
things that were right.

Our conversations with our doctors both ended the same
way. They have no idea what was causing these things
to happen, only what wasn't causing them.

Now, before any of my medical "friends I've never met" try
emailing me to explain this, I want you to know that
we really do understand. We were tested for the major
concerns so that they could be eliminated immediately.

That's a good thing.

Still, there are no explanations for why they happened. So,
they say, "Everything came back normal." We, in turn, say
"Great!" and then go on with our lives.

The problem is we still want to know "What it is."

When I asked one doctor should I be concerned, he replied
"If it happens again."

I was concerned that it happen once, where did that get me?

Here's what I've learned from this.

This same thing happens in life. People want answers, most
of the time have them, but don't like them because they take
some effort and want something easier to solve the problem.

1. If you are unhappy in marriage.
2. If you're job is physically, slowly, killing you, interfering with
your family life/marriage.
3. If you are over weight.
4. If you always wanted to do ...whatever.

There is only one answer. Ask yourself, "What is it that I am
NOT willing to do?"

Don't list all the things you're doing because they haven't
changed a thing. Look at what you are NOT willing to do.

That may very well be the answer.

The answer for my wife and I has been known to us for a long time.
We both need to begin to eat, live, and think healthy. Our
lifestyle is killing us. It's just too easy to live the lifestyle of "who cares?"
We were NOT willing to exercise, choose healthy habits. That
takes effort. Poor health doesn't.

So, our problem was we knew we were not doing the right thing
and the result was finding ourselves in the ER asking "What

They, in turn, told us what didn't happen.
If you are unhappy, over weight, if your job is killing
know "what it is" that's doing it. YOU!

"I wish you enough!"
Bob Perks
I encourage you to share my stories but
I do ask that you keep my name and contact
information with my work.

If you would like to receive Bob's Inspirational
stories, please visit
and submit your email address.
"I Wish You enough!"
© 2001 Bob Perks
I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear
much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough "Hello's" to get you through the final "Goodbye."

P.O. Box 1702
Shavertown, Pa. 18708
Contact Bob

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Long Winter

I thought all of you might enjoy seeing what we've been dealing with. This is the effect of 34.7 inches of snow since December 6th! Yes you read that correctly.

This is what my house and yard look like right now. Lord help us when all of the snow starts melting. Roofing, guttering, and basement waterproofers will be veryyyyyyy busy!

I've had the basement and the roof done but have the feeling that I will regret that the gutters need work done.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Promise From The Frozen Tundra

Hello friends,

We are frozen and waddling around like oompa loompas in our layers here in the midwest. The temp right now is -26 degrees with a windchill of -45 and very ice roads. So far this winter we have 33.7 inches of snow which is more than we usually have in any given winter. So it's pretty brutal.

Yet in the midst of it all, there is beauty. This is the view I had on the way to work this morning. This is a sundog, a phenomenon that happens when it is very cold and a cool reminder of God's promise in the midst of it all.

Here is Wikipedia's description of what causes sundogs:

A sun dog or sundog (scientific name parhelion, plural parhelia, from "beside the sun"; also called a mock sun) is an atmospheric phenomenon that creates bright spots of light in the sky, often on a luminous ring or halo on either side of the sun.[1]

Sundogs may appear as a colored patch of light to the left or right of the sun, 22° (or more) distant and at the same distance above the horizon as the sun, and in ice halos. They can be seen anywhere in the world during any season. In Europe and North America, they might be seen as often as twice a week but they are not always obvious or bright. They are best seen and are most conspicuous when the sun is low.

Let Me Not

“Let me not hurt, by any selfish

deed Or thoughtless word, the heart

of foe or friend; Nor would I pass, unseeing,

worthy need, Or sin by silence when

I should defend... 'The world

is better that I lived to-day.'”

—Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850–1919)

Adventure With Grandma

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid. I
Remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big
Sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even
Dummies know that!"

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day
Because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told
The truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier
When swallowed with one of her world-famous cinnamon buns. I knew they were
World-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her
Everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus!" she snorted. "Ridiculous!
Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes
Me mad, plain mad. Now, put on your coat, and let's go."

"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second
World-famous, cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General
Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we
Walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle
In those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it.

I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.

I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but
Never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and
Crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For
A few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill,
Wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for.

I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the
Kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about thought out,

When I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath
And messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs.Pollock' s grade-two class.
Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out for recess
During the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he
Had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough, and
He didn't have a coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement.
I would buy Bobby Decker a coat!

I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm,
And he would like that. "Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady

Behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. "Yes," I
Replied shyly. "It's .... For Bobby." The nice lady smiled at me. I didn't get

Any change, but she put the coat in a bag and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat in Christmas paper and
Ribbons (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her
And wrote on the package, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" -- Grandma said that Santa
Always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house,
Explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially one of Santa's

Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept
Noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk Then Grandma gave me
A nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going."

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on
His step, pounded his doorbell and flew back to the safety of the bushes and
Grandma. Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door
To open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.

Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering,
Beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that
Those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they
Were: ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

I still have the Bible, with the tag tucked inside: $19.95.

============ ========= ========= =

He who has no Christmas in his heart will never find Christmas under
A tree.

Sunday, January 3, 2010



by Max Ehlrmann (1948 and 1967)

Go placidly among the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself.

Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the Universe; no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham and drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Whatever You Did Not Do Unto the Least of Them

© Paulissa Kipp

When I was out shopping yesterday, I saw a homeless person over by the Ace Hardware on 90th. He was wrapped in a coat and further bundled against the frigid cold by a heavy blanket. Nowhere in sight were things like a hat, scarf, gloves or mitten or shoes. At first I thought he might be waiting for the bus, though he was quite a ways from the stop if that were the case. I went into the store and did my shopping but the image of this man huddled against the cold burnished itself into my mind. I came across a rack with hat, mittens and scarves on clearance and bought one of each. I keep an extra pair of socks in the car in case I get stuck in the snow; I grabbed those out of the storage bin and approached the man.

His face was raw and wind burnt, lined by harsh weather and the years. A tear ran down his cheek. I touched him on the shoulder and said, "Sir you must be very cold. I hope these items will warm you. Would you care to join me for a cup of coffee and warm yourself?"

"You've warmed my heart just by stopping but a cup of coffee would be a treat", he said.

I got the car and pulled up beside him and watched him limp a bit as I helped him into the car. "Got that in the war. It acts up more when it's cold outside".

We went into the grocery store and took a seat at a booth in the restaurant. I ordered us both coffee and breakfast. The breakfast special arrived, 2 eggs over easy, toast, and hash browns. The man bowed his head before digging in and then said, "Do you believe in entertaining angels unaware?"

"I do", I said. "I think there are some who look at me and look through me as though by looking away or past me, they can make what is uncomfortable go away" he sighed. He wrapped the toast in his napkin, placed the package tenderly in his pocket, and said "For later".

"Would you like me to take you somewhere warm? You shouldn't be out so long in the cold."

"Yes, but I'd like to wash up a little first. If you'd excuse me." He slowly rose and shuffled to the restroom.

Meanwhile, I thought about he said as I paid our check. He's been in there a long time, I thought. Fifteen passed before I asked a waiter to please go and check on the older gentleman that had been sitting with me. The waiter returned and said, "I don't see him, ma'am."

"Surely he didn't disappear into thin air! Could you please check again?" I said.

The waiter walked off and returned a short time later. "I'm sorry, miss but he isn't there."

As I gathered my things, my eyes fell upon a crumpled, dirty piece of paper on his seat. I slowly opened it, afraid of invading the man's privacy though I didn't know where he went.

Three words jumped off the page; there were no more. "You are beautiful".

Yes sir, you are.