Two Gifts


One moment yesterday, and then one moment today after which you could just call my life complete and be done with it. How does one guy get two of these moments in a row?

I hope this doesn’t end up sounding like bragging. Though I wouldn’t put it past me, bragging is bad form. Plus, these stories are in no way indicative of my life in general – just a couple of aberrant events that show what I wish typified my life in general.

Yesterday, I did a CASA home visit. Three of the five kids were home with their momma, and we had a really nice visit. I got tons of attention from the baby, and eventually the kindergartener came to ask me how to spell my name. It took us a while, but he used a red pencil and wrote every letter down before heading off to the table with his paper. When it came time to leave, he ran over and tore off the part of the paper with my name printed in red and his name written in blue for me to take and keep. I told him it was instantly one of my greatest treasures. I told him this because it was instantly one of my greatest treasures. I’d sooner give up my car than that scrap of paper.

Today, I visited the nursing home. I found my friend, Mr. Flowers, sitting in the shade in a corner of the parking lot. Mr. Flowers is an old black man in a wheelchair, and if the world were a perfect place, it would be chock full of Mr. Flowerses. As always, he asked me for a “word of prayer,” and I responded with a real good one. He knew I came to see my buddy, Hezekiah, so after my prayer he gave me a cigarette to give to Hezekiah. “Tell him it’s a present from me.” Great, now I’m contributing to the delinquency of an invalid. Anyway, I spent some time with Hezekiah, delivered his new cigarette, and listened to his blaring radio with him. Eventually, I walked back outside to leave. On the way to my car I gave Mr. Flowers a wave and he motioned me over like he had really been waiting for me. When I went to see what he wanted, he excitedly said that he wanted to share a word of prayer with me! So, for the first time, when we held hands and closed our eyes I waited for him to pray. He said, “Amen God. Lord Jesus.” Um. That was it. And when I looked up he had that glimmer in his eye like he had just given me a most precious gift. And he had.

Life is good. And sometimes life really sucks. For that little boy yesterday and that old man today, life pretty much sucks all the time. And yet, over the past two days, they both gave me a gift – their two mites if you will.

I’m not sure about theirs, but those gifts made my life really good.

5 Responses to “Two Gifts”

  1. Michael Lasley Says:

    Thanks for the stories, Al.

    Not even heart-touching stories can pull us out the doldrums. That’s how bad things are around here.

  2. alsturgeon Says:

    Thanks, Mikey. I was happy, but now I’m all sad. 😦

  3. Terry A. Says:

    You guys know Al makes all this stuff up, right?

    There’s no moral imperative holding him back now. What’s the church gonna do, fire him? “Al, we’re going to let you go for telling all these false terribles. You’ll just have to move to Malibu a few weeks early. That’ll teach you.”

  4. alsturgeon Says:

    Uh-oh. So the word is out now. Thanks, Terry.

  5. Terry A. Says:

    Uneasy rests the head that wears the crown of my friendship.

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