The following posts
were sent to Homespun
by the Inspiration
The Cab Ride
Twenty years ago, I
drove a cab for a living. It was a cowboy's life,
a life for someone who wanted no boss. What I
didn't realize was that it was also a ministry.
Because I drove the night shift, my cab became a
moving confessional. Passengers climbed in, sat
behind me in total anonymity, and told me about
their lives. I encountered people whose lives
amazed me, ennobled me, made me laugh and weep.
But none touched me
more than a woman I picked up late one August
night. I was responding to a call from a small
brick fourplex in a quiet part of town. I
assumed I was being sent to pick up some partying
people, or someone who had just had a fight with
a lover, or a worker heading to an early shift at
some factory for the industrial part of town.
When I arrived at
2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a
single light in a ground floor window. Under such
circumstances, many drivers just honk once or
twice, wait a minute, then drive away. But I had
seen too many impoverished people who depended on
taxis as their only means of transportation.
Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always
went to the door. This passenger might be someone
who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So
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 80s stood
before me. She was wearing a print dress and a
pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like
somebody 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.
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.
nothing," I told her. "I just try
to treat my passengers the way I would want my
such a good boy," she said. When we got in
the cab, she gave me an address, then asked,
"Can 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."
reached over and shut off the meter. "What
route would you like me to take?" I
For the next two
hours, we drove through the city. She showed me
the building where 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 would sit
staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first
hint of 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
"Nothing," I said.
"You have to
make a living," she answered.
other passengers," I responded.
without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She
held onto me tightly.
gave an old woman a little moment of joy,"
you." I squeezed her hand, 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
".....And their eyes were opened and they
I ran into a stranger as he passed by,
"Oh excuse me please" was my reply.
He said, "Please excuse me too;
I wasn't watching for you."
We were very polite, this stranger and I.
We went on our way and we said good-bye.
But at home a different story is told,
How we treat our loved ones, young and old.
Later that day, cooking the evening meal,
My son stood beside me very still.
When I turned, I nearly knocked him down.
"Move out of the way," I said with a
He walked away, his little heart broken.
I didn't realize how harshly I'd spoken.
While I lay awake that night in my bed,
God's still small voice came to me and said,
"While dealing with a stranger, common
courtesy you use,
but the children you love, you seem to abuse.
Go and look on the kitchen floor,
You'll find some flowers there by the door.
Those are the flowers he brought for you.
He picked them himself: pink, yellow and blue.
He stood very quietly not to spoil the surprise.
You never saw the tears that filled his little
By this time, I felt very small,
And now my tears began to fall.
I quietly went and knelt by his bed;
"Please wake up, little one," I said.
"Are these the flowers you picked for
He smiled, "I found 'em out by the tree.
I picked 'em because they're pretty like you.
I knew you'd like 'em, especially the blue."
I said, "Son, I'm very sorry for the way I
I shouldn't have yelled at you that way."
He said, "Oh, Mom, that's okay. I love you
I said, "Son, I love you too,
and I do like the flowers, especially the
Are you aware that if we died tomorrow, the
company that we are working for could easily
replace us in a matter of days. But the family we
left behind will feel the loss for the rest of
their lives. And come to think of it, we pour
ourselves more into work than to our own family
an unwise investment indeed, don't you think?
So what is behind
Do you know what the word FAMILY means?
FAMILY=(F)ATHER (A)ND (M)OTHER, (I) (L)OVE (Y)OU!
Things Wanted -
Go placidly amid 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 own 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 not this blind you to what
virtue there is; many persons strive for high
ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially do not feign affection. Neither be
cynical about love, for in the face of all
aridity and disenchantment it is as 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
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, and 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 labors and aspirations in
the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your
With all its sham,
drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a
beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy!
Written by a Monk
"Can I see my
baby?" the happy new mother asked. When the
bundle was nestled in her arms and she moved the
fold of cloth to look upon his tiny face, she
gasped. The doctor turned quickly and looked out
the tall hospital window. The baby had been born
Time proved that the baby's hearing was perfect.
It was only his appearance that was marred. When
he rushed home from school one day and flung
himself into his mother's arms, she sighed,
knowing that his life was to be a succession of
heartbreaks. He blurted out the tragedy. "A
boy, a big boy...called me a freak."
He grew up, handsome for his misfortune. A
favorite with his fellow students, he might have
been class president, but for that. He developed
a gift, a talent for literature and music.
"You might mingle with other young
people," his mother reproved him, but felt a
tenderness in her heart.
The boy's father had a session with the family
physician. Could nothing be done? "I believe
I could graft on a pair of outer ears, if they
could be procured" the doctor decided.
Whereupon the search began for a person who would
make such a sacrifice for a young man.
Two years went by.
Then, "You are going to the hospital, son.
Mother and I have someone who will donate the
ears you need. But it's a secret" said the
The operation was a brilliant success, and a new
person emerged. His talents blossomed into
genius, and school and college became a series of
Later he married and entered the diplomatic
service. "But I must know!" he urged
his father. "Who gave so much for me? I
could never do enough for him."
"I do not believe you could," said the
father, "but the agreement was that you are
not to know...not yet."
The years kept their profound secret, but the day
did come... one of the darkest days that ever
pass through a son. He stood with his father over
his mother's casket. Slowly, tenderly, the father
stretched forth a hand and raised the thick,
reddish-brown hair to reveal... that the mother
had no outer ears. "Mother said she was glad
she never let her hair be cut," he whispered
gently, "and nobody ever thought mother less
beautiful, did they?"
Real beauty lies not in the physical appearance,
but in the heart.
Real treasure lies not in what can be seen,
but what cannot be seen.
Real love lies not in what is done and known,
but in what is done but not known.
Does Prayer Change
Does Prayer Change
They say that prayer changes things, but does it
REALLY change anything?
Oh yes! It really does!
Does prayer change your present situation or
No, not always, but it does change the way you
look at those events.
Does prayer change your financial future?
No, not always, but it does change who you look
to for meeting your daily needs.
Does prayer change shattered hearts or broken
No, not always, but it will change your source of
strength and comfort.
Does prayer change your wants and desires?
No, not always, but it will change your wants
into what God desires!
Does prayer change how you view the world?
No, not always, but it will change whose eyes you
see the world through.
Does prayer change your regrets from the past?
No, not always, but it will change your hopes for
Does prayer change the people around you?
No, not always, but it will change you~the
problem isn't always in others.
Does prayer change your life in ways you can't
Oh, yes, always! And it will change you from the
So does prayer REALLY change ANYTHING?
Yes! It REALLY does change EVERYTHING!
This page was last
updated February 6, 2003.