Today I'm going to reveal to you the author of this beautiful poem who wanted to remain anonymous. I've kept her secret for many years, even after she passed away, but her poem is so beautiful I want you to see the soul of this beautiful person through her writings. I'll save her name until the end.
You say you talk with God and perhaps you do.
Is it to ask for things He can do for you?
Or do you get on your knees and really pray,
God, what can I do for you this day?
Is your talk with God a one-sided talk?
Or do you ask him for a spiritual walk?
By nature we are born a selfish lot,
Always seeking for more than we've got.
Paul said to die of self so Jesus might live,
That's hard to do because then we must give;
So when you talk with God don't forget to say,
"Lord, what will you have me do for you this day?"
You say you talk with God and perhaps you do,
Have you ever listened to what He's saying to you?
This beautiful poem was written by Angie Luce, my cousin and friend. We were night hawks. I'd call her up between 11:30 and midnight and I'd ask, "Ange, do you want to laugh?" And we'd laugh and discuss things. She always asked me where I got my energy. She said her idea of penance was being tied to my waist for a week and having to follow me.
There should be more people like her. Her father lived to be 100 years old and she took care of him until the end. She started a Bible study in her home. First she asked the priest if it was okay to have people from other religions in it. He said OK, so she opened her heart, her house, and her Bible to everyone.
You know, it's easy to talk a good game, but do you live it? She was always doing for others. That's a great way to be! It's so rewarding. You know, it's almost selfish, because you get so much out of it, but that's a good kind of selfishness.
I like the saying "Jesus is the root. The good works are the fruit. The fruit is for others, not the tree."
Do you talk to Jesus? Let me tell you about one of my talks. On one of our trips to Sicily I was coming down a steep street and I pulled something in my knee. That knee swelled right up. When we got home, I went to see my doctor to check it out. She decided to try medication before checking it out. The pills made me sick so I stopped taking them. I prayed to Jesus to touch my knee and shape it up. Then I added, "And check the left knee, too. Make sure they match." Be sure to be specific when you pray!
Here's a little story I like. Just in case you missed it, it goes like this:
There was a painter who came up with an idea to save time and money and make more money. He called his workers together and said to them: "I've come up with a way to save money and we'll be able to do more jobs. We're going to thin the paint. This way it will go on faster and we'll use less paint." That night one of the painters couldn't sleep. He knew this was dishonest. Finally, he fell asleep. In his dreams, he heard a deep voice say, "Repaint, you thinner."
When we, at Christmas time, turn all of our attention to Santa Claus, aren't we cheating Jesus? Can't we say Santa Claus is helping Jesus spread joy among the people? Don't forget whose birthday it is. Merry Christmas!
Margaret Valone is a Fredonia resident. Send comments on this column to firstname.lastname@example.org