Monday, November 07, 2005

Journal of a Living Lady #261

Journal of a Living Lady #261

Nancy White Kelly

A fine Christian gentleman and long-time Presbyterian pastor passed away a few months ago. Last week I met his charming widow. As can be expected, she is having difficulty adjusting to life without her long-time partner. Her eyes became misty as she recalled how her husband had helped pick out the family cat. That cat had become a great source of comfort during lonely days.

Her frail voice quivered as she went on to say that her beloved cat was recently killed by a neighbor’s dog. I gave her a hug. It was all I could give to help alleviate her obvious pain.

Probably it was a good thing that the neighbor’s dog wasn’t close by. As much as I love animals myself, I might have clobbered that dog for bringing such grief to such a precious little lady.

The widow withdrew from my embrace. Feeling comfortable with our budding camaraderie, she began sharing other distressing events in her life.

Yard work had become the lady’s therapy. She spent many hours outside pruning, planting, and mulching. One sunny day a transient neighbor stopped to speak and asked if she could use the bathroom.

“Of course,” she replied, motioning for the neighbor to go on inside. The guest was in the house only a few minutes. She thanked the widow, got into her car, smiled, waved, and then drove away. The widow lady got busy again with her gardening.

Several days later she discovered that someone had been using her credit card…BIG TIME. The widow remembered the visiting neighbor.

Apparently this widow had laid her credit card by the phone to make a contribution to a nationally-known TV preacher. The phone number that she was dialing stayed continuously busy. Wanting to return to her gardening, my friend left the card by the phone with intention to call later. It was shortly after that the itinerant neighbor had unexpectantly dropped by. In that brief interim, it seems that the neighbor left with a valuable, rectangular, plastic card. Charges have been brought against the neighbor. Forthcoming investigation revealed that the widow was not the only one scammed.

The lady ended our conversation with a shrug of her shoulders. “Probably the Lord was trying to teach me something.” She said. “I wish I could figure it all out.”

“I think I know what the Lord is teaching, “I said, forgetting the good advice to think before you speak.

“Yes, Mam,” I answered. “First, God is telling you that dogs and cats don’t bond well.   Secondly, He is telling you to never leave an unattended credit card in view of a stranger.”

My own frankness startled me. But maybe it helped. The little lady’s face lit up like the proverbial light bulb. I think she got it.

Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees.