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Posts tagged ‘stories’

Embrace Retards!


Ready to Be Touched

My high school buddy from the Stone Age, Doris, sent me a story today. It was written by a guy (no name available) who recalled an experience that stuck with him and changed him forever.

Did the title of this blog draw you in? Stay with me.

The story writer told about the way a young Downs Syndrome man impacted the hearts of all he touched. I was moved by the story – and decided it was too good to keep to myself. I hope it touches your heart, too.

Photo by Paul Efe on Pexels.com

Nicky’s Lesson for Us All

In 1979, I was managing a Wendy’s in Port Richey, Florida. Unlike today, staffing was never a real problem, but I was searching for a someone to work 3 hours a day only at lunch. I went thru all my applications and most were all looking for full time or at least 20 hours per week. I found one however, buried at the bottom of a four inch stack, that was only looking for lunch part time.

His name was Nicky. Hadn’t met him but thought I would give him a call and see if he could stop by for an interview. When I called, he wasn’t in but his mom said she would make sure he would be there. At the appointed time, Nicky walked in. One of those moments when my heart went in my throat. Nicky suffered from Downs Syndrome. His physical appearance was a giveaway and his speech only reinforced the obvious. I was young and very sheltered. Had never interacted on a professional level with a developmentally disabled person. I had no clue what to do, so I went ahead and interviewed him. He was a wonderful young man. Great outlook. Task focused. Excited to be alive. For only reasons God knew at that time, I hired him for 3 hours a day, 3 days a week to run a grill.

I let the staff know what to expect. Predictably the crew made sure I got the message, “No one wants to work with a retard.” To this day I find that word offensive. We had a crew meeting, cleared the air, and prepared for his arrival.

Nicky showed up for work right on time. He was so excited to be working. He stood at the time clock literally shaking with anticipation. He clocked in and started his training. Couldn’t multi-task, but was a machine on the grill.

Now for the fascinating part… Back in that day, there were no computer screens to work from. Every order was called out by the cashier. It required a great deal of concentration on the part of all production staff to get the order right. While Nicky was training during his first shift, the sandwich maker next to him asked the grillman/trainer what was on the next sandwich. Nicky replied, “single, no pickle no onion.” A few minutes later it happened again. It was then that we discovered Nicky had a hidden and valuable skill. He memorized everything he heard! Photographic hearing! WHAT A SKILL SET.

It took 3 days and every sandwich maker requested to work with Nicky. He immediately was accepted by the entire crew. After his shift he would join the rest of his crew family, drinking Coke like it was water! It was then that they discovered another Rainman-esque trait. Nicky was a walking/talking perpetual calendar! With a perpetual calendar as a reference, they would sit for hours asking him what day of the week was December 22, 1847. He never missed. This uncanny trait mesmerized the crew.

His mom would come in at 2 to pick him up. More times than not, the crew would be back there with him hamming it up. As I went to get him from the back, his mom said something I will never forget. “Let him stay there as long as he wants. He has never been accepted anywhere like he has been here.”

I excused myself and dried my eyes, humbled and broken-hearted at the lesson I just learned. Nicky had a profound impact on that store. His presence changed a lot of people. Today I believe with every fiber of my body that Nicky’s hiring was no accident. God’s timing and will are perfect.

This Christmas, I hope we all understand what we are celebrating. We are all like Nicky. We each have our shortcomings. We each have our strong points. But we are all of value. God made us that way and God doesn’t make mistakes. Nicky certainly wasn’t a mistake. He was a valuable gift that I am forever grateful for.

We are celebrating the birth of the ONE that leveled the playing field for all of us. God doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, republican or democrat, or black or white. He doesn’t care if your chromosome structure is perfect. He doesn’t care what level of education you have attained. He cares about your heart. He wants us all to love and appreciate the gift HE gave us on Christmas, His son, the Savior, our salvation. His Son that was born to die for our sins. To pay our debt. To provide us a path for eternity.

So this Christmas, let’s check our hearts. There is a little bit of Nicky in all of us and I suspect there is a Nicky somewhere in your life who is looking for the chance to be embraced. Thank God for that. Thank God for His perfect gift, Christ Jesus.

Merry Christmas!

Alice Paschal Nativity

Peering Down

Another of my high school friends, Kristy, sent me that sketch up there done by a 93-year-old friend of hers, Alice Paschal. What a wonderful rendition of that glorious Christmas Day! Like those two doves, my husband, Bob, and I are sitting in the rafters, peering down on that magical scene – marveling at the love Christ brought down to earth. Grateful for those who share His love in stories, words and actions.

Ready to Learn

May we all be like the workers in that restaurant long ago – ready to learn to love, learn to accept, learn to wrap our arms around the most vulnerable. May we learn to see one another through Jesus glasses, from the inside out.

I first posted this in December of 2020 … and here it is a year later … December of 2021 … and in many ways, we are more engulfed in the effects of COVID-19 now than we were then!

My New Years glasses

My resolution for 2020 was to “Walk the Talk.”
Little did I know when I created those
20/20 Perfect Vision glasses
January 1, 2020
what a challenge
that would be!

I posted the picture
of that little girl
in early January,
determined to talk less
and to do more.

Lenten Breakfast 2020

No Way of Knowing

I had no way of knowing when we celebrated the first of five planned Lenten breakfasts leading up to Easter that it would be our last. COVID-19 hit, our gatherings were shut down, and social distancing eliminated these opportunities.

Time

Time to read more,
time to think more,
time to reflect
on stories
like the one
at the top
of this blog.

I asked you, my WP readers,
“How will you spend
the rest of this 2020 year?
What will you do to
Walk the Talk
and
Show the Love of Christ
with those you meet?”

I asked you,
“Think about it.”

And here it is another year gone by,
still dealing with the effects of COVID-19,
and still asking the same questions.
still making the same requests:

And I still want you to know,
I love you.
I hope you have avoided
the ravages of the virus.
I hope you are well,
and looking forward to a
wonderful Christmas with loved ones.


Thanks for taking time to read
JanBeek.
I hope it inspires you.
Bee well!
Bee LOVE.

See ya tomorrow. (God willing)…

Embrace Angels


Do you believe in angels?
Do you have a Guardian Angel?

Fellow blogger,

A Star on the Forehead,

wrote the following on her post today:

“I remind myself of the agreement I have with my Guardian Angels.
They are allowed to take anyone and anything from my life
that it is not and will not be good for me.
No questions asked. It doesn’t need to make sense.”

Do you believe angels can actually work to save you from harm?

There is a story in the book of Acts about an angel who freed Peter from prison. It always has fascinated me. It’s hard to deny the presence of angels when you know things like this have happened:

Acts 12:5-17

Peter Freed from Prison

Peter was therefore kept in prison, but [a]constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were [b]keeping the prison. Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.” So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.

11 And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.”

12 So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying. 13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate. 15 But they said to her, “You are beside yourself!” Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, “It is his angel.”

16 Now Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. 17 But motioning to them with his hand to keep silent, he declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Go, tell these things to James and to the brethren.” And he departed and went to another place.

I asked Bob this morning, “Have you ever been saved by an angel?”

“Oh yes,” he replied without hesitation.

“When?” (I knew what he was going to say.)

“When I fell asleep at the wheel of my truck with a load of honeybees on the bed of the truck… I went off the road and missed a culvert by 6″ before being jarred awake and slamming on the brakes. I know my guardian angel was working overtime!”

Psalm 91:11 assures us that our angels are indeed here to protect us.

My friend, Sue, and her husband, Jerry, had a similar experience.
They were driving back from Bozeman one rainy Saturday
when their car slid on a slick, rainy spot.
They were facing down the steep side over the railing
when Sue spontaneously said,
“God help us!”

Immediately, their car tilted backward and onto the road.
The two of them sat there astounded.
They drove home in awe and wonder.
They shared their experience in church the next day.
Yes, many nodded in a knowing way…
others shared their Guardian Angel stories
during fellowship that day.

Not all angels are celestial beings.
I believe God has put invisible wings on each of us!!
He asks us to “Love one another” just as He has loved us.

(I had fun posing in front of a myriad of wings that are displayed
in Redlands, CA at a spot dedicated to 58 beautiful souls who were gunned down.

“Live and Let Live
Live and Let Love”

I wrote a poem for a resident
of our Madison Valley Nursing Home
several years ago.
She had damaged her shoulders
in a fall and was unable to lift her arms.
For Christmas that year,
I gave her a Willow Creek angel with no wings.

Here is the angel and the poem:

“Angels on earth
Such as Gloria
Wear their wings
in their loving arms.
Though she may not
Be physically able
To reach out
And embrace you,
Her invisible wings
Stretch her heart
To reach miles
With warm smiles,
Sparkling eyes,
And words of grace –
Loving and wise.

Amen

EMBRACE THE ANGEL IN YOU!

Do you have a story to tell about
a time your guardian angel saved you?


See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek


Embrace Stories


More on the saga of my bruised face!

A friend texted me and suggested,

“The fun part of getting
not one,
but
two black eyes,
is making up some wild,
harebrained event that caused them.

Sky diving accident?

Or when they turn yellow…
trying out for a clown part
in an adaptation of a Stephen King novel.”

I think I could pull off a clown part
in a Stephen King adaptation, don’t you?

I don’t need to wait til they turn yellow…
just match the magenta with my lipstick,
clothing, and earrings,
and (as Derrick suggested)
EMBRACE THE BRUISES!!

It’s getting better – don’t you think?

If you’re just tuning in to this messed up face saga,
I need you to know that I got into a wrestling match
with a tiger – and I won. The tiger
ran off into the woods, never to attack a human again!

And if you believe that, you need to buy my latest novel…
published by Porterhouse … available on your next steak.

If you can’t embrace sunglasses
and hide the damage,
then ya gotta smile and bare it,
right?

And while we’re at it, I have another story to tell you:

You know I’d not be likely to buy a case of beer –
but good wine, now that’s another story!

Now if you think I have any flawless dance moves left in me,
I have a glass of Kool-Aid to sell you.
I have waaaay too many birthday stories to tell –
and a whole lot of receipts for the Kool-Aid I’ve sold.

… especially the body parts around my knees and ankles!
I’ve had my right knee replaced.
How about you,
you got any artificial parts
so they make you go through
the metal scanner at the airport?
Bob & I both get the fun of being frisked
every time we take a trip!

But, we’ve decided flying is a better way to go
instead of driving these days.
Driving requires sitting next to one another
and trying to talk to each other.
After nearly 60 years of marriage,
what’s left to talk about?
On a plane, if you’re lucky,
you get the center aisle –
and somebody new to talk to.

Seeing better was a perk of younger years.
Hearing better is a perk of aging…
but it takes a set of $4000 aids to do it.

As the birthdays pile up,
we have to be sure we have our bifocals
and our hearing aids
before we leave home.

Next it’ll be our walking stick
or a walker!!

Try not to lose your glasses
or your car keys –
That’s one of the problems
we multi-birthday folks have.
But that’s not as bad a losing
your memory.

Did I tell you the story about
how I got these black eyes?
Oh, I did?

It was back on the blog called
EMBRACE HARD HEADS –


Remember?

You don’t?


Oh well…
That’s a story for another day.

Do you have a story to tell?
Come on, be a sport…
Entertain me!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

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