Don’t Worry: ‘The Lord’s Been Good to Me’

Post a Comment » Written on December 25th, 2004     
Filed under: News
By John Skipper

MASON CITY, IA (December 25, 2004)  – The woman wouldn’t want me to mention her  name. But her story is one that needs to be told during the holiday season.

She is nearing 80 and is a widow. She lost her husband to cancer several  years ago and has also lost son to a debilitating disease. She has other  grown children and two grandchildren.

The woman called the newspaper (where I work) because she found an old  book in her home and wanted ideas on who would be interested in having  it. We chatted for a few minutes. I knew her husband and her son. That  was my only connection with her.

When I asked how she was doing, the woman told me about a bit of a  dilemma she was having. With the little bit of money she had coming in,  she said she had to pay her bills, pay $466 for her health insurance,  $300 for prescription drugs, buy food for herself and also buy Christmas  presents for her grandchildren. She said she didn’t have enough money to  do it all.

I suggested she should take care of her needs first so that she could  stay healthy. That would be the best present of all for her  grandchildren. I wished her well and our conversation ended. But I found  myself continually thinking about her problem. Food. Medicine. Christmas  gifts. And not enough money.

I’ve heard that story many times over the years from needy people who  have done nothing wrong. They just had the audacity to grow old. Each  time I hear their story, my heart aches. But what can I do? I thought  about starting up a collection for her – just to show her somebody cares.

Two days after our first conversation, I called her back. I thought the  least I could do was express my concern and let her know I was thinking  about her.

“I figured out what to do,” she said. I could almost see the twinkle in  her eye through the phone line. “Everywhere I could, I paid a little bit on all my bills. I  had a little money left, so I went to the Dollar Store. I got everybody  a little something. Don’t worry about me, I’m doing fine.”

And then I thought to myself, “Who’s comforting who here?” She will  continue to wrestle every month with paying her bills, buying her food,  getting her medication and paying her insurance. But she’ll get by  because she has a peace about her that I neglected to detect the first  time I talked to her. And that turned out to be the real Christmas  message for me.

“I can’t complain,” she said. “The real Christmas to me is the birth of  Christ. And the Lord has been very good to me.”

Editor’s note: This newspaper column appeared December 13, 2004, and  is published here with permission of the Globe Gazette in Mason  City, Iowa. The writer is a longtime member of First Covenant Church.

Copyright © 2011 The Evangelical Covenant Church.

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