The Incredible Healing Power of Dogs

 

It has once been said that a dog is man’s best friend, and in many ways, they are. People have various kinds of animals for their pets, cats, birds, snakes, lizards, etc., and they use them for comfort, companionship, and security, just to name a few. But for the purpose of this story, I am going to focus on the incredible healing power of dogs.

A dog is not just a friend to another person or family, they are great sources of delight, happiness, and security. There is no better creature in the world that will a smile to a terminally ill person, comfort an individual in times of anxiety and stress, or simply become a fierce, loyal friend to someone in their time of need.

So, with that in mind, sit back and enjoy the following pictures of “man’s best friend.

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I Will Be Here

person sitting on rock on body of water

Photo by Keegan Houser on Pexels.com

Occasionally, I come across a poem or the words to a song, that is very calming and reassuring. Today, I am going to share the lyrics to a song written by Steven Curtis Chapman, “I Will Be Here.” You can interpret them as either coming from a friend’s point of view or from God’s but either way, I hope that you find this comforting.

 

“I Will Be Here”

Tomorrow morning if you wake

Up and the sun does not appear

I will be here

If in the dark, we lose sight of love

Hold my hand and have no fear

‘Cause I will be here

I will be here

When you feel like being quiet

When you need to speak your mind

I will listen

And I will be here

When the laughter turns to cryin’

Through the winning and the losing and trying

We’ll be together

I will be there

Tomorrow morning if you wake up

And the future is unclear

I will be here

Just as sure as the seasons were made for change

Our lifetimes were made for these years

So I will be there

I will be here

And you can cry on my shoulder

When the mirror tells us we’re older

I will hold you

And I will be here

To watch you grow in beauty

And tell you all the things you are to me

I will be there

I will be true to the promise I have made

To you and the One who gave you to me

Tomorrow morning, if you wake up

And the sun does not appear

I will be here

Oh, I will be here

Unconditional Friendship

animal army battle canine

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

There is nothing more special and meaningful in a person’s life to have that one or two special friends that you hold the closest and dearest to your heart. It was once said that truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget. It is so true! True and genuine friendship is one that will last a lifetime.

The following story illustrates this level of friendship in a beautiful way…

There were two childhood buddies who went through kindergarten and all the way to college together.  When war broke, they joined the army together and asked to be assigned to the same unit.  One night while out on patrol, they were ambushed.   Bullets were flying everywhere.

Out of the darkness came a voice, “Harry, help me. Please, Harry, help me.”   Harry immediately recognized the voice of his childhood buddy, Bill. Harry asked the Captain for permission to go out and help his buddy.

The Captain said, “No, I can’t let you go.  I am already short-handed, and I cannot afford to lose one more person. Besides, the way Bill sounds he is not going to make it.

Harry kept quiet, but again Bill’s voice was heard in the darkness, “Harry, please come.  Please, Harry, come help me.”  Harry sat quietly because the Captain had ordered him to.  Again, and again Bill’s voice was heard on the battlefield.

Harry couldn’t contain himself any longer and ran over to the Captain, “Captain, that’s my childhood buddy. I have to go and help.”  The Captain reluctantly agreed and let Harry go.  Harry crawled through the darkness, reached Bill and dragged Bill back into their camp.

When they arrived back at the camp Bill was dead.  Now the Captain was furious and shouted, “Didn’t I tell you he was not going to make it?  He is dead.  You could have been killed and I could have lost a hand.  It was a mistake for you to go out there.”

Harry replied, “No Captain, I did the right thing.  When I reached Bill, he was still alive and his last words to me were ‘Harry, I knew you would come.'”

 

Absolute…unconditional friendship!

Burnt Biscuits

jodie-morgan-PAa_MJztyUY-unsplash

Photo by Jodie Morgan on Unsplash

Unconditional kindness and compassion for others should be our core focus every day of our lives. I recently came across the following story, written by an unknown author, which illustrates this lesson…one that we all should remember to do each day.

When I was a kid, my Mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. I remember one night when she made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my Mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage, and a batch of extremely burnt biscuits on the table in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed.

All my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my Mom and ask me how my day at school has been. I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that ugly burned biscuit. He ate every bite of that thing…he never made a face nor uttered a word about it!

When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my Mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits…and I will never forget what he said, “Honey, I love burned biscuits every now and then.”

Later that night, I went to say good night to my daddy, and I asked him if he REALLY liked his biscuits burnt. He wrapped me up in his arms and said lovingly, “Your Mom put in a hard day at work today and she is really tired…and besides, a little burnt biscuit never hurt anyone!”

As I have grown older, I’ve thought about that many times. Life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people. I’m not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like anyone else. But what I have learned over the years is that learning to accept each other’s faults and choosing to celebrate each other’s differences is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.

And that’s my prayer for you today…that you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end, He’s the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where a burnt biscuit isn’t a deal-breaker!

We could extend this philosophy to any relationship. In fact, UNDERSTANDING is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife, parent-child, or friendship!

“Don’t put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket…keep it in your own.” So, please pass me a biscuit, and yes, the burned one will do just fine 😊

————————

Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil…it has no point.

What is a REAL Friend?

group of people standing indoors

Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

A simple friend, when visiting, acts like a guest.

A real friend opens your refrigerator and helps himself.

 

A simple friend has never seen you cry.

A real friend has shoulders soggy from your tears.

 

A simple friend doesn’t know your parents’ first names.

A real friend has their phone numbers in his address book.

 

A simple friend brings a bottle of wine to your party.

A real friend comes early to help you cook and stays late to help you clean.

 

A simple friend hates it when you call after he has gone to bed.

A real friend asks you why you took so long to call.

 

A simple friend seeks to talk with you about your problems.

A real friend seeks to help you with your problems.

 

A simple friend wonders about your romantic history.

A real friend could blackmail you with it.

 

A simple friend thinks the friendship is over when you have an argument.

A real friend calls you after you had a fight.

 

A simple friend expects you to always be there for them.

A real friend expects to always be there for you!

Unconditional Friendship

two boys smiling

Photo by Michael Mims on Pexels.com

There is nothing more special and meaningful in a person’s life to have that one or two special friends that you hold the closest and dearest to your heart. It was once said that truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget. It is so true! True and genuine friendship is one that will last a lifetime.

The following story illustrates this level of friendship in a beautiful way…

There were two childhood buddies who went through kindergarten and all the way to college together.  When war broke, they joined the army together and asked to be assigned to the same unit.  One night while out on patrol, they were ambushed.   Bullets were flying everywhere.

Out of the darkness came a voice, “Harry, help me. Please, Harry, help me.”   Harry immediately recognized the voice of his childhood buddy, Bill. Harry asked the Captain for permission to go out and help his buddy.

The Captain said, “No, I can’t let you go.  I am already short-handed, and I cannot afford to lose one more person. Besides, the way Bill sounds he is not going to make it.

Harry kept quiet, but again Bill’s voice was heard in the darkness, “Harry, please come.  Please, Harry, come help me.”  Harry sat quietly because the Captain had ordered him to.  Again, and again Bill’s voice was heard on the battlefield.

Harry couldn’t contain himself any longer and ran over to the Captain, “Captain, that’s my childhood buddy. I have to go and help.”  The Captain reluctantly agreed and let Harry go.  Harry crawled through the darkness, reached Bill and dragged Bill back into their camp.

When they arrived back at the camp Bill was dead.  Now the Captain was furious and shouted, “Didn’t I tell you he was not going to make it?  He is dead.  You could have been killed and I could have lost a hand.  It was a mistake for you to go out there.”

Harry replied, “No Captain, I did the right thing.  When I reached Bill, he was still alive and his last words to me were ‘Harry, I knew you would come.'”

Absolute…unconditional friendship!

 

A Friendly Toast

woman and man cheering glass cup beside table during night time

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There is nothing better that having good friends. Having those special people that we can go and share our thoughts, concerns, as well as the good and bad times we experience, are simply priceless. That’s why, I believe, that whenever we can, we should take the time to honor our friends. friends truly are a blessing!

Today’s little poem is actually a toast. It is a nice little thing that you can share the next time you have the opportunity to make a toast and give a nice, small toast of thankfulness to your friends 🙂

Make new friends,
But keep the old;
The new are silver,
The old ones are gold.

New made friends
Like new made wine;
With age doth mellow,
It and refine.

But unlike age,
that turneth gray;
Old friendship,
Never doth decay.

So, make new friends,
But keep the old;
The new are silver,
The old are gold.

Poems to Make You Smile

five person low angle photography

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

There is nothing better when a person is having a bad day than to laugh and smile. Anyone who knows me well knows how much I love to make people laugh and smile. I feel that that is one of my biggest blessings in life. The late Mother Teresa once said, “Let us all meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” It is with that spirit, that I decided to post and few poems that I hope will bring a smile to your face, a moment joy to your heart, and an encouragement to finish your day on a positive note. If one of the following poems have lifted your spirits and have inspired you, feel free to share your blessing with other today!

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Keep on Smiling

~ Poet: Alexandra Skiathitis

If at times you feel you want to cry

And life seems such a trial

Above the clouds there’s a bright blue sky

So make your tears a smile

 

As you travel on life’s way

With its many ups and downs

Remember it’s quite true to say

One smile is worth a dozen frowns

 

Among the world’s expensive things

A smile is very cheap

And when you give a smile away

You get one back to keep

 

Happiness comes at times to all

But sadness comes unbidden

And sometimes a few tears must fall

Among the laughter hidden

 

So when friends have sadness on their face

And troubles round them piled

The world will seem a better place

And all because you smiled!

——————–

A Smile

~ Poet: Unknown

A smile is cheer to you and me

The cost is nothing-it’s given free

It comforts the weary-gladdens the sad

Consoles those in trouble-good or bad

To rich or poor-beggar or thief

It’s free to all of any belief

A natural gesture of young and old

Cheers on the faint-disarms the bold

Unlike most blessings for which we pray

It’s one thing we keep when we give it away.

——————-

Smile

~ Poet: Charlie Chaplin

Smile though your heart is aching

Smile even though it’s breaking

When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by

If you smile through your fear and sorrow

Smile and maybe tomorrow

You’ll see the sun come shining through for you.

 

Light up your face with gladness

Hide every trace of sadness

Although a tear may be ever so near

That’s the time you must keep on trying

Smile, what’s the use of crying?

You’ll find that life is still worthwhile

If you just smile

That’s the time you must keep on trying

Smile, what’s the use of crying?

You’ll find that life is still worthwhile

If you just smile!

If you would like to hear this poem in a song, CLICK HERE! (sung by Natalie Cole)

——————–

Try Smiling

~ Poet: Unknown

When the weather suits you not, Try smiling.

When your coffee isn’t hot, Try smiling.

When your neighbors don’t do right,

Or all of your relatives fight,

Sure ‘tis hard, but you might Try smiling.

 

Doesn’t change the things, of course-Just smiling.

But it cannot make them worse-Just smiling

And it seems to help your case,

Brightens up a gloomy place,

Then, it sort o’ rests your face-Just smiling.

——————–

Gladness Every Morning

~ Poet: Nixon Waterman

Touch your lips with gladness and go singing on your way,

Smiles will strangely lighten every duty;

Just a little word of cheer may span a sky of gray

With hope’s own heaven-tinted bow of beauty.

Wear a pleasant face wherein shall shine a joyful heart,

As shines the sun, the happy fields adorning;

To every care-beclouded life some ray of light impart,

And touch your lips with gladness every morning.

——————-

A Face Without A Smile

~Poet: Unknown

Like a bread without the spreadin’,

Like a mattress without a beddin’,

Like a cart without a hoss,

Like a door without a latchspring,

Like a dry an’ barren creed bed-

Is the face without a smile

 

Like a house without a dooryard,

Like a clock without a mainspring,

That will never tell the hour;

A thing that sort o’ makes yo’ feel

A hunger all the while-

Oh, the saddest sight that ever was

Is a face without a smile!

 

The face of man was built for smiles,

An’ thereby he is blest

Above the critters of the field,

The birds an’ all the rest;

He’s just a little lower

Than the angels in the skies,

An’ the reason is that he can smile;

Therein the glory lies!

 

So smile an’ don’t forget to smile,

An’ smile, an’ smile ag’in

‘Twill help you all along the way,

An’ cheer you mile and mile;

An’ so, whatever is your lot,

Jes’ smile, an’ smile, an’ smile!

———————-

“So, if you feel a smile begin, don’t leave it undetected, let’s start an epidemic quick…and get the world infected!” ~ Russel H. Conwell

———————-

Anyone can make you smile,

many people can make you cry,

But it takes someone really special

To make you smile with tears in your eyes!

A Sandpiper to Bring You Joy

Ekaterina Chernetsova (Papchinskaya)

Photo Credit: Ekaterina Chernetsova (Papchinskaya) via CC Flickr

There are some stories that are worth repeating..today’s story is one of them.

A year or so ago, I posted a story that I had come across simply called, “The Sandpiper.” Unbeknownst to me, the story that I published was one that had been copied and re-written by another person who wrongly took credit for it. Fortunately for me, the daughter of the real author, Mary Serman Hilbert, contacted me and told me the following…

“This story was written by my mother Mary Sherman Hilbert back in in 1978 and is copyrighted in the  US Library of Congress. It was published in Readers Digest in 1980. The story has been reprinted in over ten languages and made into two plays.

There are many plagiarized versions on the internet, including the one that has an MR. Peterson instead of Mrs. P. (Ruth Peterson) as the central woman, as you have posted here. Please read Snopes assessment here for accurate clarification of the story’s background: https://www.snopes.com/glurge/sandpiper.asp

My mother passed away New Years Day 2010 at the age of eighty-seven.

~ Leigh Hilbert, December 11th, 2017

Most people who have posted my mom’s story have had good intentions and had no way to know if it had been altered along the internet pathways.

There are a few correct versions online. I will post here the original version and you can maybe repost it.”

So, without further ado, here is the original, beautiful story of the Sandpiper…..

A Sandpiper to Give You Joy

by Mary Serman Hilbert

Several years ago, a neighbor related to me an experience that happened to her one winter on a beach in Washington State. The incident stuck in my mind and I took note of what she said. Later, at a writers’ conference, the conversation came back to me and I felt I had to set it down. Here is her story, as haunting to me now as when I first heard it:

She was six years old when I first met her on the beach near where I live. I drive to this beach, a distance of three or four miles, whenever the world begins to close in on me.

She was building a sand castle or something and looked up, her eyes as blue as the sea.

“Hello,” she said. I answered with a nod, not really in the mood to bother with a small child.

“I’m building,” she said.

“I see that. What is it?” I asked, not caring.

“Oh, I don’t know. I just like the feel of the sand.”

That sounds good, I thought and slipped off my shoes. A sandpiper glided by. “That’s a joy,” the child said.

“It’s what?”

“It’s a joy. My mama says sandpipers come to bring us joy.”

The bird went glissading down the beach. “Good-bye, joy,” I muttered to myself,

“hello, pain,” and turned to walk on. I was depressed; my life seemed completely out of balance.

“What’s your name?” She wouldn’t give up.

“Ruth,” I answered, “I’m Ruth Peterson.”

“Mine’s Windy.” It sounded like Windy. “And I’m six.” “Hi, Windy.”

She giggled. “You’re funny,” she said. In spite of my gloom I laughed too and walked on.

Her musical giggle followed me. “Come again, Mrs. P,” she called. “We’ll have another happy day.”

The days and weeks that followed belonged to others: a group of unruly Boy Scouts, PTA meetings, an ailing mother.

The sun was shining one morning as I took my hands out of the dishwater. “I need a sandpiper,” I said to myself, gathering up my coat.

The ever-changing balm of the seashore awaited me. The breeze was chilly, but I strode along, trying to recapture the serenity I needed. I had forgotten the child and was startled when she appeared.

“Hello, Mrs. P,” she said. “Do you want to play?”

“What did you have in mind?” I asked, with a twinge of annoyance.

“I don’t know. You say.”

“How about charades?” I asked sarcastically.

The tinkling laughter burst forth again. “I don’t know what that is.”

“Then let’s just walk.” Looking at her, I noticed the delicate fairness of her face. “Where do you live?” I asked.

“Over there.” She pointed toward a row of summer cottages. Strange, I thought, in winter.

“Where do you go to school?”

“I don’t go to school. Mommy says we’re on vacation.”

She chattered “little-girl” talk as we strolled up the beach, but my mind was on other things. When I left for home, Windy said it had been a happy day. Feeling surprisingly better, I smiled at her and agreed.

Three weeks later, I rushed to my beach in a state of near panic. I was in no mood even to greet Windy. I thought I saw her mother on the porch and felt like demanding that she keep her child at home.

“Look, if you don’t mind,” I said crossly when Windy caught up with me, “I’d rather be alone today.” She seemed unusually pale and out of breath.

“Why?” She asked.

I turned on her and shouted, “Because my mother died!” – and thought, my God, why was I saying this to a little child?

“Oh, she said quietly, “then this is a bad day.”

“Yes, and yesterday and the day before that and – oh, go away!”

“Did it hurt?”

“Did what hurt?” I was exasperated with her, with myself.

“When she died?”

“Of course it hurt!” I snapped, misunderstanding, wrapped up in myself. I strode off.

A month or so after that, when I next went to the beach, she wasn’t there. Feeling guilty, ashamed and admitting to myself I missed her, I went up to the cottage after my walk and knocked at the door. A drawn-looking young woman with honey-colored hair opened the door.

“Hello,” I said. “I’m Ruth Peterson. I missed your little girl today and wondered where she was.”

“Oh yes, Mrs. Peterson, please come in.”

“Wendy talked of you so much. I’m afraid I allowed her to bother you. If she was a nuisance, please accept my apologies.”

“Not at all – she’s a delightful child,” I said, suddenly realizing that I meant it. “Where is she?”

“Wendy died last week, Mrs. Peterson. She had leukemia. Maybe she didn’t tell you.”

Struck dumb, I groped for a chair. My breath caught.

She loved this beach; so when she asked to come, we couldn’t say no. She seemed so much better here and had a lot of what she called happy days. But the last few weeks she declined rapidly ” Her voice faltered. “She left something for you, if only I can find it. Could you wait a moment while I look?”

I nodded stupidly, my mind racing for something, anything, to say to this lovely young woman.

She handed me a smeared envelope, with MRS. P printed in bold, childish letters.

Inside was a drawing in bright crayon hues – a yellow beach, a blue sea, a brown bird. Underneath was carefully printed:

A SANDPIPER TO BRING YOU JOY

Tears welled up in my eyes and a heart that had almost forgotten how to love opened wide. I took Wendy’s mother in my arms. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, “I’m so sorry,” I muttered over and over, and we wept together.

The precious little picture is framed now and hangs in my study. Six words – one for each year of her life – that speak to me of inner harmony, courage, undemanding love. A gift from a child with sea-blue eyes and hair the color of sand – who taught me the gift of love.

Pictures That Speak Volumes #79: Sweetness

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Photo Credit: Unknown

There is absolutely nothing in the world heartwarming, precious and has the ability to bring a smile to a face than watching the innocent love and joy of a child and their pet. Just look at the enjoyment, contentment, and adoration of this little girl.

Simply…Priceless!

Pictures That Speak Volumes #78: The Cat’s Meow

IMG_1038

Photo Credit: Unknown

There is something really special and magical when small animals get together with little children. The result is usually simply adorable! Today’s picture is a perfect example of that sweet time of most of our lives, when we had the enjoyable time to love our pets and feel good about the world.

I am sure that you probably remember such a time…if so, leave a comment and share your experience with us!!

The Art and Skill of Listening

Egrodziak

Photo Credit: Egrodziak via CC Flickr

We all know that life in today’s world is getting faster and faster. Lifestyles are getting busier, more complicated, and less enjoyable. One of the skills that a good number of individuals have lost along the way, has been the skill or ability to actually be quiet, listen and hear to what people (or things) are saying.

How many times have you found yourself “going through the motions” responding to people in robotic, mechanical ways, and never really hearing to what is being said?

Let’s really take the time each day to stop and authentically listen and hear to what our friends, loved ones, or other things” are being said…the results may surprise you!

Today, I have included four very short stories that will illustrate the importance of listening to different things. I hope that these stories will help you in some small way, to maybe improve your relationships with people.

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Mr. President

The story is told of Franklin Roosevelt, who often endured long receiving lines at the White House. He complained that no one really paid any attention to what was said. One day, during a reception, he decided to try an experiment. To each person who passed down the line and shook his hand, he murmured, “I murdered my grandmother this morning.” The guests responded with phrases like, “Marvelous! Keep up the good work. We are proud of you. God bless you, sir.” It was not till the end of the line, while greeting the ambassador from Bolivia, that his words were actually heard. Nonplussed, the ambassador leaned over and whispered, “I’m sure she had it coming.”

The Signal Gets Weaker

I listen to my local radio station while I’m driving in my car. When I drive away from the radio tower, the signal gets weaker and weaker.  But if I turn the car around and drive back into town, the signal becomes stronger and I can hear it again.

In the same way, we stop hearing God when we drift away from Him.  But if we will turn around and come back to Him, we’ll hear His voice again. The closer we are to God, the clearer we can hear Him. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).

Kent Crockett’s Sermon Illustrations, www.kentcrockett.com

 

The Ship Wreck

On December 9, 1902, on Mt Desert Rock off the coast of Maine, a young lighthouse assistant awakened the lighthouse keeper to tell him that he thought he heard a steamboat whistle nearby. The two of them went out into the bitter cold and saw, on the tip of a rock ledge, what appeared to be a wrecked boat. The two men took a rope and fought their way through the icy wind until they saw a tugboat with several men aboard pinned to the rock. It took several attempts, but at last they reached the boat, and despite the frigid conditions, pulled 18 men to safety. Had the young assistant keeper not heard the whistle in the night, some of the crewmen might have perished, for the boat sank shortly after the last man was rescued. Afterwards, as the survivors warmed up and talked about their ordeal, they marveled that their distress whistle could even have been heard over the howling wind and pounding waves. One of the seamen remarked, “That whistle was the voice of God; and thankfully, someone heard it.” (LecAid ibid.) God speaks to us. And when you hear that word, it brings comfort, solace, strength, guidance, courage, and wisdom. God speaks to YOU. And when you hear that word, when you LISTEN to that word, when you RESPOND to that word, you have in your hands a strong rope to lead you over the most troubled waters. For God’s word is the word of life. This is the word of the Lord! AMEN.

An Old Man’s Wisdom

There is a story told of an old man and his grandson who were walking down a business street in a downtown district. As they walked along, the grandfather suddenly stopped, turned his head slightly, and tweaked his ear. After a moment he said to his grandson, “Follow me.”

They slowly moved from where they were standing to a small planter box next to a sidewalk café. The planter was filled with various seasonal plants, but as the old man gently pushed back the flowers, behind them revealed a small bird’s nest filled with baby chicks; their chirping almost indistinguishable from the din of lunchtime dinners and people on the sidewalk.

No one seemed to pay any attention to the old man, his grandson or the little nest, but the grandson was amazed. After watching for a few minutes and then moving away the little boy looked up at his grandfather.

“Grandpa, how did you hear the birds? There is so much noise, so much happening, how could you hear?”

Without saying a word the old man took several coins from his pocket and tossed them on the ground.

With the tinkling of the coins on the sidewalk it seemed everything came to a stop. People turned around. Diners stopped eating to look their way. Several almost seemed to want to reach down and pick up the dropped coins. Then as quickly as it had happened – everything went back to the way it was.

That’s when the old man spoke, “It’s all in what you are listening for, my child, its all in what you are listening for…”

Sometimes I think we are much like the crowd walking down the street. We fail to hear the most important things in life. We’ve filled our lives with so much noise that it’s difficult to hear anything anymore. And when we do hear, we often mistake what we are hearing for what we want to hear instead of what we should be hearing.

Remember this little bit of trivia: The word LISTEN has the same letters as the word SILENT!