Yesterday I was invited to go and speak at a Kiwanis group, sharing about OwieBowWowie and Friends. When I arrived, Don, the man who had invited me immediately came up and gave me a hug. He then started to introduce me to those in his group. As he looked around the room he said, “Gina, I’m sorry, but I forgot it’s a few days before Thanksgiving, and many people have gone out-of-town.” I assured him that even if I was only there to see him, and have lunch, I was honored to be there.
Before the meeting started an elderly gentleman walked up to Don and said, “Hey Don. I brought you a puzzle. I know how much you love to do puzzles, and I’ve already done this one. Would you like it?” Don immediately grabbed it, thanked the man, and then proceeded to tell me the “why” of why he loves to do puzzles. As Don was getting ready to put the puzzle next to his feet, another man walked up to the elderly man and said, “How are you doing?” It was at that moment the elderly man came back to Don and said, “Hey, can I have that puzzle back!” Don gave it to him, and the man turned to the new man and handed it to him. Don looked at me and we both started laughing. Then Don said, “I hate getting old. People forget when they give you something!”
The meeting then got underway. We did the Flag Salute, and each of the members got up and spoke about a committee that they were chairing. They had a moment of silence for a woman who was part of their group, but passed away a few days ago. Their silence spoke volumes for their love for her. I was in awe of this group. The youngest one there was me, and the oldest one had to be nearing 90, but the excitement they each had in giving back to others made me smile. After they each spoke it was then time for lunch. Don invited me to be the first to get up and go grab my pizza, and he followed. As we were in the salad line Don said to me again, “I hate getting old!” I turned and said, “Why?”
“Because I died once. They had to use the paddles on me and everything. I had a heart attack and died, and they brought me back to life. All I can figure is the Good Lord wasn’t finished with me yet, but I wish I knew what it was that He needed me to do, because I don’t feel like I’m doing it!”
I grabbed my salad and Don and I went and sat down, and it was at that moment I realized that Don did do what the Lord needed him to do yesterday. He willing gave back a gift that was given to him, and he did it with a smile.
During the meeting I looked around and noticed the wisdom that came within the group. One man stood up and described what it was going to be like working on The Tournament of Roses Parade. He was sharing what the colors of the flowers were going to be, and the detail in which the group was to put the petals on. As he was describing the events that would unfold, Don looked at me and said, “Can you believe he’s blind!” Then another woman stood up and recited an Irish prayer, in an Irish brogue, and Don said, “Can you believe she’s from Toledo!” With each person who stood Don would say, “Can you believe…” and by the time I left, all I could say was, “Yes, I believe!”
I believe that (like Don giving back a gift so graciously) what I witnessed today were true hearts coming together to help others. I saw a picture of 20 people who were sitting around a table with wisdom that understood that the best way to receive is to give to others.
When it was time for me to speak about hospitalized children, and Owie, the group gave me the same kindness and consideration that they gave to each other, and when I was done speaking they handed me donations and are looking forward to making OwieBowWowie part of their clubs “giving” program. As the meeting came to a close they did a drawing. The drawing was for $50.00 They would pick a name of someone in the group, and that person would then be given the opportunity to stick their hand in a velvet pouch and reach in to grab the white poker chip. If they picked the white chip they would get $50.00. The man who won said, “If I pick the white chip I will give it to OwieBowWowie.” I looked up and said, (out loud ) “Please Lord, let him win!” A moment later he stuck his hand in and of course he had the white chip. One of the members said, “Wow! No one has picked that chip in months!”
My reply, “All you have to do is ask the Lord nicely!”
As Don and I were saying goodbye, the man with the puzzle looked at Don and said, “Don’t worry. When I finish the puzzle I will bring it back to you!” Don and I laughed again, and it was then that I realized that each person within their group was a piece of the puzzle that made their puzzle complete.
On my way home I stopped at the Post Office, and barely having enough money for a Thanksgiving dinner I reached into my PO Box and there were three gifts. The first one I opened was three beautiful CD’s that my new-found friend, Gary sent me. The second was a beautiful Thanksgiving card my friend Maureen sent me, and the third was a personal gift from “Barker” that would ensure that I had more than enough to have a wonderful Thanksgiving meal.
As I was driving home I realized that within my PO Box were pieces of friends who complete the puzzle of my life. Each person I’ve met helps to paint this beautiful picture that daily I get to put together. I have no idea what the completed puzzle is going to look like, but when the day comes and I arrive in heaven, I know that it’s going to be the most beautiful puzzle I have ever seen, because all those I love are going to be within the pieces of my puzzle!
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Colossians 3:17
ONWARD BY FAITH!