Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A New Image

As long as I can remember I have had a compassionate view toward people. I know that sounds too generic so let me give some examples.
Kids being corrected out loud by an out of control parent in public, an obviously very sick elderly patient waiting to see the doctor by themself, someone driving a car that is so banged up and taped together in places you wonder if it is legal to drive, a woman eating alone with her head in a book trying to make everyone around her think she wants it this way, the physically handicapped part of our population, people we know who always seem to have one crisis after another in their life, and what in the world do we do with the men and women that stand at certain intersections holding a sign and in need of more than name a few. My children have been irritated at my attempt to defend someone, even if they don't really need or deserve defending. I don't mean to try to make me sound like a great person, I have done my share of being critical! But I know I attempt to make eye contact that seems genuine, or speak to or open the door for anyone I think might need noticed in a kind way. It probably helped that my parents were very involved in the lives of a family in the community where I lived growing up of a mom and four children, three of whom were retarded. I cannot begin to guess the times I rode with my mom or dad to pick them up and carry them home from church. My dad was a car business owner and I knew many times he was given homegrown vegetables because he had helped someone with a car payment or repair. Whether it is because I was born with a compassionate heart or because it was modeled before me or some of both, all I know is how relieved I am that I have been kind and not rude to people that may be different than the norm because now I know how they feel! Starting with a difference in my speech and now adding a choppy walk with Jeff hovering to catch me if I lose balance, I feel eyes lingering just a little longer like they are trying to figure it out. I remember the first morning at the drive through window of a Starbucks after struggling through my order, I thought, they probably think I am drunk and it's only nine o'clock! Determined to still be able to use the drive through I began to drive directly to the window so that even if we had to work through my order they could see by my appearance that I was alert! Jeff and I recently stopped to get some dinner to go for me and as we went to pay I said something to him and the lady taking our money asked him if I was deaf! Really! Jeff said, no she's not! We laughed when we got outside at her logic or lack of to ask such a question right on front of me! Everything we experience provides an opportunity to learn. For me, losing some of the " normalcy" of my physical posture or verbal ability has placed me in a position of developing a new image of myself. It isn't quite as easy or as comfortable in situations where people don't know me and a great reminder of the need everyone has to be accepted as normal. We don't live in a perfect world but we can make a better one by just treating everyone as normal, no matter their circumstance.


  1. WOW - Nancy! You are truly amazing! I am so awestruck that you thought to write this blog. In fact, you are the first friend that I have to have started a blog. I look forward to continuing to learn some great life lessons from you and your family. Thank you for doing this! Prayers and love to you and your family!

  2. Nancy, I won't be able to express adequately my admiration for your strength in the Lord Jesus. I am so grieved that you and your family have to endure this struggle - you are in my thoughts and prayers regularly, and I take heart that many, many others are also lifting you to the Father continually.
    You and Jeff have always been so very kind to everyone, and to us as well. Your love lifted us every time we saw you, although I expressed my appreciation very poorly -sometimes not at all. You are a lovely, lovely woman. We will continue to pray for healing.

  3. I know we have only met once but I want to let you know that your life has inspired me and has caused me to take a deeper look at what is truly important here on earth. I really enjoyed reading your blog and I love your insight on being compassionate! It really opened my eyes to how I treat others on a day to day basis. Thank you for writing this blog and being an example of how God can be glorified in even the most difficult of situations :)
    We are praying for you daily!

  4. I knew it!! I knew it!! It's the first day of class...(yesterday we met our fantastic teacher) and we are already learning things!! Nancy, you are so right in everything you said... I am just loving hearing from you. I know the Lord is using you to teach us and I am so honored to be in your class!
    Tell Jeff ...if he were teaching or subbing .... I would come to his class too!!

    Michelle Daugherty

  5. o.k...that is just funny that the cashier said that, right in front of you, probably assuming you wouldnt even hear her asking Jeff the question!!! HAHA!! Love you guys! Hope you're having a blast!

  6. Amen to what Michelle said! Love you, Nancy and am SO thankful you have Jeff by your side.


  7. I'm not surprised that you guys are seeing the funny side of this. You see the funny side of everything. You should know how helpful it is for us friends. When YOU laugh at your situation, it helps US. Again, this is not surprising, it is one thing we've always enjoyed about you. One of the many reasons Kathy and I like being around you. That, and the free transportation!

  8. Teaching is definitely a gift you have always had. Life's experiences are presenting great teaching and learning moments for you as a child of God to share with us and I thank you. God is using you in a mighty way through this blog and so many others as well. Thanks for continuing to share and I'll look forward to your next post! Love you!

  9. Nancy your great compassion for all is apparent to all. And your children may have rolled their eyes at these actions, but they all treat others with great compassion. I can quickly think of: Rebekah and Abby's careers, Rebekah reaching out to check on me after Andrew's death (possibly more than anyone), the way Joseph makes you feel like the only one in the room when you speak to him, Abby and Luke's work with special need kids at their church in OK, Anna Grace's very special friendship in Kindergarten with Jack (I think that is his name). It's obvious that they learned some of that from you. And your legacy of love and compassion will live on through them. And hopefully some of the rest of it who learn it through you.