the weblog of Alan Knox

stories: Some things are more important than your plans

Posted by on Aug 26, 2009 in love, service, stories | 2 comments

This post is part of my “stories” series. In this series, I share stories of how people live their lives in response to the gospel and as a demonstration of God’s love in order to teach us and to provide an example to provoke us to love and good works. (See “stories: A New Series” for more information about this series.)

My blogging friend Joe (JR) from “More than Cake” gave me permission to publish his blog post “Some things are more important than your plans” as part of this series. Here is Joe’s post:

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Ready to give my final sales pitch of the day, I walked up to the long driveway hoping I could pull the day out of the dumpster and set one good lead. The door was open, so I knocked on the old brown screen door.

An older man come to the door asking, “who are you?”

“My name is Joe, how are you today sir?”

“Not so good.” he said with a surprising honesty. “My wife of 70 years just died on August 8th. We celebrated our 70th anniversary on July 8th.”

The man suddenly seemed older and more tired then when he first appeared at the door.

“I am sorry to hear of your loss.” I said.

The man asked, “What are you selling?”

I had a sudden and keen awareness that what I was selling had no meaning compared to the loss and grief this man was experiencing. “Nothing of importance, sir.” I paused for a moment and added, “May I pray for you instead?”

“Yes, please come in.”

The old man seemed glad for the company and walked with a bit more energy as he led me into his living room. We sat and talked for quite some time as my partner waited outside wondering where I had gone.

Gene was a kindly gentleman. He talked about his wife, his kids and how his life had changed since the death of his beloved wife. More than once, Gene’s eyes filled with tears as he looked off into the distance at nothing and contemplated moving on without Helen.

“I need to go, but can I pray with you now?” I asked.

Gene gladly accepted. I walked to his chair and took his cold hand in mine. I uttered what few words would come to mind… words of healing… words of hope… words of Jesus’ love for Gene and his departed wife Helen.

My conversation with Gene reminded me that there are many things more important than setting one more lead and earning a few more dollars.

What are the most valuable things in your life?

Do your daily choices reflect your values?


2 Comments

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  1. 8-26-2009

    This story reminds me of a day 35 years ago the day after my grandmother died. I was saddened with loss, but also concerned that my father and his sister’s rocky relationship would erupt into pitched battle as they faced settling her estate.
    As I thought about all that, the doorbell rang, and a representative of a mission organization that we supported stood at the door. He’d come to “sell us” on an estate planning tool, but after explaining the plan (which I did not sign up for), he asked if there were any needs in our family for which he might pray before he left.
    I do not know that man’s name, but God really used him to comfort and reassure me that He had the situation well in hand.
    Never know when an angel might ring the doorbell. There is that verse about “entertaining angels unaware.”

  2. 8-26-2009

    Wow.