Thursday, April 30, 2009


The minister of the little red church in Colorado gave a sermon one summer entitled “Do you do windows?” Now, you would have to know Mike to appreciate that this title was a definite ‘hook’ ... you just had to stay around to find out what he was going to talk about. The sermon started with a story of an acquaintance who had a lavish home ... bordering on the size of a mansion. The friend’s wife had requested that numerous windows be installed, many very high and difficult to reach. To get to the point of his story, they could not hire anyone…at any price to clean all those windows. Everyone was a specialist…the cook, the gardener, and the housekeeper. Even the housekeeper refused to wash the windows! She would dust, vacuum, mop, polish, you name it, but NO windows.

Mike, then, related a story about himself when he was starting out with his new ministry, visiting the sick in a local hospital. There was one young patient, a woman, dying from bone cancer. The cancer had invaded her chest, leaving a large, oozing wound that reeked. No matter what the doctors or nurses did, they could not control the foul odor. It became increasingly difficult to go into the patient’s room. Mike was so full of enthusiasm when he first began visiting the young women. He would go daily, enduring the stench and filling a void for this very lonely woman. However, in short time, he cut his visits back to three times a week, then once a week… oh, he thought about her, he would call (the nurses' desk) to see how she was doing, but the visits became fewer and farther between. One day he mounted his courage to go back into that room ... she had died earlier that morning and on the bedside table was a note to Mike. With a weaken and shaky hand, she had written “Where were you?’

Mike has never forgotten her last question of him … it haunts him, because he did not follow through. It was so difficult to walk into that room … there were a million other things that he needed to be doing …other patients to visit … the windows were too high ... there were too many. How many of us have the best of intentions, but fall short of completing the task? How many of us do not do windows?


Bz said...

I wonder if this really happened and, if so, gawwwd ...what a thing to be left with.
Count me as one with the best intentions... I had a wise woman relay a saying to me YEARS ago about good intentions leading the path to hell.
....I sure hope not.

Fruitcake Sandy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fruitcake Sandy said...

Having known Mike, I believe this really happened.That is a very old 'saying' about 'good intentions' ... but I think it's just that ... a saying.
Mike told us that he got started working with Hospice following this woman's death. Perhaps it was a form of 'atonement' He said he kept the note she wrote and remembered the woman in prayer and feels she forgave him ... the hard part was forgiving himself.