No one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great.
Once during Queen Victoria's reign, she heard that the wife of a common laborer had
lost her baby. Having experienced deep sorrow herself, she felt moved to express her
sympathy. So she called on the bereaved woman one day and spent some time with her. After
she left, the neighbors asked what the queen had said. "Nothing," replied the
grieving mother. "She simply put her hands on mine, and we silently wept
Robert Louis Stevenson tells of a storm that caught a vessel off a rocky coast and
threatened to drive it and its passengers to destruction. In the midst of the terror, one
daring man, contrary to orders, went to the deck, made a dangerous passage to the pilot
house and saw the steerman, at his post holding the wheel unwaveringly, and inch by inch,
turning the ship out, once more, to sea. The pilot saw the watcher and smiled. Then, the
daring passenger went below and gave out a note of cheer: "I have seen the face of
the pilot, and he smiled. All is well."
Robert Louis Stevenson.
A little girl came home from a neighbor's house where her little friend had died.
"Why did you go?" questioned her father. "To comfort her mother," said
the child. "What could you do to comfort her?" "I climbed into her lap and
cried with her."
from The Story of Jesus.
Douglas Maurer, 15, of Creve Coeur, Missouri, had been feeling bad for several days.
His temperature was ranging between 103 and 105 degrees, and he was suffering from severe
flu-like symptoms. Finally, his mother took him to the hospital in St. Louis. Douglas
Maurer was diagnosed as having leukemia. The doctors told him in frank terms about his
disease. They said that for the next three years, he would have to undergo chemotherapy.
They didn't sugarcoat the side effects. They told Douglas he would go bald and that his
body would most likely bloat. Upon learning this, he went into a deep depression. His aunt
called a floral shop to send Douglas an arrangement of flowers. She told the clerk that it
was for her teenage nephew who has leukemia. When the flowers arrived at the hospital,
they were beautiful. Douglas read the card from his aunt. Then he saw a second card. It
said: "Douglas--I took your order. I work at Brix florist. I had leukemia when I was
7 years old. I'm 22 years old now. Good luck. My heart goes out to you. Sincerely, Laura
Bradley." His face lit up. He said, "Oh!"
It's funny: Douglas Maurer was in
a hospital filled with millions of dollars of the most sophisticated medical equipment. He
was being treated by expert doctors and nurses with medical training totaling in the
hundreds of years. But it was a salesclerk in a flower shop, a woman making $170 a week,
who--by taking the time to care, and by being willing to go with what her heart told her
to do--gave Douglas hope and the will to carry on.
Bob Greene, "From One Sufferer To Another", Chicago
Tribune, August, 1987.