How Can You Do That?

March 18, 2000

Psalm 139:3,17,18 – Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. (KJV)

As a volunteer with terminally ill people, I am frequently asked, "How can you do that?" So it was in a conversation with a teacher friend the other day. As I pointed out to her that teaching was not something I felt I could ever do, we exchanged affirmations that there are many rewards in our respective vocations.

While I speak strictly for myself, I believe most other volunteers would agree that we feel we are given much, much more than we could ever give. We are the students, for those with whom we volunteer teach us so very, very much about life, and living and love.

And just as I could not do what I do without God's presence in my life, by doing what I do I am constantly shown His presence. I see it as I sit silently by the sea with someone and watch the water soothe our souls; share the sheer pleasure of simply smelling a pure beeswax candle; stroll slowly along a seawall, knowing their every step is a struggle; or see the sparkle at the prospect of chewing a stick of spearmint gum, or the glint in an eye at the hint of fresh strawberries. I see the courage that comes from deep within, and am humbled at the privilege, as a stranger, of being accepted to share this sacred time in their lives — of helping them live until they die.

It is in these that I see how He is always with me.

Prayer: We give thanks, O Lord, for the many ways in which you make your presence known — they are, in number, more than the sand. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Mary Daniel <marydee@shaw.ca>
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

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