Thursday, March 17, 2005

Miss Ruby Mae

Making Everything Alright ...

I arrived this morning a few minutes before nine o'clock. After setting up my station, I went into the laundry room to get out the portable heater and plugged it up; it was a cold and rainy day in the city of Birmingham. That is okay with me though. I see it as Winter's way of saying good-bye before Spring begins. I walked up the stairs to greet the ladies. They were waiting for me in the TV room. All seven or eight of them. I  think I should start putting their names and time of their appointments on the bulletin board so they'll know whose turn it is. [and so I will know too] I can't help but laugh to myself because they all give me a, "pick me, pick me!" kind of look when I walk in.  I've been told by several of them that I am their only visitor during the week, and they are beginning to feel like I am family. Some, I can't get close to. Some people are just that way, I don't let it bother me, I assume they are just private souls. Still, for the most part, I am beginning to feel adopted by many of them.  Today, I would like to tell you a little bit about Miss Ruby Mae. She is from Helena. [Just a little FYI ... If you keep up with American Idol, you may know that Bo Bice lives there. Go-Bo-Go!] Ahem, [excuse me] anyway ...   A couple of weeks ago, I burned my right hand very bad. My entire palm and every finger on that hand had blisters. Actually, I did it on a curling iron when I picked it up by the barrel. Yes, I know the barrel from the handle, but it was upside down and I was preoccupied, thinking about ten thousand other things at the time.  Miss Ruby Mae noticed that I was wearing a glove and bandage and asked what happened. I told her about my silly mistake and how painful it was, then kept rambling about how I do it all the time at home when I take my corn bread out of the oven. For some reason, I always grab the skillet handle with my bare hands, knowing very well, I just took it out of the oven. Again, never thinking. Miss Ruby Mae is one of those mother-hen types who was just consumed with worry over my hand last week. [to tell you the truth, I sort of liked that, she reminded me of my grandmothers] This morning, she called me over to her and handed me a bag and said, "I made something for you!" as she beamed with pride. Inside the bag were two pot holders, stitched way better than I ever could have done, and the woman says she is legally blind! A note, and a stick of juicy fruit gum. Now, how'd she know that as a little girl, juicy fruit was my favorite, and both of my grandmothers gave it to me to make me feel better?  I had a little lump in my throat, but held back the tears till I got home and read the note. It said, "Girl friend, [she couldn't remember my name, bless her heart]  I enjoyed making these pot holders for you. Keep smiling, God still loves you." Then she drew a happy face and put lots of X's and O's on the bottom of the paper. Now, I have a question ...  Does she read my AOL journal?  By the time I finished reading this little note written by a nearly blind lady who is almost ninety years old, I had tears streaming down my face.  As I've said before, I've been struggling with some things lately. Some of them, major things that I can't control. Some of them, major things that I can control, after I get enough courage to change them. My pastor said the other day to the congregation, "Don't ignore God. He'd rather you let him know that you're angry at him and get it out of your system than to withdraw from him. Never-ever stop communicating with God! If you do, it will be just like any other relationship when you stop communicating" I did just that. One day as I was praying, I asked God if he even heard me. Does he love me? Is he even there? Is he real? If he's there, he needs to give me some kind of sign or I'm just going to assume I'm wasting my time, talking to someone who isn't even there! Then, I ducked - out of fear of being struck by lightening. Just in case.  So Miss Ruby Mae's gesture is either a sign that God's spirit does exist, through the acts of other's kindness or, she reads my AOL journal!  I have a choice. I can choose to take this as one of life's unexplainable happenings, or as a little sign that there is a power bigger than me, in charge. I choose to believe that someone else, someone more powerful is in control, because I am learning that I can't control everything. Knowing that He is looking out for my good is a comfort I haven't felt in a long time. I'll tell you something else - That's a good feeling.

Isn't it something, that God is still using Miss Ruby Mae to teach? God Bless her little heart.

note: sorry for the repeat alert folks, I had some editing to do that I'd overlooked.