' Stay in bed for the day ' my husband said ' get rid of that cold '. ' Hmm.. ' I thought, ' maybe I will have a few hours in bed.' ' I could do with a rest.' I replied. So I had stayed in bed that morning and much of the afternoon.
As I lay there, gazing out through the window, I watched the people passing by in the street and reflected on how their lives might be, on whether there might be sadness behind the smile, or worry and anxiety behind the sombre look. I thought of how little we might know about one another's lives, whether we be workmates, neighbours or even strangers. After a while my husband brought me a cup of tea and I started to feel a little better, and decided to read. I looked at my collection of books on my shelves and chose a book of poems called ' In Memory Of ', a collection of poets' tributes to, and memories of, friends and loved ones that had died. As I read poem after poem of peoples' feelings, some of joyful memories and some of grief, I began to realize that God was revealing to me what I had pondered on earlier while gazing through my window. He was now showing me what lay behind a face in the street, revealing to me peoples' innermost feelings, people who were mostly hurting through loss and loneliness.
I don't believe that God does anything by chance. I am a Christian and, as it says in one of the Psalms, ' every day in my life is written in His book before even one of them was formed '. As I lay in my bed I had to question my part in life as far as my fellow man was concerned. I read on and became filled with compassion for the people who had allowed my to see into their lives.
I know that on that day, when I was brought to see inside the hearts and minds of others, I felt compassion which brought in turn responsibility. I had been made aware of the loneliness and suffering of others, Christians included, and it had compelled me to want to play my part in life to the best of my ability. May the Lord help me always to be alert to where and when I may help another.
One poem in particular about a man who was grief stricken at the loss of his soul mate and looked to God for release filled me with such sadness that it brought me to write this poem which contains, I suppose, some of my own deepest feelings.
' Twas sickness caused me on that day to rest and in my bed to lay
While through my window I could see the world outside did not need me
It carried on its busy life regardless of my pain and strife
Yet as I gazed upon the scene that lay beyond lace coverd screen
I wondered at each passer by .... If face reflected truth or lie
I lay in comfort needing naught - my husband food and drink had brought
But for my mind to idle be was nothing short of misery
Then suddenly my eye was cast upon my books - a treasure vast
A book of poems I should read to satisfy my spirit's need
To see what lay within the mind of other creatures of my kind
I turned the pages one by one .... A stirring journey had begun
For hidden there in every leaf was joy and sorrow, love and grief
A vast collection here was seen - of frozen dreams that might have been
Of past regrets and loneliness - sweet memories of tenderness
Lost loves and breaking of the heart when sudden death caused to depart
A soul mate of so many years
My burning cheeks felt cooling tears
Such moving stories I had read as I lay sick upon my bed
A window had been shown to me through which I'd seen reality
Of pain that lay behind a smile - of need to go the extra mile
What of my part in life I thought - What words of comfort had I brought
In all my years upon this Earth - What words of love, support and worth
Had touched the lives of those I'd met - Was there remorse, was there regret ?
What use is it if kindly word is left in thought and never heard
This world that from my bed I saw, that looked so proud and strong before
Hath need of me .... and I of it - each soul to do its special bit
To share with others words of love - God's seeds of blessing from above
Is all that may be asked of me to help to set another free
From pain and hurt and misery that death and loss has caused to be
But seeds can never come to birth unless they're planted in the earth
So Father help me in my life to ease a fellow creature's strife
To seek my Lord to try to do the things that I have learned from You
And may You cause my eyes to see windows of opportunity
To stretch a tender loving hand towards the suffering in this land
To sow Your seeds of love and peace - that word and deed might bring release