Felicity man killed in Ohio River boating accident WUHS golfers take Portsmouth Invitational It was pretty cold that day Volleyball kicks off with SHAC Preview Night Young awarded Women’s Western Golf Foundation Scholarship One Mistake Senator Portman visits GE Test Facility in Peebles Adams County school districts facing some major challenges for the coming year Family, friends, and roots: the ties that bind residents of one Adams County village What is your strength? Just the chance to take a look back Ronnie L Wolford Dale J Marshall Herbert Purvis Great American Solar Eclipse coming Aug. 21 BREAKING NEWS: West Union wins fifth consecutive County Cup Wallace B Boden John L Fletcher Lady Indians golfers learning the links North Adams, West Union golfers open 2017 seasons This Labor Day, ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ Blanton announces candicacy for Court of Appeals Local student attends Congress of Future Medical Leaders MHS welcomes new principal Made in America When it feels like you’re spinning plates Bonfires and “building” a farm Lady Devils looking to take that next step 50 years of Bengal memories Ag Society delivers donation to Dragonfly Foundation Young Memorial Scholarship awarded to a pair of local seniors ‘Musical passion is in his blood’ Naylor named NAHS Principal Boldman retiring after 17 years as Homeless Shelter director Manchester concludes another River Days celebration Drug Treatment vs. Prison James R Brown Bobby Lawler Jr Adams County man charged with killing estranged girlfriend Lexie N Hopkins Volleyball, soccer previews coming this weekend Michael A Cheek Discover Ohio’s Ancient Cultures during Archaeology Day at Serpent Mound Summer Reading Program ends as new school year approaches Lady Hounds preparing for 2017 volleyball campaign, looking for more improvement A servant’s hands Oh my, nothing better than a sweet tooth Rec Park hosts All-Star Sunday A Saturday night peek at a gridiron future McDowell, McCarty awarded Farm Bureau Scholarships Adams County Medical Foundation awards Dr. Bruce Ashley Legacy Scholarships Your kid on heroin Jerry W Olinger Douglas R Burchett Wayne Cowles Shirley Collins Jack L Yates Wayne Grooms Sr Adams County Building and Loan merging with Southern Hills Community Bank Ahead of Sales Tax Holiday, Attorney General DeWine offers tips for consumers Delores L Cook Harold L Smith Pell, Seas have high hopes for new SSCC campus ‘We prayed and believed it was going to happen’ 4-H Scholarships awarded during Fair Week Showmanship Sweepstakes concludes Junior Fair Competitions Junior Fair Crops are a Premium Show Southern Ohio’s only blackberry farmer wants to make berry pickin’ fun again Challenges ahead for new MLSD Superintendent SAY Soccer celebrating 50 years North Adams hosts Youth Football Mini-Camp Lady Dragons host Soccer Shootout 38 years later, Indians football returns It’s time Ten years and twenty goats later When nobody is watching When a blackberry wasn’t just a cell phone, but delicious Heroin user’s mom says addiction is a disease, not a choice Mary A Wallingford Rickey L Vincent Pauline Ertel William Bryant ACOVSD announces 2017-18 policy for free and reduced lunches What we are made of When summer really arrived Horse project 4-H members head to Ohio State Fair Defender hosts annual Cornhole Tournament George’s Brave Shave’ benefits other Year of planning, work pays off for 2017 fair Local teen opens new business Why can’t you stop? Camp first step in preparation for 2018 Greyhounds on the gridiron Young awarded SEDAB Scholarship Fair hosts Hall of Fame broadcaster Peebles goes back-to-back at the Barnyard The sport of goats Massive storms rumble through Ohio Valley James W Morgan Tiffany R Edwards Marshall W Groves

It’s how you make them feel that counts

This is the last of a five part series on my friends, Tom and Faye. If you haven’t been following, let me update you. Tom is enrolled in our hospice program with advanced Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS). He is a retired minister and he and his wife, Faye, were partners in ministry in Wisconsin. After retiring to Scioto County, they dreamed about converting their home into a bed and breakfast, but illness has a way of foiling our best laid plans. Tom is literally imprisoned in his body now. His mind is sharp but he can barely move a muscle. Tom admitted, “I have so much to say but so little time to say it.”

Even though I’ve only known Tom for a few months I consider him a spiritual mentor. He’s taught me about humility and that, “In order to be humble we have to see who God is and who we are.” He’s taught me that patience is perseverance under trials, believing in and caring enough about something to wait for it, even an eternity for some things. He’s taught me about integrity and the courage to lean into the wind, about not being a parrot just dutifully repeating what it’s been taught to say. I’m persuaded that when Tom sees Jesus face-to-face he will hear, “Well done good and faithful servant,” not because Tom’s perfect, but because he’s a man after God’s own heart. (1 Samuel 13:14)

Faye made a statement last week that captured my attention and I instantly knew I had to pass it on. My visit with Tom and Faye was my last stop for the day. My day started out on a sad and disturbing note. I’d spent time with a married couple in crisis. On the outside the house appeared perfect. The lawn was well manicured and beautifully landscaped, the interior exquisitely decorated with a place for everything and everything in its place, a reflection of responsibility and discipline. But a cold mist seemed to have settled upon their marriage. Warmth, intimacy, and affection were nowhere to be found. The wife confessed that she had never felt truly accepted and understood by her husband. She felt dominated and controlled. Instead of understanding or apologizing, her husband fiercely defended himself, “But haven’t I done everything for you?” It seemed they’d lived their entire marriage together all alone.

As I pulled up to Tom and Faye’s home, I thought about how their marriage compared with the couple I’d visited earlier that day. Tom and Faye’s home was in need of repair and Faye had declared on numerous occasions, “Our house was never like this. One of these days I’m going to get this house organized.” But she puts first things first, Tom being the first. I reflected on the many times I’d listened to Faye as she stood by Tom’s bed, holding his hand, talking about what a wonderful life they’ve had together, an adventure, a partnership.

Being careful to protect the first couple’s anonymity, I shared their tragic state with Tom and Faye. I shared how the husband fiercely defended himself by telling his wife of all the things he had done for her. Then Faye declared, “That’s where he went wrong. It’s not what you do for somebody that counts, but how you make them feel.”

I asked Faye how Tom made her feel and she replied, “Like there was no one else in the world he would rather be with. Even if he was going to the hardware store he would ask me to go with him. I would drop whatever I was doing and go. We didn’t always like the same thing. He loved sports, but I didn’t. But I didn’t say, ‘Why are you watching another ballgame?’ I would sit in the room with him, doing something else, while he watched the ballgame.”

Faye’s comments remind me of something similar that Jesus once said: “Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from me” (Matthew 7:22) You see, it is possible to live with someone for years and to do many wonderful things for them without them ever feeling understood or loved. Faye’s right isn’t she? It’s not what we do for others that counts, but how we make them feel. And right now I’m feeling a little bit like the men to whom Jesus said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.” (John 8:7). Just like them I need to just walk away for some personal reflection. How about you?

Loren Hardin is a social worker with Southern Ohio Medical Center – Hospice and can be reached by email at hardinl@somc.org or by phone at 740-356-2525.

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Loren Hardin

Straight Paths

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