Saving Adams County’s power plants North Adams High School announces annual Science Fair Winners Board of Developmentally Disabled holds Jan. 11 swearing-in ceremony Peebles Elementary honors December Students of the Month Adams County villages receive Bike Racks and Fix-it Stations College Credit Plus Program available to high school students Wenstrup selected as Chairman of Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health 2017 Manchester Homecoming is ‘Super’ Lions put damper on Manchester Homecoming West Union athletes honored by OSSCA Senior Profile: Story Kremin Bickett, Runyan lead Lady Dragons to victory in Manchester Indians improve to 8-3 with Saturday night rout of Portsmouth West Farm Bureau scholarships available to HS seniors Wilbur named to the Wilmington College Dean’s List Opal Van Hoose Ruby Yazell Chris Volk North Adams High School holds annual Homecoming ceremonies Six workers injured in power plant explosion Commissioners hold proclamation ceremony for 4-H Week Senior Profile: Shyanne Tucker Coach Young Classic is Saturday at NAHS Helen Kerr Anna L DeMint The garden that got us through the winter months Virginia L Fricker JV Devils top Northwest 51-34 Senior Profile: Caitlin Young North Adams moves to 7-5 with 16-point Homecoming win over Northwest Held to a higher standard Claudia J Purtee Shaylee E Prewitt Questions still linger in Stuart explosion Richard Holsinger J Ruth Madden Frank E Swayne Robert Bechdolt Sara D Hatfield Barbara Goodwin Jeffrey Frederick Grace E Myers Johnny A Sullender Sr. Senator Joe Uecker sworn-in for second term Wenstrup sworn in for third term in House Ronald L Chochard Patrick P Clift Samuel W Freeland Senior Profile: Casey Mullenix Lady Dragons win ugly, taking Classic consolation game over Manchester, 48-45 Greyhounds roll by West Union to take Classic consolation game, 82-58 History made as Ward takes oath of office Peter A Bennington Tangela R King McDonald’s Classic crowns 2016 champions MVP Arey leads Peebles to McDonald’s Classic title, Indians outlast North Adams 82-76 in double overtime thriller Lady Devils get Classic three-peat, make it 10 of 11, 14 titles for Coach Davis Senior Profile: Raegan Dick Teaching students the power of giving Kids at Children’s Home gifted with shopping spree Marion Liming Dorothy Huff John R Murphy Michael L McAninch Rita Rogers Edward L Combs Ronald W Staggs Mary H Grooms Gladys Wilson Donald Barnhill Monda Van Vorren Deborah Spires Senior Profile: Andre Wolke Indians pull away in second half, get past Manchester 71-58 in Classic semis On home floor, Lady Indians move to Classic title game North Adams handles West Union, Devils move to Classic finals with 68-53 victory Lady Devils roll into Classic championship Beth E Rowley Leatrice Lewis Senior Profile: Justin Aldridge Mary Helterbridle Wanda Huffman PES Performing Arts entertains at Hometown Christmas Adams County Manor sends holiday wishes Peebles Lions Club hosts Christmas breakfast Elusive Elf on a Shelf makes a return visit to PES Santas in blue spread Christmas cheer in a very special way Senior Profile: Aubrey McFarland WUHS holds Hall of Fame induction ceremonies WUHS Academic Team has undefeated season Serving those who served their country From Pearl Harbor to ‘America’s Got Talent’, 93-year-old WWII vet is still going strong Yester Years brings a touch of old to the new Merry Christmas to you all North Adams Elementary announces Spelling Bee winners Peebles High School hosts Homecoming ceremonies Children in need receive gifts at PES Adams County Manor holds annual Door Decorating Contest WUHS celebrates with numerous Christmas activities Halftime lead quickly vanishes, Dragons fall to Northwest 73-62 in Saturday night non-conference match up

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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