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 Tammy S Scott Oscar Hilterbrandt Neil R Swayne Beulah M Daniels McDonald’s Classic begins Dec. 27 Letters to Santa Senior Profile: Tyler Swearingen Leadership Adams donates to local outreach programs North Adams student/athletes are part of Holiday Sharing Event Senior Profile: Kylie Lucas West Union Elementary holds Academic Fair on Dec. 2 WUES holds annual Spelling Bee NAHS Art students help out the Humane Society Peebles Elementary announces Spelling Bee winners CTC FCCLA / Culinary Arts class holds Cancer Awareness Drive Amen receives Distinguished Service Award ‘Tis the season for family-past, present, and future MHS Computer Class aces MOS Exam WUES recognizes November Bus Riders of the Month NAHS Beta Club sponsors canned food drive Peebles Elementary announces November Students of the Month Crisis text line reaches out during the holidays Paul Wesley Ailshire Joan Cockrell

Jesus will comfort you

Wilma was in her late 80’s when referred to hospice for renal failure. I could tell by the way she looked at me that her trust had to be earned. She admitted, “I’ve been alone and depressed much of my life. I’ve never had any real friends. I’ve always been a loner. When three or four people were together I usually ended up sitting and saying nothing.” Wilma was perplexing, lonely, but at the same time, content. It just didn’t make sense but I guess most of us are living contradictions to some degree.

Wilma reflected on her childhood in South Philadelphia. “My mother was Irish Catholic and really strict. She would as just as soon slap your face as look at you. I can’t ever remember my mother putting her arms around me and telling me she loved me. She never showed me any affection. So I married young to escape from home.” But Wilma soon discovered that freedom can feel a lot like responsibility. She admitted, “It was hard.” Then suddenly, without warning, Wilma’s mind and spirit were transported to a previous time and place. And I just can’t find adequate words to describe the radiance of her countenance, the all encompassing smile, as she reflected on the two people who were to her, like an oasis in a desert.

Even though Wilma’s first husband left her, her mother-in-law remained faithful. Wilma and her two minor children lived with her mother-in-law in her boarding house. Wilma’s mother-in-law babysat for the children while Wilma worked. Wilma described her mother-in-law; “She was educated. She went to high school and then to business college. She was strict but gentle. She never raised her voice but she wouldn’t put up with any shenanigans either. If you pushed her she was fiery. She made the borders sign their names and if it wasn’t ‘Mr. and Mrs.______’, they weren’t allowed to stay.” Wilma added, “When I cried about how hard it was to raise children on my own, she would tell me, ‘Wilma, don’t cry, pray. Jesus will comfort you.’ So I did.”

The other oasis in Wilma’s desert was a Catholic Sister, her elementary school teacher. Wilma reminisced, “She always told us, ‘Jesus is your friend. Talk to him about your work, about your papers, your concerns.’ So I did. I’ll never forget what she told me. Now when I tell people that my friend lives with me they ask me, ‘who?’ and I say, ‘Jesus’. Their jaws drop and they don’t know what to say. We don’t know what Jesus looks like but if he were standing in that doorway I would know who He is.”

Wilma’s loneliness with contentment makes sense now, doesn’t it? She’s found the “friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24), the consonant that produces harmony in dissonant lives.

Is your life characterized by dissonance, loneliness, fear, stress or discouragement? I want you to know that what Jesus did for Wilma he can do for you. After all, that’s why He came. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the broken hearted, to comfort all that mourn, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness.” (Isaiah 61:1-3).

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

Loren Hardin

Straight Paths

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