Posts Tagged ‘comfort’

Nothing But Pain

July 6, 2014

homeless-man-on-street-despairI was moved by this story by Becky Lee, which was printed on Quora. It’s taken me a while but I’m getting better at looking past a person’s appearance and circumstances, perceiving their needs and, when appropriate, trying to connect with them on a meaningful level. Becky’s story reinforces  a great truth: every human being is in need of caring, comfort and kindness. Like Becky, I do what I can when I can, knowing that even the slightest bit of attention and loving concern can change a life.

Seek to do brave and lovely things which are left undone by the majority of people. Give gifts of love and peace to those whom others pass by.
Paramahansa Yogananda

by Becky Lee

I was recently sitting in a doctor’s office waiting for an appointment. A man approached the reception desk with no shirt on, using it as a sling around his leg.

He was sweating profusely and he stunk. He was dirty. He looked like a bum. He was pleading with the receptionist to get a doctor to see him because he didn’t have any pain pills.

The receptionist and I smirked at each other and everyone in the waiting room shot each other a knowing glance . . . as if we were all thinking, “Oh, brother.”

The receptionist patronizingly explained that he would have to make an appointment and the doctor was too busy to renew his prescription. She refused to ask. I felt like rolling my eyes at this man. I mean, HELLO DUDE, make an appointment and for God sakes put on a shirt and have some self-respect. He disgusted me.

At that moment the man dropped to the floor and looked up at the sky. He started to weep. I mean REALLY WEEP. I will never forget what he said.

He said,   (more…)

Prayers from a Master

May 3, 2012

In recognition of the National Day of Prayer, I offer four brief prayers offering comfort and inspiration from the pen of Paramahansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi and the founder of Self-Realization Fellowship. These excerpts are from Yogananda’s book, Where There is Light.

O Divine Teacher, let me realize that though the gloom of my ignorance be age-old, with the dawn of Thy light the darkness will (more…)

A Saint Helps My Mom Cross Over

February 13, 2012

This moving story by my friend Judy is both a reminder of the promise and power of prayer and the infinite love and compassion of those to whom we pray. Even when prayer doesn’t seem to be accomplishing anything, the loving energy you transmit may ease the recipient’s pain, comfort their soul, and bolster their strength and resolve.


“The hospice nurse was just here,” my sister told me over the phone. “She said Mom will probably last another month.” As a public health nurse, I knew that hospice nurses were skilled at recognizing the signs and symptoms of approaching death and predicting how much time a patient had left.

My mom was two thousand miles away in St. Louis and there was nothing I could do to help her. She lay suffering, short of breath and wheezing. She had always told us that she could not handle being “an invalid.” Even the thought of using (more…)

The Breath of Kindness

January 24, 2012

Nineteeth-century English novelist Dinah Maria Craik masterfully put into words the joy and beauty of friendship. Her description is spot-on. A real friend is on the same wavelength, so you need not guard your words; even if you do not say what you mean, your friend will know what you mean to say. May those you love and feel safe with be with you always.

Oh, the comfort—the inexpressible comfort of (more…)

Rick Reilly: I Believe in Tim Tebow

January 13, 2012

ESPN sportswriter Rick Reilly

You may not believe in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy, but like writer Rick Reilly, you can believe in Tim Tebow. Bravo to Reilly for regularly highlighting the positive side of sports and athletes.


Tim Tebow with Jacob Rainey, one of the many people dealing with health problems Tebow hosted at Broncos games this season (photo courtesy of Tim Tebow Foundation)

I’ve come to believe in Tim Tebow, but not for what he does on a football field, which is still three parts Dr. Jekyll and two parts Mr. Hyde.

No, I’ve come to believe in Tim Tebow for what he does off a football field, which is represent the best parts of us, the parts I want to be and so rarely am.

Who among us is this selfless?

Every week, Tebow picks out someone who is suffering, or who is dying, or who is injured. He flies these people and their families to the Broncos game, rents them a car, puts them up in a nice hotel, buys them (more…)

The Intuitive Art of Wooing Nature

September 28, 2011

Fighting your suffering disrupts the flow of life. Surrender to your suffering and the gates of understanding swing open.

Suffering is magnificent music—the moment you give ear to it. But you never listen to it: you always have a different, private, stubborn music and melody in your ear which you will not relinquish and with which the music of suffering will not harmonize.
Hermann Hesse

No matter how deeply you are wounded, there are great (more…)

The Comforts of Home

October 17, 2010

Erin and me outside the Wisconsin cabin

After a week in the woods, I felt more at home in a friend’s cabin in northwest Wisconsin than I do at my shared apartment in Minneapolis, where I’ve lived for more than a year. I don’t view “home” as a physical concept. I feel at home anywhere I have an emotional or spiritual connection or where I’m with people I care about.

I felt at home in the cabin because of the peacefulness of the woods and the generosity of the couple who offered it to me. I felt even more at home there the last two days of my eleven-day stay because my daughter Erin drove up to walk the nature trail with me and spend time together.

I feel at home wherever I am if my daughter is with me. Or my mom. Or my closest friends. I feel at home at Ecopolitan, my (more…)

Remind People That They Are Beautiful

December 7, 2008

My friend Jia was in despair. She had walked away from a great job as a research scientist in her early forties to pursue her dream of earning a medical degree in the U.S.; her credentials as a doctor in her native China were not recognized in America.

Jia has a kind heart, endless compassion, a keen intellect, and an astonishing work ethic. However, medical school was not going well; the head of her program was treating her harshly, advising her to drop out and telling her she would never make it as a doctor. Jia kept giving her best but felt lonely, isolated, and ostracized by her fellow students.

At ten o’clock one night, I was passing by Jia’s neighborhood on my way home, so I swung by her house and rang the bell. Jia opened the door looking sad and forlorn. I told her that I could only stay a couple of minutes and that I had just come over to tell her something.

I took her hand and gently (more…)

A Prayer for Sending People Light and Love

September 20, 2008


When someone is in need of healing, whether I know them well or not at all, I visualize them while saying the following prayer.

I send you love and light, my friend, from my heart to yours—to love you, to protect you, to guide you, to heal you, to cherish you, to comfort you. God bless you, my friend. You are beautiful and you are loved.

Know that the loving (more…)