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“If the good Lord’s willing and the creek don’t rise….”

February 5, 2013


Over the past few days I have been reminded of how precious, fragile, and cherished life for those for whom it’s ebbing.  

 Ever have those times in life when it seems like something is being communicated to you?  A repeated theme is run over and over as if you’re in a Seinfeld episode and then similar to smacking your head on the all too low basement doorframe, you finally realize you are in the middle of a valuable life lesson.  Recently I have been an outsider looking in on long-term relationships and friends flipping through their final chapters being challenged by the reality of mortality. 

 *Twice in the past few months alone I’ve sat with couples in their 80s dealing with major health crisis for one spouse causing stress and worry for the other.  The fear of losing their life partner and walking the rest of their days alone is crippling.

*My 97 year old friend calls to remind me that she is home “in case” I can visit.  If it wasn’t for her TV, the home would be deafeningly silent and lonely. 

*The friend in their late 80s that struggles with so many ailments and pains expressed a hopeful but knowingly hopeless wish that someone would invent a way to alleviate the aches physically and emotionally of growing old. 

*The friend in her 70s that is homebound is constantly on my mind.  It’s one thing to choose to be home, another to be “sentenced” to it.

*I receive calls almost daily from my 78 year old friend who has fewer and fewer to call and care about.  He has survived multiple battles with cancer but hasn’t been able to win the battles that have one by one claimed his loved ones.  Once in a great while we get to meet for breakfast, I wish is was more frequent because then I could hear his response to my “See you tomorrow.” 

“I’ll be there if the good Lord’s willing and the creek don’t rise.”

That just makes me laugh.  However I have seen how serious that sentiment is for those who feel their last day is approaching all too fast.

 Growing old.   Being alone.  The most acclaimed person of science nor the most advanced development in medicine can cure these agonies.  Two of life’s greatest pains and ailments can only be treated and eased by the warmth, concern and interaction with another human being.  The power to alleviate these miseries is solely in the hands of those who surround the elderly and lonely.  Your hands.

‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’  Matt 25:37-40

Understandably there is never enough time to accomplish your daily “to-do” list so for me to ask you to consider adding more to your already full plate is very insensitive of me.  However, I am not asking you to daily add visiting the seniors and lonely, I am asking for you to seize any one opportunity you can to be thankful that the Good Lord was willing to grant you this day to help someone else through theirs.  An offer to pick up any needed items when you are at the store; shovel an extra drive; bake an extra batch of cookies; offer a night at one of the Joliet missions; do what the dinosaurs did- send a “thinking of you card” in the snail mail; or…….

 Help Hope and Friendship Foundation to create more than 500 lunches that will make the day for homeless of two Joliet missions and 160 local seniors this coming Saturday.  “Warm a Heart, Lift a Spirit” Sack Lunch Making Event was created to reach out to those who need a reminder that they are not alone.  This event: the sack lunch, the notes, the $5 gift card for a second lunch has created ripples that have been extending beyond our community for the past 4 years.  Your donation of items and/or time will fill a void in a life that is struggling.  If you can help, know your help is needed.  Email or visit for more information on items needed or where to participate on Sat Feb 9th


The goal:  to warm 500+ lonely hearts and lift 500+ down spirits one sack lunch at a time. We have done this for 300+ for the past 4 years,

it’s time to create larger ripples! 
We can do this J


If you would to throw your hat, time, and heart into the formation of a Hope and Friendship Outreach Team please email 


“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything,

but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything,

I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”

Helen Keller


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