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Mr. Smith

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This morning a man came into the office where I work to transact some business with us. He was a slight fellow and had a little trouble pushing in our heavy front door; but other than that, he seemed pretty chipper.

Mr. Smith (his actual name) was cheerful and businesslike and extremely likeable. We chatted for a few minutes and he mentioned that people had been telling him to retire for a long time, but he thought the Lord would tell him when it was time. I learned that he is already retired from a factory position but buys and renovates little houses. The fact that he had already retired from a factory was not surprising because he looked to be around seventy years old—but when I asked his age, he told me he was 89.

This old gentleman mentioned to me that he had suffered from a heart attack followed by surgery and then by a stroke only last year—and on the day his heart became more painful than he could endure, he drove himself to the hospital. Apparently, at the hospital he mentioned that he had his car in the parking lot and would be going home when they were done with him. The nurses told him they wanted to talk it over with his doctor first.

By the time he went to surgery, his heart was in such bad shape that he remembers little of the next couple of weeks, but he says that his heart was so bad it wasn’t really even a heart anymore. He says that during his surgery every artery was either replaced or stinted and that his heart was repaired with numerous patches.

After the fact, his heart doctor told him that he had “died on the table” and that he and the other doctor in the operating room had tried everything to bring him back. When the heart surgeon gave up, he pulled the sheet over this old man’s head and went out to tell the nurses—but when he came back into the room, Mr. Smith had grasped the sheet in a fist and pulled it off of his face. The old man chuckled as he told me that the doctor told him he had said, “Don’t ever do that to me again,” but he says the doctor is a character and he thought that was just a tall tale.

However, the fact remains that the Lord spared this old fellow for some reason, which of course is known only to Him; but if he always cheers people up and gives them faith and hope as he did for me today, that may be the purpose the Lord had in mind. To me Mr. Smith was the blessing of the day.

When I told him he made my day brighter, he replied, “Everyone needs some “up” now and then.” He says he’s had a good life because there were always such good people around him throughout his lifetime. He particularly mentioned his mother and his wife, saying he couldn’t say which one was the best woman.

To someone like me who fully understands how important the people in your life are to your happiness, I was impressed when he articulated the sentiment. In fact, I’d like to say that all in all, I’m very grateful to God for sending Mr. Smith to the office today. He was carrying a dose of good cheer that I really needed.

Betty Killebrew

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