Coach Dave Daubenmire
January 27, 2011
R-o-l-a-i-d-s spells relief.
Remember that commercial advertising the anti-stomach acid medication? Whoever wrote that line should be resting quietly in the tropics, enjoy the fruits of having embedded that line in the minds of millions of Americans.
Is it possible to hear the phrase “How do you spell relief” without thinking of Rolaids?
But today, I would like to take a deeper look at the ailment that Rolaids purportedly remedied.
On New Year’s Day I stopped by to visit my 86 year old mother and I could immediately tell that she was not her usually cheerful self. Although she had battled pain her whole life, or at least since our family was broadsided by a drunk driver on May 20, 1950, Mom never let it get her down. She just didn’t think it was necessary to complain about her ailments in front of other people.
To Mom, it makes more sense to encourage others than it does to bring them down. I guess it is from her that I get my cockeyed-optimististic attitude. Today, she is the life of the party at her assisted-living community. “Oh everyone loves Pearl” the residents always say when I am introduced to a new recruit.
That is why I immediately knew that something was wrong when I walked into her room.
“What’s the matter Mom,” I asked when I saw her sitting on the couch with her head in her hands.
“Oh Honey” (She always calls me that), “I have lost my hearing aid again,” she said as worry oozed out of her eyes. “Billy (my brother) told me that I better not lose another one because they cost a lot and it puts a real strain on the budget.” (I doubt Bill actually said that.)
“Well Mom, where did you last have it” I asked as I moved to the desk where she usually keeps such items. “When did you last have them in your ears?”
Permit me to spare you the details, but Mom had somehow misplaced one of the ear pieces as she put her clothes on in the morning. She had spent all morning (literally) turning her apartment upside down…retracing her steps…replaying her morning… in her slowly fading memory.
As my daughter Maggie and I joined the search for the missing ear-piece my Mom continued to verbalize the obvious anguish she was in, not so much over the loss of the ear-piece, but over her dread of telling Bill and the disappointment she would feel in letting him down.
“Oh Jesus…please help us find it.” “Please Lord please help me find it,” she repeated allowed as Maggie and I turned the room upside down. No matter how much we reassured her that things would be fine, “Omie Pearl” could not get relief from the torment in her soul.
Maggie kept telling her “It will be OK Omie…we’ll all chip in and buy you another one…it is no big deal.” But nothing could bring Mom peace.
It was not until I put my hand in the pocket of a sweater that she had worn the day before that I found the pinkie-finger sized hearing aid. “Here it is Mom” I softly spoke as I walked across the room. “I found it in your sweater pocket.”
My Mom began to sob…shake actually…with a sense of joy over the fact that she didn’t have to disappoint “Billy”. It was heartbreaking to realize how tormented she had been…how the entire morning had been consumed with the pressure of finding that missing piece to her peace.
I am not sure that I have ever done anything that brought my Mom a greater sense of joy than removing that burden from off of her shoulders.
Of all of the feelings in the world, I am not sure there is a greater feeling than that of relief… relief from worry, relief from fear, relief from pressure. I ask you, ss there a greater feeling than relief?
That moment with Mom was as impactful to me as anything that has happened to me in a while, and spurred me to write this commentary
Is there someone you can bring relief to right now? Is it possible that you hold the keys to the prison of fear and torment that someone you know currently finds himself/herself locked in?
Let me exhort you to look around and see whom you can help extricate.
Here’s the truth, you can tell a lot about people by watching what they value. It is easy to voice concern for a friend, or even utter the famous “I’ll pray for you” mantra, but very few people are willing to actually unlock the cell, even though they have the power to do so.
“What do you mean, Coach?” I hear you thinking. “How can I help someone get relief?”
My buddy Bob found himself locked in jail because of something foolish he had done. He had lost everything he had in the previous months as a result of his stupidity and he was in danger of being sentenced to a lengthy jail term unless he was able to get adequate legal representation. He had no money, he had no lawyer, and he had no hope.
My wife and I dug into our own shallow pockets and sent a check to a lawyer who was able to get him off on probation. I’ll never forget the look in Bob’s eyes when I told him we had retained an attorney for him. It was the same look I saw later in Omie Pearl’s eyes.
How could I not help him when I had the means to do so? Was my money more important to me than Bob’s peace of mind?
am willing to bet that there is someone close to you that you can set
free. As I love to tell my friends, the answer is simple, but it is
never easy. Helping others always requires sacrifice.
“Greater love has no man than this than he would lay down his life for his friends…”
Quit hoarding your money. There is someone you know right now that you could help out: Perhaps a young struggling couple that doesn’t know how they will make next month’s rent. Stop praying for them and pay their rent. You’ll see that look in their eyes…a look you’ll never forget.
Perhaps you need to make a phone call and let someone know that you forgive him. Perhaps the torment of the quilt he feels for having wronged you is eating him alive. Give him a call and let him know it’s OK. Relief.
How about your Dad? Are you still holding that grudge over something he said or did years ago? Does he sit around late at night and wonder about you…and your kids…wishing he could make things right? Give him a call. Tell him you want to let bygones be bygones. Give him some relief, even if it was all of his fault.
“Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Prov. 13:12.
Ultimately, other than Jesus, the only thing in life that matters is people. Someone’s sense of relief lies within your power.
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Jesus paid a price you could not pay, for a debt He did not owe. If we are going to be His representatives in this world then we must do likewise.
I think relief has many different spellings.
How do you spell relief?
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