Monday, April 28, 2008

In his book, do one thing differently,( New York, Quill 1999), Bill O'Hanlan tells the story of a wealthy, elderly lady who had withdrawn from life, including her church life, partly because she found it too difficult to circulates in her wheelchair. She had become depressed and was hinting at suicide. Her only interest was her hobby of growing African Violets in her large greenhouse. She was visited one day by a psychiatrist, Milton Erickson, at the request of her worried nephew. Erickson looked around the place. She admitted that her depression was becoming a serious issue. Erickson told her that it was clear that her problem was not depression, but it was that she was not a good Christian. She was taken aback and bristled until he explained, "here you are with all this money, time and ability to grow African Violets, and its all going to waste." He encouraged her to search the church bulletin each week for birth announcements, marriages, funerals and illnesses and then take an African Violet to the people involved and offer encouragement, congratulations, or condolences, as the case may be. She agreed that she had been falling down on her Christian duty and decided to have her handyman drive her around to make deliveries. When she died 10 years later, her funeral was attended by thousands who had come to pay their respect to the charitable and caring lady known as the African Violet Queen of Milwaukee.
Sandra Felton, from her book, Organizing for Life

1 comment:

Juliet said...

Hi Bobbie, It's my first time to your blog. That was a great story- Thanks for sharing it!
Blessings, Juliet!