Welcome To Jerry's Haven &Tell Talks. We are so happy you have joined us. We will be sending out a newsletter once a week and touch on different subjects as well as including some links, poetry, and all around Christian Fun. If there is anything that you would like to see please do let us know. We welcome any and all comments.  (This page can also be viewed on the web at  http://www.whatistruth.info/talks2/18.html)

The notice was posted next to the tenants' mailboxes in the apartment building I'd just moved into in Brooklyn, New York. "A Mitzvah for Mrs. Green," it read. "Sign up to drive Mrs. G in #3B home from her chemotherapy treatments twice a month."

Since I wasn't a driver, I couldn't add my name, but the word mitzvah lingered in my thoughts after I went upstairs. It's a Hebrew word that means "to do a good deed," or "an act that expresses God's will." It is more than that, really, more like a commandment to do things for others.

And according to my grandmother, it also had another meaning. This was the one she was always pointing out to me because she'd notice how shy I was about letting people do things for me. "Linda, it's a blessing to do a mitzvah for someone else, but sometimes it's a blessing to let another person do something for you."

Grandma would be shaking her head at me right now. Several of my friends at the graduate school I attended nights had offered to help me settle in after the moving men left, but I'd said I could manage. Letting them help would have interfered with my image of myself as a capable and independent woman of 21.

Snowflakes had been tumbling past my window for several hours when it came time to leave for class. I pulled on two sweaters, a coat, a wool hat and boots, bundling up for the trek to the bus stop that the real estate agent had dismissed as a short stroll. Maybe in May it was a stroll, but in this December storm it was a hike. As I topped off my outfit with a blue scarf that Grandma had crocheted for me, I could almost hear her voice: "Why don't you see if you can find a lift?"

A thousand reasons why popped into my head: I don't know my neighbors; I don't like to impose; I feel funny asking for favors. Pride would not let me knock on a door and say, "It's a 10-minute ride by car but a long wait for the bus, and it's a 30-minute bus ride, so could you possibly give me a lift to school?"

I trudged to the bus stop, reaching it just as a bus went by.

Three weeks later, on the night of my final exam, the snow was falling steadily. I slogged through oceans of slush to the bus stop. For an hour, I craned my neck, praying desperately that a bus would come. Then I gave up. The wind at my back pushed me toward home, as I prayed, Dear God, how can I get to school? What should I do?

As I pulled Grandma's scarf more tightly around my neck, again I seemed to hear that whisper: Ask someone for a lift! It could be a mitzvah.

That idea had never really made sense to me. And even if I wanted to ask someone for a good deed, which I did not, there wasn't a soul on the street.

But as I shoved the door of my apartment building open, I found myself face to face with a woman at the mailbox. She was wearing a brown coat and had a set of keys in her hand. Obviously she had a car, and just as obviously, she was going out. In that split second, desperation overcame pride, and with my breath coming out in white puffs in the freezing hallway, I blurted, "Could you possibly give me a lift?" I hurriedly explained, ending with, "I never ask anybody for a lift, but ...

An odd look crossed the woman's face, and I added, "Oh! I live in 4R. I moved in recently.”

"I know," she said. "I've seen you through the window. Then, after an almost imperceptible hesitation, "Of course. I'll give you a lift. Let me get my car key.”

"Your car key?" I repeated. "Isn't that it in your hand?" She looked down. "No, no, I was just going to get my mail. I'll be right back." And she disappeared upstairs, ignoring my "Ma'am! Please! I don't mean to put you out!" I was terribly embarrassed. But when she came back, she spoke so warmly as we plodded our way to a garage across the street that I stopped feeling uncomfortable.

"You know the way better than I," she said. "Why don't you drive?"

"I can't," I said.

Now I felt inept again.

She just laughed and patted me on the hand, saying, "It's not so important," and then I laughed, too. "You remind me of my grandmother," I said.

At that, a slight smile crossed her lips. "Just call me Grandma Alice. My grandchildren do. And you are ...?" As she maneuvered her car—one of those big cars, like a tank—down the slushy streets, I introduced myself.

When she dropped me off, I thanked her profusely and stood there waving as she drove away. My final exam was a breeze compared with the ordeal I'd gone through to get to it, and asking Grandma Alice for help had loosened me so that after class I was able to ask easily, "Is anyone going my way?" It turned out that while I'd been waiting for a bus every night, three fellow students passed my apartment house. "Why didn't you say something before?" they chorused.

Back home as I walked up the stairs, I passed Grandma Alice leaving her neighbor's apartment. "Good night, Mrs. Green. See you tomorrow," the neighbor was saying.

I nodded to them and was four steps up the staircase before the name registered in my brain. Mrs. Green. The woman with cancer. "Grandma Alice" was Mrs. Green.

I stood on the stairs, my hand covering my mouth, as the ... grotesqueness was the only word I could think of ... of what I had done hit me: I had asked a person struggling with cancer to go out in a snowstorm to give me a lift to school. "Oh, Mrs. Green," I stammered, "I didn't realize who you were. Please forgive me."

I forced my legs to move me up the stairs. In my apartment, I stood still, not taking my coat off. How could I have been so insensitive? In a few seconds, someone tapped on my door. Mrs. Green stood there.

"May I tell you something?" she asked. I nodded slowly, motioning her toward a chair, sinking down onto my couch. "I used to be so strong," she said. She was crying, dabbing at her eyes with a white linen handkerchief. "I used to be able to do for other people. Now everybody keeps doing for me, giving me things, cooking my meals and taking me places. It's not that I don't appreciate it because I do. But tonight before I went out to get my mail, I prayed to God to let me feel like part of the human race again. Then you came along ..."

From: Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul


Do you have a favorite link you would like to share? Email Us and let us know.

Problems Of Eternal Moment

Heat Safety

Food Safety

Vernalisa's Fourth Of July Menu

Happy Fourth Of July


Have You Lost Christ?

Patriotic Music

Virtual Fireworks

From Our House To Yours


  1. The birds have to use potholders to pull worms out of the ground.

  2. The trees are whistling for the dogs.

  3. The best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance.

  4. Hot water now comes out of both taps.

  5. You can make sun tea instantly.

  6. You learn that a seat belt buckle makes a pretty good branding iron!

  7. The temperature drops below 95 and you feel a little chilly.

  8. You discover that in July it only takes 2 fingers to steer your car.

  9. You discover that you can get sunburned through your car window.

  10. You actually burn your hand opening the car door.

  11. You break into a sweat the instant you step outside at 7:30 a.m.

  12. Your biggest bicycle wreck fear is, "What if I get knocked out and end uplying on the pavement and cook to death?"

  13. You realize that asphalt has a liquid state.

  14. The potatoes cook underground, so all you have to do is pull one out and addbutter, salt and pepper.

  15. Farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying boiledeggs.

  16. The cows are giving evaporated milk. Ah, what a place to call home.
  17. God Bless Our State of FLORIDA!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

1/2 cup margarine
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 15 oz can pineapple chunks
maraschino cherries, drained
yellow cake mix

This is one of my all time favorite recipes.  I make it every Fourth of July and get raving reviews and an empty pan every time!

Preheat over to 375 degrees F. Before making the cake batter, prepare the topping: In a 13" x 9" pan place the margarine and put in the oven until it melts.  Sprinkle the brown sugar over the margarine. Drain the pineapple chunks; use pineapple to form flowers in the sugar mixture. Use a cherry for the center of each flower.

Prepare the cake batter as box directs, but carefully spoon the batter over the design in the baking pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan, on wire rack, ten minutes.

Then loosen cake from sides of pan ; place platter on top of pan and invert both; lift off pan. (If any of the fruit sticks to the pan, lift off with a spatula and replace in the design on cake.

Each week will offer our Members a custom "Sig Tag, Web Set, Or Special Graphic" free.This is only for our Mailing List Members. This week's offer is a Fourth Of July Email Set. Click here to get the rest of the set

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