The People God Places in Connection with Us…by Time or Place

Dear Reader:

I keep reminding myself these days… when the world’s problems seem too overwhelming to contemplate, much less take action on, that we are continuously reminded by people like St. Augustine that we don’t have to travel the world in search of needs and kind deeds…God provides the people around us …even in front of us…  in our normal daily lives…to be recipients of our love and kindness.

Since you cannot do good to all…pay special regard to those who, by time or place, are brought into closer connection with you. (St. Augustine)

When Jesus said, “Love your ‘neighbor’ as yourself”…he, too, meant love the people around you and be a first responder to their needs…since you can get to them quicker than others.

Don’t we all have memories of being in the right place at the right time to stop an impending disaster? I remember David ran out in the road after a ball just as the school bus turned the corner one cold frosty morning…I froze…unable to speak, much less scream. But George, my neighbor, an older boy, hollered loudly at the bus driver with waving arms…putting himself  between David and the impending bus.

I can still hear the screech of brakes, David’s startled face as the ball bounced from his limp arms and George standing tall waving and screaming frantically. He was the hero of the neighborhood.

My childhood memory of being in the right place at the right time…dealt with a couple who had a little boy (about a year and half old) in the duplex side next to us. I was “home alone” one afternoon when I heard the most horrifying screams coming from the other side. I ran over and stopped dead in my tracks.

Apparently Phyllis (the mother) had been boiling eggs for supper and while she got something out of the fridge the toddler reached up and grabbed the pot handle pouring the boiling water with eggs on him. I have never forgotten that sight…Phyllis told me to hold the screaming child as she got ice cubes out and wrapped them in a cloth napkin …then yelled for me to sit on the floor and hold him while she called the ambulance and her husband.

I still remember that horrible scene as I rocked Danny back and forth watching blisters popping up all over his chest and legs…soon his cries became a whimper and I don’t know which sound was more unsettling. I remember praying like I had never prayed in my life…I was probably around ten at the time. To this day it is hard for me to boil an egg…too many memories associated with that day.

There was a long road ahead for Danny with skin grafts but right before we moved to Laurens…Phyllis and her husband, David, stopped by to show us Danny…his skin discolored in places but over all miraculously normal. Until the day they moved she would tell my mother that God had me home that day for a reason (I had a cold) because she couldn’t have gotten through it without me.

It was the first time I felt like there was something going on in the universe bigger than me…that there was a plan for everything that happened…whether it made sense to us at the time or not. I think I grew up  spiritually that day on the kitchen floor-I felt God for the first time… realizing I held a child who was completely dependent on me.

I know many of you have found yourselves in similar situations throughout your life when you were in the right proximity to prevent a disaster or to comfort one after it happens. A “deja vu” of kindness. I would love for anyone to share their own unique incident.

Editor’s Notes: (Ameeta)

“There’s  a saying that either we get a person for life or a lesson for life. While every person is deserving of kindness, what if we were to view the particular people who cross our paths as life’s lessons and opportunities for growth…uniquely tailored just for each of us? 

“Since we can’t bless everyone, let’s learn the lesson of compassion and be kind to those chosen few placed before us. “

So until tomorrow….

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

In spite of continued hot weather…the flowers are still trying to ‘stay alive’…we are supposed to have a couple of cooler days coming…I pray some rain will come with it.

Beautiful rose from Amanda’s rose bush, the mini-red petunias have been troopers all summer, and is there anything more beautiful than a bee inside a sunflower? It just makes me smile.

While talking with Brooke yesterday the doorbell rang and this good looking guy was standing on the porch loaded down with all kinds of bags…it was Mike Burrell straight in from the mountains for a scheduled doctor appointment. Honey had sent me the cutest pottery flower vases…so creative…along with mountain apples and the juiciest tomatoes. The gifts went on and on…as only our Honey can do. It felt like Christmas….look at some of the fun things I got.

Don’t you love the flower turtle vases…how cute are they? And that tomato sandwich for supper last night was the best one I have had all summer! Thank you and love you forever Honey!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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8 Responses to The People God Places in Connection with Us…by Time or Place

  1. Janet Bender says:

    Love this message…I am a firm believer in the concept of acting in the moments God places before us. Opportunities to join in His work abound. Thank you!


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Janet…like you I see it more clearly than ever as I grow older….God’s Winks are everywhere and anywhere there are people around us.


  2. Honey Burrell says:

    So great to chat last night! You are a very special one that God placed in my life. I’m so thankful each and everyday for your friendship! Love you lots😘


  3. bcparkison says:

    Mountain apples sounds good to me and the turtle vase….well how cute can one get.


  4. Joan Semle says:

    You are always an inspiration. Thank you Becky!


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Joan- you were the one who zoned in right on me that day in the hospital- sharing your vision of me holding God’s Hand- I have never let go! I love you for being there when I most needed you!

      Sent from my iPhone


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