I am only one

“I am only one, but I am one. I can’t do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do. And by the grace of God, I will.” Edward Everett Hale, American Clergyman and writer 1822-1909

This quote was in Sally Myer’s memorial service program last month. I grew up around the corner from Sally and her late husband, Bill, and their two sons, Scott and Mark, in Westerville in the 50s and 60s. People like Sally and Bill were constants in my life.

I read about a woman who was employed in her adult life as a housekeeper in the White House. Each day she cleaned the Oval Office, she knelt and prayed for the president.

A small thing? Time wise, yes, but powerful .  

One person, one prayer, something each of us can do. Maybe not in school any longer, but silent prayers are heard as well.

We all need kindness. Often the simplest act can make our day and these are typically done by one person. Someone opens the door for us, and smiles. A neighbor leans over the fence with a bag of red tomatoes (and probably zucchini!) from their garden.  Somebody walking down the street replaces windblown garbage can lids. A friend calls to say hello. We receive a letter from our grandchild.

It doesn’t take much to make a person’s day a little brighter.

I always believed God let me become deaf for a reason.  He allowed my two cochlear implants to restore my ability to hear clearly for that same reason: To enable me to listen and show His love one person at a time.

It was a joy to be able to offer to make calls to help locate classmates from our Westerville (South) High School 1969 graduating class. We are celebrating our 40th reunion Labor Day weekend. Nearly 100 classmates’ information is elusive, but we have found many of the 390-plus graduates. We search the Internet; ask our mothers what they know – always a great resource – and our friends.

When I find someone, I get a real kick from hearing what they are doing today, where they are living, how many grandchildren they have, and if they can attend the reunion. These conversations give me a chance to be what many of us need – a listening ear.  Responses range from, “Will anyone remember me?” to “Sign me up!” As you might imagine, we have scattered like the wind. Yet many have remained in or near their hometown, or returned, like me.

Reading the quote above, I know I can’t do everything – and don’t really want to – but it’s not all about me. No matter how small, or seemingly insignificant, I believe God is the orchestrator and someday it will all make sense.

Meanwhile, during these turbulent times in our country, each of us can do something. One day we will learn how the dots are connected and see the whole picture.


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