It's quiet. It's early. My coffee is hot. The sky is still black. The world is still asleep. The day is coming. In a few moments the day will arrive. It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun. The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for the noise of the day. The calm of the solitude will be replaced by the pounding pace of the human race. The refuge of the early morning will be invaded by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met.
For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day's demands. It is now that I must make a choice. And so I choose.
I CHOOSE LOVE. No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.
I CHOOSE JOY. I will invite my God to be the God of circumstances. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical, the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.
I CHOOSE PEACE. I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.
I CHOOSE PATIENCE. I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Rather than complaining that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clinching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.
I CHOOSE KINDNESS. I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.
I CHOOSE GOODNESS. I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will see the good in others when it is hard to find. I will confess before I will accuse. I choose goodness.
I CHOOSE FAITHFULNESS. Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My wife will not question my love. And my children will never fear that their father will not come home.
I CHOOSE GENTLENESS. Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice, may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.
I CHOOSE SELF-CONTROL. I am a spiritual being. After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot rule the eternal. I choose self-control.
LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS AND SELF-CONTROL. To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek God's face. And then when this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest. She jumped up as soon as she saw the surgeon come out of the operating room. She said: "How is my little boy? Is he going to be all right? When can I see him?"
The surgeon said, "I'm sorry. We did all we could, but your boy didn't make it."
Sally said, "Why do little children get cancer? Doesn't God care any more? Where were you, God, when my son needed you?"
The surgeon asked, "Would you like some time alone with your son? One of the nurses will be out in a few minutes, before he's transported to the university."
Sally asked the nurse to stay with her while she said goodbye to son. She ran her fingers lovingly through his thick red curly hair. "Would you like a lock of his hair?" the nurse asked. Sally nodded yes. The nurse cut a lock of the boy's hair, put it in a plastic bag, and handed it to Sally.
The mother said, "It was Jimmy's idea to donate his body to the University for Study. He said it might help somebody else. I said no at first, but Jimmy said, 'Mom, I won't be using it after I die. Maybe it will help some other little boy spend one more day with his Mom.’" She went on, "My Jimmy had a heart of gold. Always thinking of someone else. Always wanting to help others if he could."
Sally walked out of Children's Mercy Hospital for the last time, after spending most of the last six months there. She put the bag with Jimmy's belongings on the seat beside her in the car.
The drive home was difficult. It was even harder to enter the empty house. She carried Jimmy's belongings, and the plastic bag with the lock of his hair to her son's room.
She started placing the model cars and other personal things back in his room exactly where he had always kept them. She laid down across his bed and, hugging his pillow, cried herself to sleep.
It was around midnight when Sally awoke. Laying beside her on the bed was a folded letter. The letter said:
"Dear Mom, I know you're going to miss me, but don't think that I will ever forget you, or stop loving you, just 'cause I'm not around to say "I Love You". I will always love you, Mom, even more with each day. Someday we will see each other again. Until then, if you want to adopt a little boy so you won't be so lonely, that's okay with me. He can have my room and old stuff to play with. But, if you decide to get a girl instead, she probably wouldn't like the same things us boys do. You'll have to buy her dolls and stuff girls like, you know. Don't be sad thinking about me. This really is a neat place. Grandma and Grandpa met me as soon as I got here and showed me around some, but it will take a long time to see everything. The angels are so cool. I love to watch them fly. And, you know what? Jesus doesn't look like any of his pictures. Yet, when I saw Him, I knew it was Him. Jesus himself took me to see GOD! And guess what, Mom? I got to sit on God's knee and talk to Him, like I was somebody important. That's when I told Him that I wanted to write you a letter, to tell you goodbye and everything. But I already knew that wasn't allowed. Well, you know what Mom? God handed me some paper and His own personal pen to write you this letter. I think Gabriel is the name of the angel who is going to drop this letter off to you. God said for me to give you the answer to one of the questions you asked Him 'Where was He when I needed him?' "God said He was in the same place with me, as when His son Jesus was on the cross. He was right there, as He always is with all His children. Oh, by the way, Mom, no one else can see what I've written except you. To everyone else this is just a blank piece of paper. Isn't that cool? I have to give God His pen back now. He needs it to write some more names in the Book of Life. Tonight I get to sit at the table with Jesus for supper. I'm sure the food will be great. Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. I don't hurt anymore. The cancer is all gone. I'm glad because I couldn't stand that pain anymore and God couldn't stand to see me hurt so much, either. That's when He sent The Angel of Mercy to come get me. The Angel said I was a Special Delivery! How about that? Signed with Love from God, Jesus & Me.”