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The Best Words of All

The words of a man’s mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook. —PROVERBS 18:4 [KJV]

The nurse who gave me the rundown on my new homebound patient only told me her diagnosis of debilitating arthritis and her prescribed meds. So when I pulled into Mildred’s driveway, I knew nothing about her as a person to help guide my care.

When I opened the cracked front door, Mildred was resting on the sofa. As she turned onto her side, she fixed her eyes on the worn black Bible on the coffee table. “Could you read me a little from that, nurse?” she asked. “My favorites are underlined.”

First Peter 5:7 was bookmarked with an old Sunday bulletin. A smile tugged at the corners of Mildred’s mouth as I read: “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” Beside that passage she had scribbled, “April 1977, when I got diagnosed.”

A get-well card led me to Isaiah 26:3: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee.” Only a date was inscribed there: “June 1, 1979.” “Husband’s heart attack. Didn’t make it,” Mildred explained.

Other scribblings told of a daughter’s wedding, a neighbor’s kindness, delivering food baskets to shut-ins at Christmas. A few choice words had told me about Mildred’s challenges, her giving spirit, and her love of life.

And most importantly, the source of her strength.

Your words are the best ones of all, dear Lord. Remind me to keep them tucked in my heart.

Adapted from

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