Mike's sister Dee* is dying. She's forty-five
years old, living in and apartment in New York City, and has AIDS. Several weeks ago he had asked me to write his sister
to try to encourage her. So I sent a letter to Dee urging her to continue to trust in Christ, and that no matter how
sick she feels, to never lose faith in the Lord.
Back in the late 1990's some of Mike's family members rescued
Dee from a crackhouse. She had been missing for a few days and they were finally able to track her down.
When they found her Dee was semi-conscious and sprawled
on a tenement floor. They had to carry her back home. But the years of being an addict and using intravenous drugs
in addition to sniffing crack, all came crashing down on her life when she began to get sick. Then came the doctor's
Dee's tragic story is typical. Succumbing to the temptations
of the streets while growing up in Harlem, she's now on her way to an early grave. A life once full of hope is
Mike told me his sister may not have much longer.
She's gravely ill, and most of the time, to weak to attend church. But it is in reaching out to people like Dee, however,
the God has been showing me the value of simple things. There is everlasting worth in acts of kindness.
It's the small things we can do that will make a big difference
in someone else's life.
And as I travel on this spiritual journey with its many
times of trials, tests, and temptations, I rejoice at the opportunities to touch needy lives in the same way that God has
so often touched and helped me.
I am thankful, too, for the occasions when I could help
another man by writing a letter for him, or by getting him an item from the prison's commisary because he's broke and he cannot
Then there are the times when I'm able to pray for a man
who's sick or feeling stressed out. It is a joy doing what I believe Jesus Himself would do. I am certain
that God takes notice of these simple things, as well as of every kind deed.
June 30, 2005
*Dee is not her real name.
(c) 2005 David Berkowitz