Publisher Kathy Bernard
were two men,
both seriously ill, who occupied the same hospital room.
Although it was difficult for him, one of the men was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour a day to drain
the fluids from his lungs. His bed was next
to the room's only window. The other man had
to spend all his time flat on his back.
talked for hours on end. They spoke of their
wives and families, their homes, their jobs, and their involvement in the military
service, and even where they spent their vacations.
afternoon when the man in the bed next to the window could struggle to sit up, he
would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside that
one lone window.
man in the other bed would live for those one-hour periods where his world would be
broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the outside world! The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake,
the man described. Ducks and swans played on the shimmering water while the children
sailed their model boats.
Lovers walked arm
in arm amid the blooming flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the
landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. As the man
by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of
the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.
afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other
man could not hear the band, he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the
window portrayed it with vivid and descriptive words. Unexpectedly, an alien thought
entered his head.
should he have all the pleasure of seeing everything while I never get to
see anything? he thought. It
didn't seem fair. As this thinking fermented, the man felt ashamed at first. But as the days passed and he missed seeing more
sights, his envy eroded into resentment and soon turned him sour. He began to brood and found himself unable to
sleep. He should be by that window, he thought, and this unrelenting notion now controlled
his life. He could not stop thinking about
night, as he lay staring at the ceiling thinking mean and evil thoughts about the fact
that he had no window to enjoy, the sick man by the window began to cough. He was choking on the fluid in his lungs. The other man watched in the dimly lit room as
the struggling man by the window groped for the button to call for help.
Listening to the futile efforts being made, the man
across the room never moved, never pushed his own button that would have brought the nurse
running. In less than five minutes, the coughing and choking stopped, along
with the sound of breathing. Now, there was only silence--deathly silence.
morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths. When she found the lifeless
body of the man by the window, she was saddened and called the hospital attendant to take
the body away; no words, and no fuss. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the man asked if
he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch and
after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.
painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look. Finally, he would have the
joy of seeing it
all himself. Finally. He was overjoyed for now he would see the park,
the parades and all the activity that was described to him by his dead roommate. He strained to sit up and after much effort he
slowly turned to look out the window beside the bed.
To his horror, the window was surrounded by a blank cement wall.
beside himself with shock, pressed the button to call the nurse and agitated, he asked
"What could have compelled my deceased roommate to describe such detailed and
wonderful things outside this window?
is nothing to see. Where are all the
wonderful things he saw?
Is this a new and
recent wall? Why did he give me such vivid
details that don't exist?"
nurse shook her head sadly and answered his questions with a shake of her
head, Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you and make you happy. You see, your roommate
was totally blind”.
an amazing and overflowing happiness we can feel in making others happy, despite our own
situations. This story
above, although changed appropriately for this article, makes us
realize that sometimes we can take things for granted.
This patient near the window wanted to give instead
of receiving. The bible says It is more
blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35) It lifts our spirits and we are able
to pull ourselves up from our own misery by giving joy to someone else. So often we look at others and envy what they
have, just like the jealous and selfish man in the hospital room. In that envy he allowed his friend to die so he
could experience first hand the beautiful view his friend described whenever he looked
through the window.
we see people with their successes and their material wealth, and we wonder why we always
seem to get the short end of the stick.
of us become so obsessed with others seeming good fortune, we cannot see our own
blessings for we are too busy watching everybody else.
calls us to
see all the possibilities He offers to us.
the blind man looking through his window, we can make of our lives
whatever we want to, for it all depends on how we see
what is before us. If we envision the good things we are blessed with
instead of moaning at the bad, if we use our struggles as a learning tool to refine our
faith and grow closer to our heavenly Father, we can move forward in our walk with Jesus
Christ because we know
that one day when this time of strife is over, we will experience the blessed joy and
happiness waiting for us beyond this world. We
will see beyond that blank wall outside the
windows of our lives, the glorious perfection Jesus has in store for us.
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