Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Our Nosediving Diva

Scooter Lady

Image by wblo via Flickr

The office where I’m LMOTP (low man on the totum pole) had a little excitement yesterday.

I was in the hallway when the phone rang. One of the secretaries answered on speaker phone. “Spess Companies.”

A secretary who often accompanies Sister Amy to help her because she’s in a motorized wheelchair identified herself. “This is Carrie Sue. We need help out the back door. This is an emergency.” Her voice was calm but extremely intense.

The secretary answering the phone called over the intercom, “Steve, can you help Carrie and Amy out the backdoor?”

Since I was standing nearby, I took a few steps and looked out.  Sister Amy (the Omega to my Alpha) who’s always strapped in her motorized wheelchair, was on her side on the ground on a concrete ramp across the street.

Never let it be said that I do well in an emergency. I don’t. My brain doesn’t function normally but my mouth and lungs go into overdrive. All I know is I have to get to the person who’s in trouble.

I’m not sure what I thought I could do yesterday except maybe lie down next to her on the sidewalk and keep her company.

So I see my baby sister on the ground and my heart turns into a runaway jack hammer and I start screeching, “Hurry, Steve! It’s an emergency! Amy’s on the ground.”

I ran out the door and across our brick street with my hair on fire. When I got to Amy, I saw her face was bleeding and her scraped glasses were lying nearby.

I grabbed her glasses and stuck them in my pocket, and immediately forgot what I’d done.

“Amy! Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” she answered, but I could barely hear her for the voices of the others who’d streamed out the door behind me. “Are you okay? Are you okay? Are you okay?” Everyone was frantic at the thought that she might be hurt.

Cousin Steve and a man applying for a job got her back on her wheels.

“Where are my glasses?” she asked.

Glasses? Glasses? What are glasses? I wanted to ask.

“I think Susan picked them up,” Carrie Sue told her.

“I did?” I checked my pockets and sure enough, there they were. (Go back and read the part about emergencies and me.)

 When she was sure her glasses weren’t lost, off Amy went , back to the office. As many of us as could crowded into the bathroom to help clean up her face.

To be honest, I didn’t want to cause her pain by touching the scrapes on her forehead, cheek and nose, but I couldn’t get more than a few feet from her. 

Someone else tweezered the rocks from under her skin and cleaned off the dirt. Amy never once complained about the pain. Her husband came to survey the damage, help her change her sweater and put antibiotic ointment on her abrasions and she didn’t even whine.

When things calmed down and everyone went back to their pre-appointed jobs, I hugged her for all I was worth, and came very near to crawling up on her lap and sobbing for a few hours. 

I didn’t, but I wanted to. We took her glasses over to get fixed instead. (And even though we went on level ground the entire way, I kept my hand on the back of her chair, Just. In. Case.

By the end of the day, Amy did have a little headache, but it might have been from the fuss everyone was making rather than the fall.

Thank you, Carrie Sue, for being there with Amy each time she needs you. If she’d been alone it might have been a while before we’d have known she kissed the sidewalk.

Thank you, Steve and the applicant, for being there to lift her.

Thank you, Les, for being able to clean up her face.

And thank you, Carollea, for finding the peroxide, even though it had lost its fizz. (I voted for alcohol and iodine, but Amy vetoed my suggestion.)

If I can, I’ll take a picture of her to post here so you can see what happened.

Now if I can just find a sneaky way to glue a football helmet on her head, I’ll be able to stop worrying. 

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Pushing For Jesus


Image via Wikipedia

This is from Sharon Frazier. Read on and see if you don’t love it.

There was a certain Professor of Religion named Dr. Christianson, a studious man who taught at a small college in the western United States. Dr. Christianson taught the required survey course in Christianity at this particular institution.

Every student was required to take this course their freshman year, regardless of his or her major. Although Dr. Christianson tried hard to communicate the essence of the gospel in his class, he found that most of his students looked upon the course as nothing but required drudgery.

Despite his best efforts, most students refused to take Christianity seriously. This year, Dr. Christianson had a special student named Steve. Steve was only a freshman, but was studying with the intent of going onto seminary for the ministry. Steve was popular, he was well liked, & he was an imposing physical specimen. He was now the starting center on the school football team, & was the best student in the professor’s class.

One day, Dr. Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him. “How many push-ups can you do?”

Steve said, “I do about 200 every night.”

“200? That’s pretty good, Steve,” Dr Christianson said. “Do you think you could do 300?”

Steve replied, “I don’t know…. I’ve never done 300 at a time”

“Do you think you could?” again asked Dr. Christianson.

“Well, I can try,” said Steve.

“Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I have a class project in mind & I need you to do about 300 push-ups in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to tell me you can do it,” said the professor.

Steve said, “Well… I think I can…yeah, I can do it.”

Dr. Christianson said, “Good! I need you to do this on Friday.. Let me explain what I have in mind.”

Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room. When class started, the professor pulled out a big box of donuts. No, these weren’t the normal kinds of donuts, they were the extra fancy BIG kind, with cream centers & frosting swirls. Everyone was pretty excited it was Friday, the last class of the day, & they were going to get an early start on the weekend with a party in Dr. Christianson’s class.

Dr. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, “Cynthia, do you want to have one of these donuts?”

Cynthia said, “Yes.”

Dr. Christianson then turned to Steve & asked, “Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut?”

“Sure!” Steve jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then Steve again sat in his desk. Dr. Christianson put a donut on Cynthia’s desk.

Dr. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, & asked, “Joe, do you want a donut?”

Joe said, “Yes.”

Dr. Christianson asked, “Steve would you do ten push-ups so Joe can have a donut?” Steve did ten push-ups, Joe got a donut. And so it went, down the first aisle, Steve did ten push-ups for every person before they got their donut.

Walking down the second aisle, Dr. Christianson came to Scott. Scott was on the basketball team, & in as good condition as Steve. He was very popular & never lacking for female companionship.

When the professor asked, “Scott do you want a donut?” Scott’s reply was, “Well, can I do my own push-ups?”

Dr. Christianson said, “No, Steve has to do them.”

Then Scott said, “Well, I don’t want one then.”

Dr. Christianson shrugged and then turned to Steve and asked, “Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Scott can have a donut he doesn’t want?”

With perfect obedience Steve started to do ten push-ups. Scott said, “HEY! I said I didn’t want one!”

Dr. Christianson said, “Look! This is my classroom, my class, my desks, and these are my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don’t want it.” And he put a donut on Scott’s desk.

Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up and down. You could start to see a little perspiration coming out around his brow.

Dr. Christianson started down the third row. Now the students were beginning to get a little angry. Dr. Christianson asked Jenny, “Jenny, do you want a donut?”

Sternly, Jenny said, “No.”

Then Dr. Christianson asked Steve, “Steve, would you do ten more push-ups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn’t want?”

Steve did ten….Jenny got a donut.

By now, a growing sense of uneasiness filled the room. The students were beginning to say, “No!” and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks. Steve also had to really put forth a lot of extra effort to get these push-ups done for each donut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face, his arms and brow were beginning to get red because of the physical effort involved.

Dr. Christianson asked Robert, who was the most vocal unbeliever in the class, to watch Steve do each push up to make sure he did the full ten push-ups in a set because he couldn’t bear to watch all of Steve’s work for all of those uneaten donuts. He sent Robert over to where Steve was so Robert count the set & watch Steve closely.

Dr. Christianson started down the fourth row. During his class, however, some students from other classes had wandered in & sat down on the steps along the radiators that ran down the sides of the room. When the professor realized this, he did a quick count & saw that now there were 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it.

Dr. Christianson went on to the next person and the next and the next. Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set.

Steve asked Dr. Christianson, “Do I have to make my nose touch on each one?”

Dr. Christianson thought for a moment, “Well, they’re your push-ups. You are in charge now. You can do them any way that you want.” And Dr. Christianson went on.

A few moments later, Jason, a recent transfer student, came to the room & was about to come in when all the students yelled in one voice, “NO! Don’t come in! Stay out!” Jason didn’t know what was going on.

Steve picked up his head and said, “No, let him come.”

Professor Christianson said, “You realize that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten push-ups for him?”

Steve said, “Yes, let him come in. Give him a donut.”

Dr. Christianson said, “Okay, Steve, I’ll let you get Jason’s out of the way right now. Jason, do you want a donut?”

Jason, new to the room, hardly knew what was going on. “Yes,” he said, “give me a donut.”

“Steve, will you do ten push-ups so that Jason can have a donut?”

Steve did ten push-ups very slowly & with great effort. Jason, bewildered, was handed a donut and sat down. Dr Christianson finished the fourth row, & then started on those visitors seated by the heaters. Steve’s arms were now shaking with each push-up in a struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity. By this time sweat was profusely dropping off of his face, there was no sound except his heavy breathing; there was not a dry eye in the room.

The very last two students in the room were two young women, both cheerleaders, & very popular. Dr. Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, & asked, “Linda, do you want a doughnut?”

Linda said, very sadly, “No, thank you.”

Professor Christianson quietly asked, “Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Linda can have a donut she doesn’t want?”

Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow push-ups for Linda.

Then Dr. Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan. “Susan, do you want a donut?”

Susan, with tears flowing down her face, began to cry. “Dr. Christianson, why can’t I help him?”

Dr. Christianson, with tears of his own, said, “No, Steve has to do it alone; I have given him this task and he is in charge of seeing that everyone has an opportunity for a donut whether they want it or not. When I decided to have a party this last day of class, I looked at my grade book. Steve here is the only student with a perfect grade. Everyone else has failed a test, skipped class, or offered me inferior work. Steve told me that in football practice, when a player messes up he must do push-ups. I told Steve that none of you could come to my party unless he paid the price by doing your push-ups. He & I made a deal for your sakes.”

“Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Susan can have a donut?”

As Steve very slowly finished his last push-up, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 push-ups, his arms buckled beneath him & he fell to the floor.

Dr. Christianson turned to the room & said, “And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, on the cross, plead to the Father, ‘Into thy hands I commend my spirit.’ With the understanding that He had done everything that was required of Him, He yielded up His life. And like some of those in this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk, uneaten”.

Two students helped Steve up off the floor and to a seat, physically exhausted, but wearing a thin smile.

“Well done, good and faithful servant,” said the professor, adding, “Not all sermons are preached in words.” Turning to his class, the professor said, “My wish is that you might understand & fully comprehend all the riches of grace and mercy that have been given to you through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He spared not His Only Begotten Son, but gave Him up for us all, for the whole Church, now and forever. Whether or not we choose to accept His gift to us, the price has been paid.”

“Wouldn’t you be foolish and ungrateful to leave it lying on the desk?”.