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"I Bet It's Cold in Chicago" - by Rev. Weldon Bares

In one of her writings, Erma Bombeck told about waiting for a flight at an airport. She had brought along a book to read, to block out all the disruption and noise.

Here is what she wrote about that day: “A voice next to me belonging to an elderly woman said, ‘I’ll bet it’s cold in Chicago.’ Stone-faced, I replied, ‘It’s likely.’ She persisted, ‘I haven’t been to Chicago in three years. My son lives there.’ I said, ‘That’s nice.’ My eyes were intent on the book. ‘My husband’s body is on this plane. We’ve been married 53 years.’”

Erma continued, “I don’t think I ever detested myself more than I did at that moment. Another human being was screaming to be heard, and in desperation, had turned to a cold stranger who was more interested in a book than in the real-life drama at her elbow.

“She talked numbly and steadily until we boarded the plane, then found her seat in another section. As I hung up my coat, I heard the woman say to her seat companion, ‘I’ll bet it’s cold in Chicago.’”

Scripture encourages us, “Let us not love in word or in talk, but in deed and in truth.” (I John 3:18) The Apostle James reminds us, “Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” (James 1:19) Quick to listen.

Perhaps today in some way we can show a little kindness and tenderness to somebody by the simple act of listening.

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