Janelle's Blog


Alone in a Crowd

I was sitting alone in a crowded auditorium while fellow church members gathered for a service.

An energetic, female usherette walked briskly down the aisle as she seated people. Eager to reconnect after being out of church for several weeks, I glanced down the aisle as she walked toward me. She was smiling, but not at me or anyone else. She was air-smiling, looking straight ahead, smiling at nothing.

If she had directed her smile at individuals instead of air-smiling, perhaps she would have encouraged the dozens of people she passed.

Connecting Human Souls

There is a power of connection when you touch a human soul with your smile, words or kind deeds.

At age 34 I faced breast cancer. Hospitalized and recovering from a mastectomy, I was scared of what was happening to my body, terrified of dying, and at that moment completely rejected the idea that anyone would ever want to have anything to do with me because I had cancer.

Keep in mind that 27 years ago, there was little spoken publically about breast cancer. Society made you feel as though you had a communicable disease. You could lose your job if you mentioned you had cancer because the company didn’t want to jeopardize its insurance. So, my feeling of self-loathing was not too far off from what society imposed on me.

Turning Point

The turning point on that erroneous thinking came in the hospital, immediately after I had a mastectomy. The nurse came in about midnight to check on me and noticed I was depressed.

“Is there anything I can do for you?” she said.

My quick response was, “Could you sit down for a second and just hold my hand?”

Without saying a word, she reached out and took my hand and held it for several minutes. Words were not necessary. She had touched my soul. The next night she came into my room and again sat down and held my hand, not speaking a word. And, again the third night, she did the same thing.

More was accomplished in the midnight hour of my despair by the human connection than anyone had been able to do for me. Maybe it was because she didn’t have to care, that it meant so much to me.

Thought for Today

The next time you have an opportunity to be nice to someone, remember that your smile can reach to the depths of a human soul and your touch can warm a hurting heart.

Live Life,


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