Ed was in a bit of a hurry to finish his appointment with me – the visit was delaying him from his work. Oh, not that kind of work. You see, Ed had retired from Mobil Oil some years ago. He was now a volunteer driver for the Cancer Society, transporting patients to and from their doctor’s appointments and their treatments when they had no other means of transportation.
Ed is now 71 years old and fortunately is still in good health and quite mobile. He retired a few years ago and spent the first few years of his retirement trying to find things that would fill his day. He certainly has some other hobbies and interests – he enjoys golfing with his buddies and seems to always be in the midst of one carpentry project or another.
But Ed felt as though he needed something else – something that answered a calling. He had never been involved with volunteer activities, but was asked by an acquaintance one day for help. It seems the friend was already a bit weakened by his illness and felt that the day’s chemotherapy treatment would leave him too weak to drive home. Bingo! Ed found his niche. Before he knew it, he was an established volunteer for the Cancer Society, helping to bring patients to and from appointments.
“I’ve never had time to do any volunteer stuff, doc,” Ed told me. “This is something I like doing and that helps others.”
A rabbinic story tells of a man who bemoans the state of the world – a world filled with suffering and sorrow. Filled with anguish, he asks God, “Why don’t you send help to all these people who are sick and in need?” “I did,” replied God, “I sent people like you.”
If you have a comment or question about this blog entry, email Dr. Roffman at email@example.com.
Dr. Joel Roffman has spoken to many church, synagogue and support groups. His book, Coping with Adversity: Judaism’s response to illness and other life struggles is enjoyable, uplifting and informative. It is meant for people of all faiths and can be viewed at www.copingwithadversity.com. It is available at Barnes and Noble, Borders, and Amazon.com.