"Information Please"
(By: Paul Villard)

5-1-2008 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #490
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds”].

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Minister Angus Bowen

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Story of the Week
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“Information Please”
(By: Paul Villard)

When I was quite young, my father had one of the   first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember the polished, old case   fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I   was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with  fascination  when my mother talked to it.   

Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful   device lived an amazing person. Her name was 'Information Please' and   there was nothing she did not know. Information Please could supply   anyone's number and the correct time.   

My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle   came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at   the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer, the   pain was terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because there was   no one home to give sympathy.   

I walked around the house sucking my throbbing   finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran   for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing   up, I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear.   'Information, please' I said into the mouthpiece just above my head. A   click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear.

'Information.'  

'I hurt my finger...' I wailed into the phone, the   tears came readily enough now that I had an  audience.

'Isn't your mother home?' came the   question. 

'Nobody's home but me,' I   blubbered. 

'Are you bleeding?' the voice   asked.

'No,' I replied. 'I hit my  finger with the  hammer and it hurts.'  

'Can you open the icebox?' she  asked.

I said I could.  

'Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to   your finger,' said the voice.  

After that, I called 'Information Please' for   everything. I asked her for help with my geography, and she told me  where   Philadelphia  was. She helped me with my math. She told me my pet  chipmunk  that I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat  fruit and  nuts. 

Then, there was the time Petey,  our pet canary,  died. I called, 'Information Please' and told her the sad  story. She  listened, and then said things grown-ups say to soothe a child.  But I  was not consoled. I asked her, 'Why is it that birds should sing so   beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of   feathers on the bottom of a cage?'  

She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said   quietly, 'Gene,  always remember that there are other worlds to  sing  in.' 

Somehow I felt  better. 

Another day I was on the  telephone and called,  'Information Please.' 

'Information,' said in the now familiar   voice.

'How do I spell fix?' I   asked.

All this took place in a small  town in  Oklahoma   . When I was nine years old, we moved across the country  to Boston . I  missed my friend very much. 'Information Please' belonged in  that old  wooden  box back home and I somehow never thought of trying  the  shiny new  phone that sat on the table in the hall. As I grew  into  my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really   left me. 

Often, in moments of doubt and  perplexity I  would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I  appreciated now  how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent  her time on a  little boy. 

A few years later, on my way west to college, my   plane put down in  Seattle  . I had about a half-hour or so between  planes.  I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived  there now.  Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown  operator and  said, 'Information Please.'  

Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew   so well. 'Information.'  

I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying,   'Could you please  tell me how to spell  fix?'

There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken   answer, 'I guess your finger must have healed by  now.'

I laughed, 'So it's really you,' I said. 'I wonder if   you have any idea how much you meant to me during that  time?'

I wonder,' she said, 'if you know how much your calls   meant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your   calls.'

I told her how often I had  thought of her over  the years and I asked if I could call her again when I  came back to  visit my sister.  

'Please do', she said. 'Just ask for   Sally.'

Three months later I was back in   Seattle  A  different voice answered, 'Information.' I asked for   Sally.

'Are you a friend?' she   said.

'Yes, a very old friend,' I   answered. 

'I'm sorry to have to tell you  this,' she said.  'Sally had been working part-time the last few years  because she was  sick. She died  five weeks ago.' 

Before I could hang up she said, 'Wait a minute, did   you say your name was Gene?'  

'Yes.' I answered.  

'Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it   down in case you called.  

Let me read it to you.' The note said, 'Tell him   there are other worlds to sing in. He'll know what I  mean.'

I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant.

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Pastor's Quote of the Week
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“Have faith in God to the end of your days on earth. Never forget that, when you are a faith son of God, all upright work of the realm is sacred. Nothing which a son of God does can be common. Do your work, therefore, from this time on, as for God. And when you are through on this world, I have other and better worlds where you shall likewise work for me. And in all of this work, on this world and on other worlds, I will work with you, and my spirit shall dwell within you."

(From: “Jesus” - The Urantia Book - Paper-192 Section-2)

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The Prayer
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Dear God,        
        No matter where I work, or what kind of work I do, it is You that I truly work for.

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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