I Shall Not Live in Vain


Do you have days when you wonder if you are doing all you can? I am not just talking about the proverbial ‘things to do list’. I am not talking about a ‘bucket list’ either. But I am talking about whether or not I missed an opportunity to minister to someone that needed consolation, encouragement, a listening ear, or advice. If I am trying to make each day a prayer and gift to God, then I need to use His eyes and awareness, I can’t just rely on my own. Relying on God’s eyes and awareness is like putting glasses on my heart, brain, and soul. The more I am aware of things, the more I can then try to do.

Emily Dickinson put it well:

“If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain”.

Now of course I believe that she is writing about metaphorical robins, too. Each day we can help someone who may be feeling weary or care worn. We can celebrate the joy someone is giving to others and acknowledge it. Whether we are shy or bold, there are ways we can encourage, ease suffering, and celebrate. When we do that, God can work through us. When we give Him that channel we do not live in vain. Amen!

About Kate Kresse

I love to write, I love to talk, I love to uplift people when I can. I am a woman in love with life. I am a wife, mom, tutor, writer, and I am a perennial optimist. (OK not every single minute but you get the point! :-)
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18 Responses to I Shall Not Live in Vain

  1. Usually performing a charitable act is very inconvenient for this or that reason. Inconvenience is no excuse for not giving a helping hand and I try to curb that attitude when an “opportunity” presents itself. You can’t merely have faith, you have to live it.

    • Kate Kresse says:

      Absolutely! We cannot cower in the upper-room in a pre-Pentecost mindset. We MUST extend a helping hand and heart. Those who only say ‘Lord, Lord’ but never feed the hungry, visit the sick, love others, reach out haven’t fulfilled what God expects. Living the faith MUSt move us to action. Faith must be dynamic <3. Well said, Carl!!

  2. theWomanAtTheWell says:

    Amen! I believe you have found the heart issue to healing this world. Awesome post, thank you for sharing it today! Many and much blessing to you.-watw

  3. Just giving money or charity to someone cannot help the cause. You cannot feel proud after humiliating someone by showing your own superiority. Rather one should feel for the deceased and act as God’s instrument and try to lessen the pain. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. This is most agreeable. May God bless you.

    • Kate Kresse says:

      It is never, ever, ever right to humiliate anyone. I do hope I wasn’t giving the impression that one helps others in order to prove one’s own superiority. That would never be good. Hopefully one helps others because it is a way of showing love and compassion. That is God’s way and without love and compassion behind one’s own actions the person can’t be God’s instrument. God bless you too

  4. Oh, I know I’ve missed opportunities. It is so sad.
    And–when folks need or want money or food, I do pray about giving it. How can we never do anything about their needs?! He that giveth to the poor lendeth to God!
    Thanks for this post. I am behind on everything, but better late than never. This was timely for me,today, and thanks, again, for it!

  5. Terri O.A. says:

    I had so much fun reading Dickinson last summer. Thanks for bringing her phrase back to me. Ialso enjoyed your ballerina post. I always wanted to do that as a kid, but circumstances let me dance on the piano instead. Luckily, ear plugs are available for all.

    • Kate Kresse says:

      Dance on the piano—now THAT sounds joyously fun! Dickinson is so deep and imagery-rich, isn’t she? The more often I read her writing, the more I get out of it. Do you have a favorite Dickens poem Terri?

  6. Terri O.A. says:

    I love all of them. There are like little pools of water you dive a hundred feet into aren’t they? I like, I Never Saw a Moor, and A Bird. Do you have a favorite?

    • Kate Kresse says:

      I love both of those, Terri–and this one:
      Part Three: Love

      IX

      HAVE you got a brook in your little heart,
      Where bashful flowers blow,
      And blushing birds go down to drink,
      And shadows tremble so?

      And nobody, knows, so still it flows, 5
      That any brook is there;
      And yet your little draught of life
      Is daily drunken there.

      Then look out for the little brook in March,
      When the rivers overflow, 10
      And the snows come hurrying from the hills,
      And the bridges often go.

      And later, in August it may be,
      When the meadows parching lie,
      Beware, lest this little brook of life 15
      Some burning noon go dry!

  7. Terri O.A. says:

    Thank you for that. I enjoyed it …..you don’t know how much!!!

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