Alphabet Faith Stories: Understanding Ursula

“Your words give understanding to the simple.” Psalm 119:130

Scripture: “A patient man has great understanding but a quick-tempered man displays folly.” Proverbs 14:29 (NIV)

Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of understanding:

  • A mental grasp; comprehension
  • The power of comprehending
  • A mutual agreement not formally entered into but in some degree binding on each side
  • Explanation; interpretation

Quotes on understanding (

  • Any fool can know. The point is to understand.
  • Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.
  • Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.
  • Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.

U: Understanding Ursula’s Story:

“Dr. Ursula, as she was affectionately called by her patients at the Valley Newman Nursing Home, listened carefully to Mrs. Jones as she described her recent physical concerns. She noticed that since her last visit the week before, Mrs. Jones appeared to be more agitated and frustrated as she described her symptoms to Dr. Ursula. She wondered what had caused such a sudden change in Mrs. Jones’ normal quiet demeanor.

By the end of their conversation, Dr. Ursula concluded that her patient’s son had not come by to visit her in over a month and that this seemed to have caused additional stress on Mrs. Jones’ otherwise positive outlook . Even the nurses noticed a difference in her happy-go-lucky personality as well and were concerned.

Throughout the day as Dr. Ursula talked with more patients, there appeared to be a similar pattern among all of them: a son, daughter, or relative had not come by to visit in a while. This had become a concern at the nursing home as well. Patients stopped attending their normal daily activities, except for eating and sleeping.

Dr. Ursula wondered how she could help remedy this apparent concern with her patients. She asked the nurses for their input and asked for creative ways that would help bring up the morale for everyone. One of the suggestions was to have high school students come by on a weekly basis to visit with them. The more Dr. Ursula thought about it, she concluded that what they needed was an “Adopt A Grandmother Program.” She had heard of this type of program at another nursing home and how well it was accepted by the residents.

After gathering all of the pertinent information, Dr. Ursula introduced this new program idea to the residents at Valley Newman. Everyone was enthusiastic and wanted to know when it would begin. After presenting this program to the high school principal and then to the students, twenty students signed up to participate. Parents enthusiastically signed the appropriate permission slips.

After two weeks of preparations–matching students with “grandmothers”–the program got underway. Mrs. Jones couldn’t wait to see Dr. Ursula to tell her how happy she was with the program and her new “adopted granddaughter” as well.

Guided by the Holy Spirit and her Christian principles, Dr. Ursula opened up her heart by listening to the concerns of her patients; she understood their concerns and comprehended what needed to be done. Other counties in her state began adopting this program as well, and five years later the programs are still in existence within a number of states.”

Sometimes all it takes is for one person to listen to someone else’s concerns and then rely on the Holy Spirit to guide you in an appropriate solution for their need. One act of random kindness shown to someone leads to another and so forth.

May we be open to the Holy Spirit’s guidance as we open up our hearts in listening to others and helping to solve their needs.