The Moore American

July 17, 2013

Keep on applying ‘invisible bandages’

By Wanda Billbe
The Moore American

MOORE — As early as the 1400s, people starting using old bed sheets for bandages. During the Civil War, it was common for women to gather together to make bandages for the wounded.

They used clean bed sheets and tore them in strips of one-, two- and three-inch measurements. Then they were carefully rolled and placed in baskets ready to use to treat wounded soldiers.

I’m sure those who rolled the bandages whispered prayers over them that the bandages would comfort the hurting. Maybe they thought their act of kindness was insignificant, but they just had to help in some way, so they showed up each day and spent hours tearing and rolling the bed sheets into something useful.

Believe it or not, there are several organizations today that collect bandages made from old bed sheets and ship them to foreign countries where impoverished communities are thrilled to receive any help for bandaging the people who come into their clinics.

They also collect old envelopes that they use to put prescriptions in for their patients. Such a small thing, but to the doctors and nurses they are a blessing.

Although here in the United States, there probably isn’t much of a commodity for bandages made out of old sheets, but there are needs to be met all the same.

“Invisible bandages” are needed every day. Last week, someone came across my path who had a baby six weeks ago. She just lost her job and didn’t have anyone to help her with the baby and she felt all alone. It was one of those sweltering days and well past lunchtime, and I knew she hadn’t had a chance to eat lunch.

I quietly slipped an “invisible bandage” into her hand; just enough to buy a hamburger, fries, soft drink and an ice cream at a local hamburger stand nearby.

“Treat yourself to lunch and please know you are not alone,” I said. The look on her face was priceless.

“Thanks, I will. I am so hungry. I’m nursing him and he eats constantly.”

Oddly enough, another opportunity to apply an “invisible bandage” came up last week in the form of taking a fruit basket to a house-bound elderly person. He was thrilled with this gift and we knew he was touched by this simple act.

Applying “invisible bandages” isn’t a new concept; it’s as old as time itself. Sometimes we need a little nudge to make us aware of the ways we can help other people just by doing something simple.

Jesus said, “Whatever you do to the least of these my brethren, you’ve done it unto me.”