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The Glass Slipper
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You’ve heard the phrase, “Life begins at 40!” That’s when my life took on a new dimension. After praying for three years, asking God for a special ministry, I discovered a writer lived inside me. Election as the press writer for my church led to a journalist’s career.

My interviewees include neighbors to celebrities. I love community. As we mesh our personalities, we often laugh and cry together. Like the belle of the ball, I only needed the fit of the glass slipper. Yet my work provided the most fun after age 70.

One story concerned a wild animal sanctuary in Florida, cast-off exotics from closed down facilities or orphans; one a lion cub. As a lover of domestic cats, I also hold affection for the wild cats. I’d always wanted to pet a lion cub but I figured I’d have to wait until heaven. Yet at age 74, after signing several release papers, I petted Mufasa! I’ll assure you that a lion cub is strong and muscular, not just a little bit of purring fur.

My most thrilling story, so far, occurred at age 75. I flew in a sailplane, at 5,000 feet, with a quadriplegic pilot. Just before the tow-plane started to pull us for the lift-up, on a blue-sky, cloudless afternoon, a golden hawk hovered above the canopy as if to say, “Come fly with me.” That’s as awesome as it gets.

Knees Shook Like Jelly

As the tow plane lifted us, with a jolt, it discharged the tow cable (at this, my knees and heart shook like jelly) and we sailed into sky’s captivating hush. Such grandeur! However, my waiting husband wasn’t thrilled. Thinking it was chancy, he dialed 9-1 on his cell phone, praying that he’d not have to dial the last “1.”

Another special interviewee: retired General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, a man involved with children’s charities, specifically orphans and seriously ill children, who along with the late actor Paul Newman launched Camp Boggy Creek in Florida. He’s also an avid clay-shooter. I chose not to quiz him about war stories (that pleased him), instead I zeroed in on his clay-shooting for charities. No airs about him, the “Muddy boots General,” maybe no ordinary G.I. Joe, but certainly a down-to-earth fellow. This four-star General, who helped set a course for world history, seemed grateful that I prayed with him.

Each prayer with an interviewee gives me pause for gratitude, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that He considered me faithful, appointing me to His service” (I Timothy 1:12).

Currently, I’m pushing to age 80. I’ve lived in six states, written for many journals. I’m still freelancing, mostly writing people stories. Often I’m asked, “Do you get nervous interviewing?” My answer, “No. I think of every interviewee, as a potential friend.” My prayer chapels range from boardrooms to kitchens, shared with CEOs or homemakers. I know the joy of being an ordinary woman, blessed with extraordinary experiences. The glass slipper fits because Jesus designed it.

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By Betty Kossick. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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