An Encounter with Mrs. Hooper

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#72: “An Encounter with Mrs. Hooper”
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Colossians 3:12

12Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Psalm 8:2
2From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

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Un encuentro con la señora Hidalgo
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May 17, 2014
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An Encounter with Mrs. Hooper

“An Encounter with Mrs. Hooper” is episode #72 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Paul McCusker, and originally aired on May 13, 1989.


Donna is assigned by her church group to befriend grumpy old Mrs. Hooper at the nursing home.


Whit takes his Sunday school class to visit the elderly at the Odyssey Retirement Home. Once there, Donna Barclay ends up assigned to the meanest, cruelest senior in the facility, Mrs. Mary Hooper. The only thing Mrs. Hooper cares about are her plants. When she first meets Donna, Mrs. Hooper treats her so badly that Donna runs from the room, vowing to never return.

The next day, Whit convinces Donna to visit again and take Mrs. Hooper a mixture Whit has concocted for the woman's flowers. Donna reluctantly goes back, and this time she manages to break down a little bit of Mary's wall, thanks to Donna's knowledge of flowers.

During the next week, Donna visits Mary frequently, and the two become good friends. Donna even helps Mary with her physical therapy. Mary reveals that she was so devastated when her husband died, she withdrew from life. But she wants no pity, and she refuses to cry over her loss.

Donna decides to try and tear down the wall completely. She enlists Whit's aid to find Mary's daughter. However, on Donna's next visit, she finds Mary back to her former hardness, yelling, and ranting. After a great deal of prodding, Mary finally admits that today is her birthday. For the first time since her husband died, she wants to have someone say "Happy Birthday" to her. So Donna opens the door and delivers the best present Mary could ask for: her daughter. Finally, the tears come. The wall completely dissolves. Mary Hooper has a happy birthday, and Donna learns that just because people act a certain way on the outside doesn't mean they're always that way on the inside.

Discussion Questions

  1. How did Donna finally become friends with Mrs. Hooper?
  2. Have you ever talked with a senior citizen who isn’t related to you?
    • Why is it important to befriend elderly people?
  3. How can you learn to get beyond people’s outsides?
  4. Why should Christians look first at people’s hearts?
    • How can you do the same?


Heard in episode

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Rachael Woodworth Richard Maxwell
Karen Crosby Donna Barclay


VERSION DIFFERENCE: [view] The broadcast version of this episode begins with Chris looking through a book of magic tricks. She explains that some people can be illusions like magic tricks.




Richard Maxwell: Well, do I get a kiss good night?
Donna Barclay: Get lost, Richard!