World, you have some explaining to do!
This question needs an answer and I’m done waiting.
Why do bad things happen to good people?
To strengthen them, World replies.
But a person who is dear to me is now very weak.
Ah, but you are only looking at what you can see.
And you can see more?
Not exactly, but I think you’re missing something.
You, of sound body, are fixated on muscle tone as your strength representative.
On regular heartbeat and evenness of breath as indication of your vitality.
You are looking with near sight. I am seeing into the distance.
What do you see from a distance?
Not, from a distance. In the distance.
I am standing right there with you. In you, right here.
Looking out upon.
Oh, what do you see? Help me see, too.
Shift your gaze, dear one.
Look past weakness, to strength.
Look past rhythmic, to constant.
Look past steady, to stalwart.
Look past what’s before you to what’s beyond you and invite it into focus.
What do you see now?
Quite miraculous is the human mind, this amazing collection of circuits that have stood the test of time. That we, though lowly humans, are able to encounter our perception and grant entry to the wisdom of the universe.
In our weakness, We are strong and getting stronger.
One hand or two?
The better to reach you.
Not a mark on you.
No one will ever know
it was me,
What’s within your reach?
Our husky is old and on his last legs. Well, 3 of those legs. The fourth doesn’t work well any more. In fact, it’s more hindrance than help. His poor arthritic hip rotates in and, in his attempts at ambulation, takes him far afield. What used to be a straight line sees him 90 degrees off course, stuck at an unfamiliar fence railing that he supposed was an opening.
Poor guy. He can’t hear so calling is useless. You have to go rescue him and guide him back to the house, constantly prodding that bad hip not to give way. Even then, he stumbles and falls several times along the way. Down he goes into the grass and looks up at you with those bog, brown eyes that say, “You’re gonna help me up here, right?”
And I do. Then I do again. Stumble, fall, lift, amble…stumble, fall, lift… We’ve got our routine. It’s not pretty and it’s very slow-going, but eventually we get back to the house, up the ramp, out onto the porch where he spies his blue bowl. Actually, it used to be a kids bowl in the days when our children were small. It’s broad, flat bottom was perfect for little hands learning to handle cheerios or cut up fruit. Twenty years later, its blue plastic is rough and worn, but it’s still serviceable.
Silver starts to lap at the cool, clear water, but standing and drinking is too much for that hip. It sags and he staggers and lowers himself to the ground, trying gamely to keep the blue bowl between his feet. His back end slides and and his front paws walk their way down. Inch by inch. But the hip takes him sideways, the bowl out of reach. He looks longingly at its contents.
I lift the bowl and center it between those white, furry paws. Paws that used to bound through the snow, used to hold firmly to the coveted bone, used to jump high on the fence, used to ambidextrously bend and reach when I asked him to shake – his only trick, now a memory and probably only my memory. This helpless old guy is spent.
Yet, he happily accepts the bowl of water and sets to work lapping its cool contents all the way to the bottom.
Whenever we do it for the least of these we do it for You.
No one else sees. No one else knows. No one else cares. Somehow, it matters.