"If you can't be thankful for what you receive,
be thankful for what you escape."
After writing yesterday about the Berlin Wall, the idea of personal walls has stayed with me. I think there was a time in my life when I barricaded myself behind walls of insecurity and fear. Perhaps even depression was a wall that kept me from truly living; kept ME protected from boogie men - real or perceived.
Today, I think my walls are more like sliding doors, not so rigid as a brick wall, but something I can still hide behind. Or like a turtle. I can stick my head out, check my surroundings and if I don't like what I see, I can pull myself right back inside.
I was still dreaming when I heard Dad call my name ... Mary! It didn't have the usual degree of urgency that most early morning calls have so I kept dozing. Then I heard it again and knew it was time to jump up and start moving. Today was bath day so all he really needed was for me to stand by at the ready outside the bathroom door while he showered. Like Goldilocks, I crawled into his still warm bed, Girl Cat joined me and we snoozed as we waited - one ear open cocked towards the door.
Soon after Paul the fix-it guy appeared on the scene, followed by all kinds of banging and clanging and vacuuming. I knew I was feeling kind of tired and funky, but my horoscope pretty much said it all when it told me to lay low. I figured that meant stay away from other people, grabbed my purse and left the boys at home to deal with the noise. Funny thing about walls, they can keep me in as well as people out!
Recently my vision has been self-centered. It's all about me, isn't it? But in the last 2 days I've noticed a homeless woman, two guys sitting on the side of the road, looking rather disheveled, and a man with only one leg driving his wheelchair with the stump of an arm.
I found I couldn't look at any of them in the eye, but watched their movements surreptitiously as I was stopped at a light. I felt a combination of feelings - sadness, pity, and guilt. "There but for the Grace of God" ran though my mind. I'm lucky to have a home to live in and a car to drive. I'm blessed to have good health, albeit with a few aches and pains.
Today, even though I feel kind of blue, I am still grateful for the things that fill my life with richness and pleasure. I'm reminded of a saying, attributed to an unknown Confederate soldier:
“I asked God for strength that I might achieve.
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy.
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.”
Today I wish for you a place to rest and blessings to count yourself to sleep,