Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Gratitude

It is a beautiful Spring morning! The temperatures are mild, the wind is brisk, the sun is trying to get through the clouds.

As I drove to work today through my neighborhood, I saw two people on the sidewalk, waiting at an intersection. As I approached from behind them I thought, "It looks like a mother and daughter." The "daughter" was slightly ahead. I saw the "mom" step closer to the "daughter's" shoulder. Their posture was erect as if they were looking off down the street. Two cars were waiting at the intersection - what was going on?

When I finally came to them, I saw the long white cane in the girl's hand. She has some visual impairment and the "mom" is really an instructor. They were making good use of the nice weather to practice navigation skills. They must have hit a snag there at the corner. As I watched in my rearview mirror the two cars proceeded through as the girl and her teacher continued to wait.

This scene that I viewed for only a few minutes struck me right in the heart!

On the one hand, I admire the girl for working to overcome her disability. I don't know her or the level of her vision, but to learn to navigate the neighborhood with a cane is difficult and potentially dangerous. In her I see courage and a spirit I admire.

On the other hand, I admire the work of the instructor. Teaching this kind of skill is special. She must have developed a good trusting relationship with her student. She must be firm, encouraging and yet patient while her student gradually gains confidence.

Finally, in this scene I am reminded again of how blessed I am to be free from such daunting problems in my own life. It is too easy for me to take things like my vision, hearing and physical wholeness for granted. It is good to be reminded that these are not a birthright. They are a blessing that I should use for God's glory.

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