Gina Caswell Kelly
If you are a writer, you know there are days when you stare blankly at your computer screen, willing words to come to your brain. Willing thoughts to enter your empty head. This is one of those days for me. In fact the last week has been a pretty blank screen situation for me when it came time to write from my heart. I think it is because of the swirl of emotions running through my head and heart. I think I am tired, like all of you, of the daily changes in our lives. The little train that runs around in your head bringing thoughts to the front about what on earth is happening around us. Thoughts of what will this “new normal” be like. Thoughts of concern for those whose livelihood has been taken away. Yep. I think our brains have had enough.
I, like you, have been through plenty in my life. I have suffered tremendous loss that was almost too much too bear. I have watched the world appear to just crater around me, more than once. I have experienced things that I would not wish on my worst enemy. And yet, here I stand, living one more day. A testament to the strength and love of our Father.
Long years ago, when I was working at a nursing home, I met a man whose body was ravaged with disease. The man was virtually skin and bones. He was pretty much curled up in a fetal position. They could still sit him in a wheelchair, but every single one of his most basic needs had to be met for him. He could do nothing for himself. In his life, I learned he had been a very educated man. A pioneer in some of the things having to do with growing cotton in this area. He had been a well known man in his area of expertise. But he was at this point, reduced to depending solely upon others for food, drink and every thing else you can imagine. But his mind stayed strong.
I would watch this man and visit with him occasionally. His speech was labored. It was like he was trying to take a deep breath with every single syllable that came out of his mouth. Very hard to understand. He shook uncontrollably. Have I painted a clear picture for you?
One day this man wanted to be brought where I was. It took a while but I finally figured out he wanted to talk to his preacher. I could not get hold of the preacher, so I asked this man if there was anything I could do for him. He stuck his violently shaking hand out and asked if I would pray with him. Of course I would. I took his hand and opened my mouth to begin to pray, but instead, he began to pray. He recounted things in his life for which he was sorry. He talked to God like a friend about his life. And then he said something that has stuck with me all these years. This man who, from outward appearances, had a life that we might would call a living hell, pardon the expression. I listened as this man closed his prayer with these words, in that raspy, labored voice of his, he said very clearly, “I want to thank you God for giving me just one more day.”
My mouth dropped open. My heart broke inside me. I had spent so much time watching this man and watching as his needs were met. Watching and thinking about him basically being a prisoner inside his own body. Watching and wondering why God would let him continue to live a life like this. And HE was busy thanking God for one more day!
What a lesson I learned that day! Sure, I have been through lots and so have you. Certainly, we have even tougher days ahead of us, in all likelihood. But I am so thankful that I have had today. I am so thankful that God gave me this day.
How about you? Are you sitting around feeling pretty sorry for yourself? That is okay, for a little while. But be sure you get down on your knees and tell God how grateful you are that He chose to give you this one more day. Then get up and make something happen in this day with which you have been blessed! Make a difference for someone else today, because God has made the difference for you!