Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sometimes I find myself reflecting about different issues because of things I observe. I found the following worded in a neat way and it is quoted here:
“Take a bit of time to examine yourself. When are you most complete, most integrated? Return to that place, that situation to regain the healthy sense of self that is so easily lost in our world’s clamor and activity.”
(Some folks might find it difficult to believe but truth is truth…when I got ready to write this story, I picked up my Woman’s Study Bible and turned to the page this quotation was on and there was my opening! God’s amazing grace. WOW! Read on…
In 1 corinthians 12:12-31, Paul discusses “one body, many parts.” There is not enough space to quote all this scripture so one might want to get the Bible out and read this before going further. In verse 18 we are told, “But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, everyone of them, just as he wanted them to be.” (NIV version)
Those of us with physical handicaps tend to be more conscious of others who have disabilities. We might assume then that we know which part of one’s body a person could accept losing. Let me say this, “It is not wise to assume that one knows what part of the body is most important to someone else.”
As I sat in my wheelchair in the extremely long waiting line at the customer service desk at a local department store, I became frustrated that only two registers were open and all that my brother needed to do was return an item. Had he needed to replace it, then we would have had to wait in a long line at checkout because only a small portion of those registers were staffed. (This is an issue in may stores; prepare for crowds, then understaff.)
This occasion happened during a bad week for me because I was taking a round of Prednisone and that can change my personality like in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I spoke up for all the other people “standing” in line and requested that they open another register. The lady said, “we’re working on it.” (In less than two minutes, it was open. Speak up for yourselves, folks!)
Now those folks who have known me over the years are aware that because of myasthenia gravis it was difficult for me to stand for long periods of time even before 2002 when the multiple sclerosis attack left me wheelchair-confined.
Well, on this particular day, I looked around and wondered how many of the folks waiting in those two long lines might have reasons that were making it difficult for them to stand there. I know another day at the YMCA, I watched a disabled girl with heavy braces have to lean against the wall while waiting for her van because the outside benches had to be removed thanks to some troublemakers who spoiled the front entrance for older folks like us. (Hey, I complained about that, too, and I wasn’t on Prednisone that week. Remember I’ve mentioned being a squeaky wheel before.)
As I observed other folks, I noticed a man that appeared to have two good legs but he only had one arm. I told my brother, Michael, I felt a story forming in my mind. (Folks often ask where my stories come from, well this is an example of how God works.)
After we left eh store, I asked Mike which of his body parts would he most easily accept the loss of if God decided to “rearrange” him. Mike has some aches and pains but has all his body parts and his sympathy for my losses is wrapped up in his love and desire to help me.
Mike knows my thoughts, ways and beliefs in God’s word. He knows I value my eyesight most but that I realize I might lose the vision in one eye due to health problems and that I study God’s word to prepare myself for that loss if it is in God’s plan for me.
Some parts can be removed from our bodies leaving little evidence (examples: tonsils, appendix, even one kidney. My sister lost one diseased kidney and upon recovery hardly notices the loss.)
After observing the man with one arm I said a prayer of thanks that I still have both eyes (even if the left one is puffed up again), two ears that allowed me to hear my little waterfall and the breeze that kept me cool as I later sat out in my yard writing this tory and, of course two hands for all the ways I need them.
Waiting in that long line, I considered my weak legs a blessing since they entitle me to the “legitimate” use of a scooter and/or wheelchair. (Oh, there’s another story forming. I just heard how healthy people in Las Vegas rent the handicapped scooters so they won’t get tired waling as they eat, drink and gamble. If I were healthy and tied up these scooters from those who need them, I would hide my face in shame.)
Approaching age 60, sometimes I envy older folds who still walk and drive but other times I ride past and wave because I can go faster. (And at the price of gas, I probably couldn’t afford to drive anyway.)
Once in awhile someone will say “I wish I had a scooter like that” and I love to tell them how a very generous person donated it to me anonymously. then in my mind I hear that little voice say, “I wish I had two good legs like you have.” But I only say that on my Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde days because when I see someone with only one arm, I thank God that I still have two good arms and hands for writing stories, making greeting cards for our soldiers and enabling me to take care of myself in most ways.
If you have two good hands and arms, use them…raise them up and give praise and glory to our God from who all blessings flow.