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Should I pray for him or for myself?

My feet hurt. It's arthritis. And it's inevitable.

I have it on both sides of my family, but my paternal grandmother (whom I never met) was crippled with it. When my dad was in high school, he told me, it was he who would lift his mother from her bed, toilet her, get her fed and cleaned for the day and then head off to school.

When Dad was old enough, he joined the Marines (it was the tail-end of WWII.) While he was in basic training, he received a telegram that his father had died, and he was to return home immediately for the funeral. All the way home, he kept thinking the telegram was wrong, and that it was his mother who had died. After all, she was the one who was so ill for so long. But no, he was greeted at the train station by his brother-in-law who informed him that it was indeed his father who had died from an apparent heart attack.

My grandmother lived another few years, but had to be moved to a nursing home.

Yeah, so my feet hurt. It's painful once in awhile, but mostly it's just annoying.

Today, I watched - outside my office window - a man slowly and painfully "walk" from the center of the park across the street to the bus stop. It probably is only about 20 yards, but it took him about 10 minutes. He had a walker, but he could only manage a small lurching step, a rest, a small lurching step, rest. It was painful to watch; I can only imagine how painful it must have been for him.

Then it started to rain.

Lurch. Rest. Lurch.

There wasn't anything I could do for  him, except pray. I was praying that every hand and voice that touched that man today be a gentle one. Then I remembered that this man was Christ in His most distressing disguise. So I prayed for me. That I remember that when I might feel bad for myself and my achy feet, that I remember this man, and be grateful for the ease of my life.


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