One day I will not be able. Today is not that day.


I went to church this morning to kick off my Grand New Year. In my faith, this is a Holy Day of Obligation, and I knew it would set the tone for my entire year. It did, in multiples.

I watched a beautiful woman walk into mass on a cane. She was struggling and in obvious pain. It bothered me because she was about my age and must have suffered from some degenerative disease, probably genetic. I knew that could have been me, given a different set of circumstances and parentage.

Yet, her face was glowing, and I wished I had what she had. She was pushing herself for something important, when it would have been so much easier to stay home.

I’m ashamed to say, I almost stayed home because I was having a bad hair day, and Lucky Dawg threw up black-eyed peas on my bath mat.

I glanced at this woman from time to time during the service and marveled at the peace and joy she excreted from her every pore. I wondered when she would decide she wasn’t “able.” I wondered when I would decide I wasn’t “able.”

It’s not today.  Some day I may not be able to make difference in the world, but it’s not today.

2 thoughts on “One day I will not be able. Today is not that day.

  1. Emily,

    Recently, my mother’s friend from childhood who was also our lifelong friend (she and her husband, more like a 2nd set of parents), passed from this earthly life. We buried her on Friday, the 12th of December. She was a great example of just what you are talking about.

    The minister who spoke at the service was her pastor, and apparently, he really knew her well. Among many of the absolutely true things he said about her was that she would come to church gladly and with joy when most of us would have had a perfectly understandable reason not to come. She had a crippling, painful disease of many, many years duration that was obvious, but she never lost her wonderful spirit. The minister said that, frankly, sometimes it was all that he could do to watch as her caregiver/s would transfer her from her wheelchair to a pew, as it was so painful for her, but he knew how much she hated that wheelchair, so she wouldn’t give into it.

    We were the closest thing to family that she had left, but you should’ve seen the number of her caregivers and friends that showed up for the service — it was amazing, and all of the caregivers heads were bobbing up and down in agreement when the minister told these kinds of things about her. They had seen the grace she showed through the worst of times for her. We all knew the things he said were true. I was really inspired not only by her life, but also, by his words about her, and his reading of her favorite scriptures.

    We will let her live on in my mother’s memory as at this stage, what good would it do to tell her of her friend’s death — she’d just have to be told again, anyway, and go through grief all over again. They will meet again in Heaven, probably sitting alphabetically, just like they did in junior high homeroom where they originally met — they had the same maiden name. Well, that’s only the sentimental way I’m envisioning it in my mind’s eye, at least, since I can’t even imagine what will be in store in that wonderful place that’s been prepared for us.

    This article just reminded me so much of our friend and all the inspiring words that were spoken during that rememberance, that I thought I should mention the effect our friend’s life had on so many people.

    I’m sure that this gets kicked around all the time, but since it’s the beginning of a new year, I’ll just bring it up once again. It’s supposed to be very good for us to be thankful, so why not resolve to get up each morning, and start the day by writing down, say, five things that we are thankful for that morning?

    Also, it’s possible to read the Bible through in a year fairly easily, and there are guides for dividing the chapters up into readable segments for each day (sold at Christian bookstores, usually, if you can’t find a list at church). If those passages are too long, then, just read for a given length of time at a set time each day, and don’t worry about getting through a certain amount by a certain date.

    For encouragement and wisdom, why not read a Psalm and a Proverb from the Bible each day.

    Thanks for the spiritual reminder — the most important thing to remember for a new beginning.


  2. Happy New Year to you. We are in Gatlinburg and having a very good time. I hope 2009 is wonderful for everyone and I look forward to sharing another great year with our wonderful group.

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