Monday, March 4, 2013

Without a Leg to Stand On

When I traveled to California
recently for my aunt's birthday
party, I took a lovely walk on
a long pier that jutted out into
the ocean. I discovered a hearty
bird sitting on the railing. This
immature gull had only one leg.
At first I thought it had simply
tucked one leg under its body,
but no, on further examination,
I realized that it really was
missing a working leg. When
the bird flew away, I saw that
it was quite capable of taking care of itself, regardless of how many legs it had. Its wings worked and it could fly, and soar, and swoop down to grab food in its beak. God had given it great adaptive instincts. Birds are often mean to the weaker among them,
but we can be different.

Yes, we learn and change as Katie so aptly wrote about last week. Some of us become more independent, but some - often due to circumstances beyond our control - become more helpless. Sickness, sorrow, loneliness, disabilities, injury, age, betrayal - all cause us to lose a little bit of our independence. So we learn to adapt and to trust and depend on others.

God told Paul that His grace was sufficient. Paul also writes that when he is weak, he is strong - and in another place - that those who are strong ought to support the weak and not just please themselves. We are all helpless before God, even with no missing body parts. But when one person suffers, we all do. With God's grace we can help each other to soar in spite of our limitations.

Barbara Eckroad

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