Thursday, November 14, 2013

"...Great things great..."

I read a note this morning from a friend who has been experiencing some really difficult times. I sat and thought for a while, trying to come up with something - ANYthing - I could say that would help at all. I realized that all I could give her is something that usually helps me personally. In dark times, I often fall back to one of my favorite quotes by Corrie Ten Boom...a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps during WWII. She simply refused to let evil, anger, distrust, or negativity shade her views, and in so doing she taught millions of people to clear our vision and look to the core of the matter. Anyway, one of my favorite quotes of hers is from an explanation of something she learned from God: "My child, you must learn to see great things great, and small things small." Sounds simplistic perhaps, but sometimes the simplest thoughts are the most relevant. In this day and age of internet, high speed everything, rising financial crunches, world unrest, etc etc etc, sometimes our solace lies in realizing that very few things are truly worth our energies to stress out over.

Someone very dear to me lost his beloved bride several years ago to a horrible disease...her children lost their mother, her siblings lost their sister, her parents lost their child, and many MANY lost a very true friend. What else can stand in the shadow of that loss? How would having her back compare to having more money...a better job...a nicer car...? Of course those things cannot stand at all. I would saw off my own limbs to have my son back, and I know other parents who would give the same to bring back theirs. Yes, money is tight...the world is in many ways an unsafe and insecure place...even our own breaths are numbered to end at a time we know not when. If my heart stops beating two hours from now, will my retirement portfolio matter? Not in the least.

So where is the balance in all of this? No one wants to be homeless, so the rent must be handled, groceries must be purchased, electric bills must be paid. I was grumbling the other day about wanting some half and half to put into my coffee instead of plain milk when an update about the typhoon in the Philippines came on the news. I nearly choked on that cup of coffee, aghast at my own selfishness. I was irritable that our cat woke me up by sprawling across my legs while I slept, then realized that people in the wake of that disaster might soon resort to using even a beloved pet for food in order to survive. Again, my self-centeredness embarrassed me horribly.

The bottom line is Corrie Ten Boom's lesson, "...learn to see great things great, and small things small". In the true spirit of thankfulness I am going to try to keep that vision intact, being thankful for all that I do already have, and realizing that I have so very little to complain about.

As for my friend and the struggles she is facing, I know that she will find her feet and come out on solid ground. Such people seem to know that no matter how scary the darkness may seem, shadows are nothing to be feared...they can only exist where there is light from higher up.

As always, I welcome your thoughts. Peace.

1 comment:

  1. It's nice that she has you to lean on a bit.

    She may not appreciate you now but she will...


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