We hope we never have an open sore on our leg only to get turned down at the doctor’s office because we don’t have health insurance or we don’t have the right kind of health insurance. The doctor says no and sends us away.
We wish we never have to be so broke we can’t buy the cigarettes that help keep us calm and even if we don’t say it, we can’t imagine why anyone would pick up a cigarette butt off the street for a smoke with somebody else’s spit on it.
Maybe we can’t even imagine living in the projects or in a cardboard lean-to faraway and maybe we secretly hate those ugly cars with stuff piled up inside and the swooping old tan fabric hanging down inside.
Not me, no not me we think or hope or pray or assume or mostly fear. I gotta work hard and that way I won’t have to walk or take the city bus where people ride with cockroaches crawling out of their pockets, especially in winter.
We won’t ever get out late at night to go to Wal-Mart to desperately purchase phone minutes because that’s it, that’s the only connection.
Oh, please, we think or hope or pray or assume or fear, who are these people? Who are these people who don’t know where the rent’s comin’ from and who hang out in our community lookin’ so broken down? Not ever gonna be me, never let it be me, don’t ever let me rest my dirty feet on somebody else’s pretty lawn. Please don’t let that happen, no it can’t happen to me.
Oh no, not me, we say from the always unthinking unfeeling unimagining bed of roses. It can’t be me who can’t afford the dentist or the deodorant. It couldn’t be me who spilled the beans; stole the cash; ridiculed the weak; flirted in church; threw the cup; cut to the quick; lashed out the tongue; gossiped out the town or refused to give out the help.
No sirree it couldn’t be me I’m a fine church goin’ man. No not me I’m a fine church goin’ woman and don’t you remember all those self-protective casseroles and cakes I made? How did you miss it? I’m always one up and never one down. I can get the first place in line and make it look like a sacrifice.
But where did I read it? I think it was on a blog called “Grace is for Sinners,” which is one of the very best blogs if you want grace and truth.That blogger shared that the day we can’t imagine ourselves in a bad situation–the day we cannot imagine how so-and-so got that way–that is the day we cannot feel compassion. To feel compassion for people you have to at least be able to imagine being in that very same bad situation. That blog offered that up and that is some of the wisest and costliest writing that will ever be written.
So if you’re on a bed of tears right now, God can turn it into a bed of roses giving off the fragrance of mercy everywhere. Your bed of tears is your bed of roses and someday, you’ll be glad. Meanwhile, my friend Pamela Kay said hangin’ on is important. Just hang on.
- Did I miss out on “Mr. Right ?” (shruthijoy.wordpress.com)
- Faig Ahmed’s incredible thread installation re-imagines Azerbajani craft (itsnicethat.com)