Friday, September 11, 2009

Everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle...

I am forwarding this email on my blog, because it represents the sentiment I try to follow with the experiences I had with Andrew. Most people didn't realize anything was going wrong with Andrew. He was courteous and respectful in his daily encounters with people. I think only the immediate family and some of Bill's work crew were even aware of Andrew's decline. He simply withdrew from society as he dealt with the illness.

I remember going through the 10 days between his death and the memorial service, dealing with details in preparation of the event. I had lots of emotional conversations with people about Andrew, both in person and by phone, and exchanged messages via email. It was a welcome blessing to go and get a manicure and a haircut and not tell any of the people working on me what I was going through. I would go to a restaurant and get waited on, or go to the grocery store and purchase supplies, and thank God that I didn't have to tell any of these people what I thought or felt. It just made me realize that you never know what one is dealing with at any given time. It made me think that I should be gentle with everyone and speak softly and kindly and deal with people respectfully. Anyone and everyone you encounter in a day may have some terrible trama they are dealing with, silently and privately. You just never know. People didn't know about Andrew's pain.

There is a field, with two horses in it.

From a distance, each horse looks like any other horse.
But if you stop your car, or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing.
Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind. His owner
has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him.

This alone is amazing.. If you stand nearby and listen, you will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound,
you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field.

Attached to the horse's halter is a small bell.
It lets the blind friend know where the other horse is, so he can follow.

As you stand and watch these two horses,
you'll see that the horse with the bell is always checking on the blind horse,
and that the blind horse will listen for the bell and then slowly walk
to where the other horse is, trusting that he will not be led astray.

When the horse with the bell returns to the shelter of the barn each evening,
it stops occasionally and looks back,
making sure that the blind friend isn't too far behind to hear the bell.

Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because
we're not perfect or because we have problems or challenges.
He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need.

Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by the little ringing bell
of those whom God places in our lives.

Other times we are the guide horse, helping others to find their way.....
Good friends are like that ... you may not always see them,
but you know they are always there.

Please listen for my bell and I'll listen for yours. And remember ...
be kinder than necessary .... everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Live simply,
Love generously,
Care deeply,
Speak kindly, and
Leave the rest to God