A few minutes ago, I came in from outside. The current temperature is twenty-two degrees.
I ventured outside because tomorrow is trash pick-up day. I had two bags in the house; one from the basement from junk we were disposing of and the other, our regular trash. As I made my way to the alley with one of the bags, I slipped on the ice and almost fell. This sent a fresh wave of pain through my hip. I cursed. “Dammit!” I said out loud, to the birds and the neighbors’ dog, who stopped barking long enough to watch me. I continued to the alley and sat the bag down.
I went back to the house and grabbed the second bag. As I snatched it, the bottom of the bag caught on some ice and tore enough that some of the trash fell out. “Dammit!” I said again. Of course, it was the one with the kitchen’s garbage, not the papers and other non food items from the basement. I scooped everything up the best I could, sending another pain through my hip. This time, I bit my lip and kept the comment in my head. Out to the alley I went, trying to keep garbage from spilling and my feet from slipping.
After setting down the trash bag carefully, so no further mess would be made, I went to get the trash cans from behind the garage.
Two of the cans were 1/2 full, so I grabbed both of them, thinking to save some time. One is a round, plastic can that as usual, gave me no grief. The other, a tall, rectangular can on wheels, has always been my kryptonite, my arch nemesis…and would prove to be yet again today.
It behaved perfectly well on the way to the alley. It balanced itself as I sat it in the snow behind our fence. But then, I made my big mistake…I put the bag with the hole in it, into the tall trash can. Before I could even grab the second bag, to transfer it to the other can, the tall trashcan leaned over and dumped the already fragile bag into the alley. Can you guess what I said this time??
I picked up the bag and the mess and put them in the round trash can, which stood like a well-mannered child, and put the bag of papers into the tall trash can. Even though this bag was much heavier, the trash can stood still as a church mouse.
By now, due to my mis-thinking that I would only be outside a few minutes, I was under dressed, and so my hands, feet and ears were freezing. I hurried, carefully, to the garage, to get some seed to fill the bird feeder. I went out front to the feeder which is in our redbud tree for the winter. I filled the feeder and turned to go back to the garage when, you guessed it, more ice. I didn’t fall…but that’s not always a good thing. Everything twisted at different angles…this was not my day!
By now I am very sore, very cold and very grumpy. I slammed the bird seed container into the bin, locked the garage and grumbled my way to the house. My hands were sticky from the garbage, so after I got my shoes off, I stopped to wash them in the kitchen sink. I had to wait for the water to warm and as I did, my impatience got the better of me.
“Come on!!” I said to…the faucet. I stamped my right foot…oh, yes I did…and thought I was going to pass out when the pain hit my hip again. What was I thinking??
At last the water warmed and I washed my hands. I gingerly made my way to the stove, fixed some of my world-famous homemade hot cocoa (okay, it’s famous in Indiana, Illinois, Oklahoma and maybe a few other places), and finally settled myself into my chair.
I was so put out with my self, with the cold, with just about everything…when a commercial came on for the upcoming local news.
The local shelters are filled to capacity. They showed pictures of people lining up outside the doors, waiting to get inside. Waiting to get a break from the cold…to get a hot meal…to get a hot drink.
I am so ashamed. I was outside less than ten minutes. Once back inside, I was warm within a few minutes, was drinking a hot drink, in the comfort of my own home.
I have been hungry…but never felt real hunger. I have been cold…but have never stayed that way long. Even when I am in pain, I have a comfortable place to sit and doctors to care for me. Every need I have ever experienced, has always been met. We have always had enough food to feed our family, shelter to keep them warm, enough to clothe them. We’ve had times when we haven’t had a nickel extra, but we have always had what we needed. God has met every need and so much more.
Forgive me Lord, when I am unappreciative of all the you have provided and all that you continue to provide each and every day. Thank you for reminding me that many are less fortunate and that I should always and in everything, remember to give you praise. Please pour out your blessings on those in need and show me ways to be of service to them.
And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:7