I met her in the nursing home last week while visiting with family. She rolled herself into the room where we were sitting and talking. She was quiet. When she spoke, I could barely hear her. And when I did, nothing she said made sense. She didn't stay long...she was on a mission. She wanted out. From her wheelchair, she made her way over to the door, setting off the alarm more than once.
She wanted outside. A staff member finally came over and raised the blinds so that she could see out. And while her only view was a parking lot filled with cars, it seemed to make her happy. If only for a moment.
They pushed his wheelchair out onto the patio of the rehabilitation facility. Cancer took up residence in his body two years ago and he is tired. It is a beautiful day. He closes his eyes to enjoy the fresh air while his son and daughter in law are engaged in a conversation. "Can you hear them?" he whispers. "Can we hear what, daddy?" replied the son. "The birds."
I was sitting across the table from him. I never heard the birds.
If I could share one thing with you today, it would be this: Open your eyes to everything and everyone that is around you and do not take your gifts for granted. This has been the recurring theme of my spirit lately. Maybe because I have experienced so much loss this year. Or maybe because I am watching my loved ones care for their loved one who has very little time left here on this Earth. Or could it be that, while watching the sweet lady fail in her attempt to taste the outdoors, I knew I was on my way to the beach that afternoon.
God is really trying to show me that, while I spend a lot of my time boxed inside the small, stuffy room of worry, life is steady passing me by. There is so much around me to enjoy. Both people and places. And I consistently take it all for granted.
Life is beautiful. LIFE IS SHORT.
The precious souls mentioned above do not know one another. I am sure that their life stories are very different. However, they do have one thing in common. While I am driving (slowly) down the highway of healing, their directions for me would be the exact same.
Stop and listen to the birds.