Patience, The Hardest Virtue [Video]

Patience is a virtue

Perhaps the most common word regularly associated virtue in patience. Most have heard the saying, “Patience is a virtue.”

Virtues are supposed to be good characteristics in a person. Attributes that are beneficial and to be desired.

Yet, patience is not desirable to most. Why not?

Perhaps that is because patience is misunderstood by most. Nor do most want to pay the price patience demands.

The Misunderstood Virtue

I submit that if you asked people what they believe patience is, most would say it means waiting calmly for something. Furthermore, when asked if this is a good quality, most would say yes.

However, patience is a seldom-practiced virtue, especially in the information age. The results of one survey in 2015 by a banking group show that,

nearly 80 percent of respondents rating themselves as being patient, but in reality:

  • 96 percent of Americans will knowingly consume extremely hot food or drink that burns their mouth; 63 percent do so frequently

  • More than half hang up the phone after being on hold one minute or less

  • 71 percent frequently exceed the speed limit to get to their destination faster

  • Americans will binge-watch an average of seven TV episodes in a single sitting

Thus while most believe patience is a good thing and that they exhibit it, they actually don’t show it in real life. In fact, the practice of being impatient is much more prevalent.

It has always been the case that impatient people live among us. However, the promise of instant gratification today seems to have enlarged the presence of impatience in the world.

In this manner, the meaning of patience is trivialized. We think to be patient means waiting more than 20 minutes for a meal at a restaurant, or not honking the horn after less than a 10-second delay.

The modern understanding of patience is a surface understanding. What is not understood is that patience exacts a price most are not willing to pay.

The Price of Patience

Price tags

 

 

Patience is simply the quality of being patient.  According to the dictionary, the definition of being patient is to be,

1 : bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint

2 : manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain

3 : not hasty or impetuous

4 : steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity

Notice the words used by the dictionary; ‘pains…trials…provocation…strain…opposition…difficulty, and adversity.’

The price of patience is far more than momentary irritation at being delayed. It is the price of pain, trials, and adversity.

In other words, a truly patient person will be one who endures suffering, and that is a reality all seek to avoid. It makes patience the hardest of virtues.

The Patience of Job

The quintessential story of profound patience is the account of Job from the Old Testament. Traditionally, if someone says that another “has the patience of Job,” it was considered a compliment.

Job prays to GodThe meaning behind this is that because Job stoically endured great suffering, he exhibited great patience. However, a mini-exposition of the book of Job reveals that patient waiting has a different character than we might believe.

Chapters one and two set the stage. God gives permission for Satan to test Job’s faith, and Satan proceeds to destroy all that Job has or loves.

Job literally sits on the ash-heap of his life in apparent silence for the next seven days. Then, in chapter 3, Job comes to the end of his silence by cursing the day he was born.

His ‘friends’ who had sat with him in silence then speak. For most of the rest of the story, they trash Job and claim he must’ve sinned grievously or else these bad things wouldn’t have happened.

The End of Job’s Patience

Job refuses their judgment and defends his wish for God to end his life, as well as defending himself against the charges of his companions. The bulk of Job’s defense is not to excuse himself but to cry out pleading that God explain why this is happening.

Finally, after several pleas and complaints by Job to God, and rebukes of Job by the others, God responds beginning in chapter 38. The Divine words mark the end of both Job’s patience and complaints and hold the key to how patience is indeed a virtue.

Chapter’s 38-41 feature God seemingly scolding Job for his complaints. Job’s words in chapter 42 reveal that he recognizes his ignorance in the face of his suffering.

…Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Job 42:3 [ESV]

Job suffered grievously and that caused him to question his faith in God’s judgment. After God spoke, Job repented of his complaints and humbled himself before God.

The LORD speaks after Job’s repentance and provides us with a crucial fact about patience.

After the LORD had spoken these words to Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. Job 42:7 [ESV]

What was the biggest difference between what Job’s friends said and what Job said? The three friends talked to Job, while Job addressed God.

True Patience Results From Faith

FaithWhen the statements of Job’s friends are examined, they contain basically two things. One is a condemnation of Job and the other is a defense of God’s seeming judgment upon him.

When Job speaks, he is also saying two things. He defends his character and directs his hurt and questioning to God.

In other words, Job talked to God, while the others just talked about God. That is the difference of faith.

Real patience is not simply waiting on God; it is waiting for God. It isn’t to ‘let go and let God,’ it is to let go and seek God even more in the middle of trials and suffering.

Author Philip Yancey explains it this way in his book, “Disappointment With God,”

…the more important battle, as shown in Job, takes place inside us. Will we trust God? Job teaches that at that moment when faith is hardest and least likely, then faith in most needed.

Patience is a virtue because it places faith in what the LORD is doing for His ultimate purposes, even when it involves suffering for us. It puts God on the throne of life and kicks us off of it.

That was a lesson Jesus taught while on earth all the way to His own suffering for us on the cross. He trusted and followed God the Father patiently and would not remove Himself from suffering He knew would come.

Patience is a reflection of faithfully turning to God.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6 [KJV]

A Great Example in the Midst of Loss

I preached many hundreds of sermons in my 20 years as a pastor. I have listened to many times that amount of messages in my life.

One message touched especially moved me and it is appropriate to mention it here for it exemplifies patience applied in the midst of great sorrow. The late evangelist and pastor E.V. Hill preached this as his wife’s eulogy.

I have listened to this many times and each time brings me to tears. I urge any who suffer trials today to hear this, for it is a great example of real and righteous patience.

 

May the LORD bless you and keep you faithfully patient in and through every trial now and forever. Next time we will look at the virtue of Kindness.

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001
The Holy Bible, King James Version, Public Domain

“Disappointment With God” by Philip Yancy, Zondervan, 1988

Top image courtesy of Jim Surkamp’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset image 1 courtesy of artjouer street art’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License Inset image 2 courtesy of Maltz Evan’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset image 3 courtesy of Art4TheGlryOfGod Photography by Sharon’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

First published in TIL Journal

 

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withdrawal phase in life

From time to time, I just go into my shell. I get into a phase in which I just withdraw from people. I stop messaging. I avoid calls. And I just make an excuse when people want to meet me. I don’t do that because I don’t like them anymore. I do that because I just don’t want to talk to anyone for some time. And it’s not depression or something doomsday. It’s just that I want to be left alone. And this time teaches me a lot, a hell lot. I realize that people whom I thought of as someone important were just a passing pleasant breeze in my life. And they do perfectly fine without me when I stop talking to them. There is nothing like concern or their world becomes empty without me. Barring very few people, nobody really cares. And that shakes me up, you know. That makes me realize that I was just wasting so much of my emotions and time on people who didn’t deserve that much from me. I feel a little bad, hurt, yes. But then, I feel happy that now I know who I have and who was just someone pretending to be there.

Solitude brings a lot of calmness into my chaos. I realize what things are important for me and need my attention. I shut out all those temporary distractions who were just energy suckers. Look, the problem with me is that I put so much heart into things that I end up losing almost all of me in others, while others don’t even give a part of themselves to me. And I get so happy and involved, and so soon, that I don’t even realize that people are just using me. So, this alone time acts as a detox for me. I can really visualize what wrong things were done to me by people. It’s empoewring, yes. But, it also makes me feel very lonely, at times. There are times when I feel that I have no one. I fall weak. I get negative thoughts. I spend sleepless nights, wondering why people are so bad. But, somehow, all these scars make my soul strong. I soak in so much hurt in my heart that my heart becomes more cold and practical. I feel like I don’t need them anymore to live my life and be happy.

peace of mind

I know many of you will be feeling that I go through the same things, exactly. And yes, we all go through this “to stay or to leave” phase. And, it sucks, yes. But, it makes us better, you know. You and I, we all start building a home for ourselves within us. We realize that people come and leave like guests. So, we need to find our peace and joy in our home, alone. And you know, when I come out of this phase, I delete a few people from my life. And with few people, I start to give so much less of me. And yes, sometimes, you feel so angry because people tend to blame you. They say “you have changed”. But, they don’t realize that they deserve this only. They can’t see that they were always bad to me. They always treated me as an option. And just because I was available always, without any complaints, they got used to getting the best of me even when they were at their worst. So, things do get a bit messy after this phase. But, I let go, then. I don’t think too much. I am like, go, you too, just leave. I am done with you. Goodbye..

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wise mind

I keep on losing people, you know. Because I keep on realizing that I deserve much better. I don’t get desperate for the love and respect that I really deserve. I wait for the right time and the right people. My life is precious. My time is precious. My emotions are precious. I am not going to let someone walk over them just because I was feeling lonely. No, that’s lame. And I am not a loser. I rather put all that time and emotions into going after my goals and dreams. I would rather cry at night than just waste that night, begging someone to make me feel loved. I would rather hug a pillow at night that doesn’t leave me than hold on to a person that threatens to walk away. I would rather talk to myself than talk to someone who won’t even care what I am talking about. And I would rather have no one than to have someone who is only half there. I know it was a lot of bullshit, deep stuff, you know. But, I am done with all the meaningless laughter and lame social media bullshit happy life. I want it real, man. I just want to live the rest of my life with as much truth and reality as possible. I am done with sweet snakes.

“Failure Is Not An Option”

Failure Is Not An Option cover

“With a tear in his eye and a broken voice reflecting his soul, no man should ever have to crawl out of the depths of that which he has found himself in.” ~~Dana Bicks~~

Steady at the helm, I insisted, and let God control your heading. His knuckles were white from gripping the wheel. He looked at me with tears brimming in his sad eyes, and the bitterness flowed. He told me, “Failure is not an option.”

With all the perseverance of a giant of a man, this little five foot six gentleman held on while a hurricane blew into his personal domain. An alcoholic with five children to feed, and a wife who deserted him, this gentle soul finally came face-to-face with the only one he did not plan on – God. He hides his habit in a garage full of memories where obligations wear tears on his collar. Robert knows who he is facing now.

Failure Is Not An Option Pic 2

This man, who tries to escape reality through alcohol, almost died at the hands of a driver who crossed over the yellow lines. Within a year of the horrid accident, he found himself crippled, perhaps never to walk again. Today, he stares into the face of the only man he didn’t expect to meet, God, our Father, and in of all places, his garage. It’s not what I’d call a church, but he was eyeball to eyeball. With schedules and activities for five kids still in school, my friend finds God staring at him while he pours himself, yet, one more.

God grabbed him by the collar and pushed him against the wall. He looked Robert in the eyes and asked him a straightforward question.” What means more to you? The bottle or the boys and that sweet little girl?” Tears from a broken father flowed as my friend understood now, God really existed. He is always watching our every move. There’s no hiding from Him! Even if you lie to your loved ones and yourself, God still sees the actions of the guilty.

Failure Is Not An Option Pic 3.jpg

I’ve never been in such a predicament, so it’s hard to relate to on many levels. I could only hug this dear friend and comfort him. My friends, God continually watches and listens to our spirit. He watches over the conscious mind when sickness and sin combine as one. So, I must ask then, if weakness is your virtue, then why is God not an option?

You see, so many live their life from within their mind. Reality is merely a temporary state of being. But, God will not help those not willing to reach out to Him. So, let the words, “Failure is not an option,” be your motto as you struggle to find your path to heaven. Don’t you know His greatest accomplishments can be built on our failures?

Failure Is Not An Option Pic 1

My friend lost a twenty-one-year career, wrecked two vehicles, and later discovered his marriage wasn’t as solid as he thought. We must come to grips with reality as God gives you back the helm. Will you take the wheel and hold the course God has for you? Or will you run with the wind to escape the challenges? Eventually, you must face our Father. Let failure not be an option for you too!

Godspeed Robert, we all love you!

www.danabicksauthor.com


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COMMON ≠ NATURAL


It has been three long months at a B-School while I am still trying to adjust to its hectic ways and demands. Joining a curriculum straight after a weak graduation does not seem to be a wise move but I am glad like few others I have been able to make it and I am breathing fine. While I still panic at times to decipher the meanings of the occurrences around me, I make several observations, few of which need to be learned and many to be discarded as irrelevant happenings. Being one of the youngest people at my college, what I really feel blessed about is when many people confide in me. However some confessions really strike hard leaving me in wonder.
Are we supposed to be going by the worldly ways that are common and seemingly right or abide by our morals that rarely make our conscience speak urging us to take the path that might not be clichéd?
Anyway my purpose is not to question morals regarding what is right or wrong for I feel it is all a personal choice and a matter of the upbringing but yes I wish to assert that what is common is not what is natural!
Being a part of one of the coolest gang in my college, many a times I am offered drinks and cigarettes, however since I am adamant on not trying these, I am more and often forced to go for it in the lieu of missing out something really great and worth trying! What has been strange was when two of the members of the same group approached me personally, individually regarding the issues they had been facing in regard to the addictions. I was really shocked by the fact that those were the same people regretting who were forcing me the most in the group to drink and smoke. Well, I didn’t know how to react while they confessed their regret for they were elder to me. But it was really despicable to know that they were indulging in something that they actually didn’t enjoy. Of course I could easily sense from their conversations that it was a way out to escape from the daily tensions but cannot there be another way to evade the stress levels?
Well, I had no advice for them because I actually didn’t know what would work but all I could explain to them was relatively in terms of how they were getting trapped and succumbing themselves to the slavery of these addictions. Hearing their individual rants, one thing became very clear that all of it starts with peer pressure and the worst part is that despite knowing the harmful impacts, they are unable to quit it.
Another trait of human being that comes forward is that the one who is trapped in this vicious cycle of vices, feels pleasure and relief to have others on the same way as well. Making the incorrect correct has become very common nowadays and so it is really a tough call for people with a gullible mind to follow their intuition. Maybe that is the reason of our dying conscience as the world is so fond of making common vices seem like a natural process and ironically it happens to an extent that the line between the right and the wrong vanishes slowly.
‘Doing what one believes in’ is still not a banal quote to say for most of us still act out of pressure which can be family, peer and societal that succumbs our mind and weakens our heart. Undoubtedly it depletes our aura and breaks our determination for we end up committing regretting actions which we later try to justify by falsely convincing ourselves ‘ it is okay , it happens! ’
Before this article turns out to be a boring moral lesson , I got to write this simple reminder that let us not be a victim of the unconscious moves but rather be thoughtful of the consequences before we again end up doing just another common thing!

Blessings in Disguise

As the money left my hand it instantly made me feel better about the day. A little, old Indian man was feeding fresh fish to a group of alley cats and crows, I couldn’t resist making a contribution.

Maybe the fish wasn’t so fresh and maybe some of the cats scared me a bit… but at that moment it felt like I had never been touched by anything so deeply. I even found myself saying, “May God bless you” to the man.

He was unaffected by how dirty or sickly some of them looked. They were important to him, even in all this.

I had taken a break from “trying” to cross the street in Mumbai without getting killed, and being aggressively harassed to purchase scarves while running errands.

This man’s simple act of generosity amongst all the chaos marked me. A break from the ever-present hand of cruelty. Hungry people, hungry animals, and a government and upper class that doesn’t seem to care.

The ones we’ve forgotten about. Scavenging children and animals surviving only on what is being given up, or thrown away. Stealing food from another mouth in an attempt to survive. No rules, no fear. Nothing.

What scene would render you speechless?  There’s a naked man asleep on the sidewalk. Unable to process what you just saw? From the balcony of their high rise luxury homes they can see those that lie on the sidewalk in rows and rows… and rows…

Don’t you love it when the world restores your faith in humanity just when you need it the most?

A man from Rajasthan asked me if I could write a letter for him in English.

It was to, Celia the woman he was madly in love with. He wanted to express in a language he couldn’t write,

How he didn’t want to live without her, even for one minute.”

He signed it with one thousand kisses, and toothlessly kissed my cheek in thanks. 

Memory. These lessons I struggle not to forget.

F.

Read more: Fallen Angel On the Run

Taking a Reset Day

Summer is the time for vacations. It is a time to do lots of gardening work, lawn care and camping. It is a time to spend with family. For some it is a summer is a time of relaxation and getting over the winter “blues”.

So many people think of Summer time as being happy, energized, fun and relaxing. A break from the dreary. Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD) most often settles in in the winter when days are shorter and it is harder to be outside and get the required amount of sunlight.

One of the people I follow JulieDibbleWrites has an amazing article about Summer Depression. It talks about the lesser seen side of Summer.

Since I lost my job I knew there was the risk of sliding into “blahs”. The “Blahs” I suppose are my version of The Oatmeal’s “Blerch”. It is the invasive thoughts of: I can do that later. I can do that tomorrow. There is no hurry. Darn it I didn’t realize how late it is so now I can’t make that phone call. It is also the total lack of thought. Not in a good mediative way but in a “How did I lose an hour?” way.  The “Blahs” are the precursor to Depression.

In my situation I don’t have time or the money for a week long retreat somewhere to hit the reset button. So I made a plan.  And today I am carrying out that plan.

No TV.  Light Fasting for the day. Lots of water. Lots of herbal teas. Exercise. Spa Care. Editing in the evening.

Breaking this down. No TV is pretty self explanatory. Light Fasting: I made a smoothie of frozen peaches, yogurt and milk for this morning. I will have two glasses of low sodium V8 for the rest of the day. Lots of water is also self explanatory. Herbal teas I like include the Yogi Brand of tea. Take a walk down the country road I live on. Shower, face mask, body oil or lotion, and oil pull before brushing my teeth.

A cleansing and reset of the energies of the body. For me I might…might…add classical music at some point. However, silence is a great healer so perhaps I will skip the music completely today. Other things are general outside cleaning. The kitchen, my laundry. One correlation studies have discovered in people suffering from depression is the amount of clutter (books, papers, clothes) in the person’s environment.  While clutter does not necessarily cause depression it seems to exacerbate the chronic symptoms.

My hope in doing all of this is to have a fruit rest of the week. Clear the cobwebs and refocus my energies where they need to be.

It is furthermore my hope for the readers of this post to find something or be inspired to do something to help make a positive change in their lives.  Gratitude and the sharing of self care knowledge returns dividends.

Ye of Little Faith

 

Young Boy Concentrating On His Schoolwork

A little boy sat in the corner with his nose against the wall. He never realized how disruptive he was to other students. The class frowned at him, but he still didn’t understand his misbehavior during the lesson. A bell loudly rang, and kids jumped up from their desks to run to the cafeteria. Yet, a little boy deprived of lunch sat in his confusion of tears.

The story plays reruns today, maybe not so dramatically, but the ramifications still imply the same feelings. Children classified as “learning disabled” acquires resentment early in childhood. They feel shunned, discredited from society, and labeled as another hopeless spirit lying dormant in fortitude. Frustrated parents and teachers have modest educational skills to cope with the disability. The innocence of ADD, ADHD, and dyslexia makes a child’s life incredibly difficult. I know as I, too, walk the path every single day.

Ye of Little Faith small picWe, the stigmatized and labeled children, are stuck in a corner, and the only word we can spell is can’t. We fumble through adolescence, for no college academics ever adheres with those who see things far beyond the scope of today’s lessons. God is our only instructor as He sees into the minds of many people with nil comprehension.

George Washington, Edison, Einstein, Roosevelt, and even Cher are just some learning disabled notables who made significant contributions to our society. But God giveth and God taketh away – His test is for us to gather stamina and strength to prepare our real treasures in heaven. It blesses God in both the giving and the taking away because it is for the sake of our joy though it may not seem fair. He replaces our many shortcomings with abundant blessings.

Ye of Little Faith verse

So, the next time you have an urge to yell at a problematic child, just remember – they may be our president, a great singer, or an author one day. Can’t is a word no longer in our vocabulary! God watches over the handicapped, allowing us to conquer and explore with great creativity.

Faith is all we have when the odds are stacked against us. God blesses and anoints the imagination of those less fortunate, and condemns those who seek to destroy these special children. Our Lord’s hands know no limits, and the word can’t is just permission to prove ye of little faith wrong!

God bless the less fortunate!

Ye of Little Faith middle verse


ORDER YOUR BEAUTIFUL CHRISTIAN BOOK OF HOPE TODAY!

 

Between 55 and death.

Between 55 and death.
It’s time to use the money you saved up. Use it and enjoy it. Don’t just keep it for those who may have no notion of the sacrifices you made to get it. Remember there is nothing more dangerous than a son or daughter-in-law with big ideas for your hard-earned capital.

Warning: This is also a bad time for investments, even if it seems wonderful or fool-proof. They only bring problems and worries. This is a time for you to enjoy some peace and quiet.

4908612-life

Stop worrying about the financial situation of your children and grandchildren, and don’t feel bad spending your money on yourself. You’ve taken care of them for many years, and you’ve taught them what you could. You gave them an education, food, shelter and support. The responsibility is now theirs to earn their own money.

Keep a healthy life, without great physical effort. Do moderate exercise (like walking every day), eat well and get your sleep. It’s easy to become sick, and it gets harder to remain healthy. That is why you need to keep yourself in good shape and be aware of your medical and physical needs. Keep in touch with your doctor, do tests even when you’re feeling well. Stay informed.

Always buy the best, most beautiful items for your significant other. The key goal is to enjoy your money with your partner. One day one of you will miss the other, and the money will not provide any comfort then, enjoy it together.

Don’t stress over the little things. You’ve already overcome so much in your life. You have good memories and bad ones, but the important thing is the present. Don’t let the past drag you down and don’t let the future frighten you. Feel good in the now. Small issues will soon be forgotten.

Regardless of age, always keep love alive. Love your partner, love life, love your family, love your neighbor and remember: “A man is not old as long as he has intelligence and affection.”

Be proud, both inside and out. Don’t stop going to your hair salon or barber, do your nails, go to the dermatologist and the dentist, keep your perfumes and creams well stocked. When you are well-maintained on the outside, it seeps in, making you feel proud and strong, from the inside.

Don’t lose sight of fashion trends for your age, but keep your own sense of style. There’s nothing worse than an older person trying to wear the current fashion among youngsters. You’ve developed your own sense of what looks good on you – keep it and be proud of it. It’s part of who you are.

ALWAYS stay up-to-date. Read newspapers, watch the news. Go online and read what people are saying. Make sure you have an active email account and try to use some of those social networks. You’ll be surprised what old friends have to say when you will meet.

Respect the younger generation and their opinions. They may not have the same ideals as you, but they are the future, and will take the world in their direction. Give advice, not criticism, and try to remind them that yesterday’s wisdom still applies today.

Never use the phrase: “In my time.” Your time is now. As long as you’re alive, you are part of this time.

Some people embrace their golden years, while others become bitter and surly. Life is too short to waste your days on the latter. Spend your time with positive, cheerful people, it’ll rub off on you and your days will seem that much better. Spending your time with bitter people will make you feel older and harder to be around.

Do not surrender to the temptation of living with your children or grandchildren (if you have a financial choice, that is). Sure, being surrounded by family sounds great, but we all need our privacy. They need theirs and you need yours. Even then, do so only if you feel you really need the help or do not want to live by yourself

Don’t abandon your hobbies. If you don’t have any, make new ones. You can travel, hike, cook, read, dance. You can adopt a cat or a dog, grow a kitchen garden, play cards, checkers, chess, dominoes, golf.

Try to go. Get out of the house, meet people you haven’t seen in a while, experience something new (or something old). The important thing is to leave the house from time to time. Go to museums, go walk through a park. Get out there.

Speak in courteous tones and try not to complain or criticize too much unless you really need to. Try to accept situations as they are.

Pain and discomfort go hand in hand with getting older. Try not to dwell on them but accept them as a part of the life.

If you’ve been offended by someone – forgive them. If you’ve offended someone – apologize. Don’t drag around resentment with you. It only serves to make you sad and bitter. It doesn’t matter who was right. Someone once said: “Holding a grudge is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Don’t take that poison. Forgive, forget and move on with your life.

Laugh a lot…. Laugh away your worries Remember, you are one of the lucky ones. You managed to have a life, a long one. …Many never get to this age, never get to experience a full life… So Enjoy Life !!

Life-Story

That Day A Father Was Born

Nobody becomes a parent by bringing a child into the world but it’s the child that makes a person a parent. A story about a man becoming a father of a baby who was not his own child. Please click the link to read the whole story.

Money for Food

She hobbles her way up and down the hill every night, one wobbly step at a time.  Always to the same spot at the same corner, she’s had the most luck while she was standing right there.

It’s the busiest intersection in the neighbourhood, more cars always amounts to better chances and every bit of extra change counts.  The bus shelter is an added bonus, a much needed refuge on the bitter cold nights. Fearlessly weaving her way through the cluster of stopped cars, she knows exactly how long the red light lasts and how quickly she needs to do her job.

There have been quite a few close calls where she almost got hit, even those scary moments haven’t been enough to make her afraid. In a city this size if you spend that much time standing in the middle of the street, you’re bound to get hit at some point. Or at least, come really close.

While trying to forget some of the other days, this day provides her with a much needed gift, one or two relaxed sighs of relief. It’s warm out which means at least for tonight, she has a few less things to worry about. Her chapped hands will start to heal and the wind chill won’t bring those little tears that start to form in the corners of her eyes. Since she can’t walk so well anymore that black ice can be a hidden danger she doesn’t need. Not tonight. Tonight she’ll walk taller with a bit more spring in her step, breathing easier.

The warm weather often brings better moods, smiling faces and more generosity.  Fingers crossed, this usually works in her favour. One too many angry or annoyed looks can stay with her for days. Reduced productivity ruins her chances of possibly being able to take a night off, maybe.

Each vehicle a stage for its own silent performance, rapid cut out hints of relationships and day to day life piled one on top of each other.  Still, quiet faces turned in opposite directions, eternally searching and endlessly caught in a long pause with absolutely nothing to say.

She holds her sign here and there hoping for it to be noticed. She raises it up as high as she can when you pass, wanting you to take just one moment to give it a read. That little square of cardboard has almost started to feel like a part of her but she does not miss it when it isn’t there.

It took her forever to decide what to write on it. Money for Food.  A simple enough request, just stop and read the sign. Water, food, shelter and pleading. Please, I have nothing, give something, give a little every bit counts. I need, haven’t made much today.

Stare into her eyes.  It isn’t as easy as you might think, handing it all over. Her actions are a reflection of hopelessness, empty mountains of woulda, coulda, shoulda been. Life is so much simpler now. Water, food, shelter. With help, help you, help me, help her.

Stop what you’re doing and please take a moment just to read her beat up cardboard sign.

F.

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