Saturday, November 25, 2006

And the blind will see

I spent a couple of weeks recently as a pedestrian after my Mini's clutch failed catastrophically. The weather was thankfully ideal for walking - that crisp, sunny, energizing fall weather, the sort that makes you want to jump into a pile of leaves. In the middle of just such an afternoon, I was walking down a street that winds through a neighborhood of large, elegant homes, on my way to pick up my car at long last. There, in the middle of the sidewalk, sat a pair of glasses. No one in sight, just the glasses laying there, as yet unscathed. I started to walk past, thinking there would be no way for me to find the owner, so what would I do with them if I picked them up? But I couldn't help but think that someone would need these, and perhaps I could do something to help their owner see clearly again! I bent down and scooped up the spectacles, and tucked them into my bag, still wondering just what I could do that would offer even the remotest hope of reunion. About two minutes later, a gardener driving a golf cart turned out from one of the driveways. As he paused to let me past, I asked him if the glasses were his. At his enthusiastic and surprised, "Yes!", I handed the glasses over and continued on my way.

We often despair of making a difference in the world. We long to change the world, to see miracles happen. Sometimes I wonder if we miss the miracles, and our chances to make them happen, by stepping over and around the little things left on the sidewalk. We want to do big things, to see big miracles - so we skip over the trifles. Or else we worry that any thing we can do is but a drop in the bucket, we have no faith that our efforts will change anything at all - and leave the insignificant bits behind. I'm not Christ, healing the blind man along the road, but in this one thing not overlooked on the sidewalk, I could abet a small miracle. What were the odds of my ever finding the owner of the glasses? Small to none. Yet someone sees more clearly because I was willing to take on - in faith - the negligible burden of picking up the glasses.

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