August 04-B, 2022

Coming In 11/03/2006 Oil Paint Rendered — Cypress Pond, Down East North Carolina
Whatever the next thing is
that gets you down,
tell yourself 
that Helen Keller had it much worse,
and stand up and do what needs to be done.

Helen Keller--and Anne Sullivan--
are my Go To women of courage and valor. 
And they are way ahead of any men
I can think of.

Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan
had a spirit about them
that is, on one hand, utterly remarkable,
and, on another hand, an example to us
of what we all are capable of doing.

What prevents us from being like
Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan?
What makes them longer on determination
and resiliency
than we are,
and shorter on giving up and caving in?

When you find what gives you 
a perfectly good out
for not being who Helen Keller
and Anne Sullivan were,
let me know.
I haven't found one yet.

All I can come up with is
"If they did it,
why don't I do it?"

I am confident that there is nothing
preventing us from being Helen Keller,
Anne Sullivan,
the father in the parable 
of the Prodigal Son,
and the Samaritan in the parable
of the Good Samaritan,
other than our complete unwillingness to do so.

It is, as Abraham Heschel would say,
"Well within our reach,
yet it exceeds our grasp."
Meaning we just let ourselves off the hook.
Which is one of the things we do best.

(It is right up there with
telling ourselves what we want to hear,
and ignoring what can't be denied.)


Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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