Getting By

   I watched tonight as 2 young brothers watched over each other in a silent yet powerful display, even though they attempted to hide it. Brandon had cut his finger with a knife and like most kids, thought with the bleeding he had cut it off. It was a fairly deep cut but at an angle to heal well without stitches. With Brandon fast asleep on the couch with a full tummy in the Living room and Josh playing video games with Megan in the other end of the house, several time Josh came to Brandon and carefully watched. Each time Josh would ask if Brandon was ok, his little eyes watching with a thousand worries in his eyes. One must be touched by the care, not concern, but care and love they expressed without actually saying it. It was genuine, real.

  You know, God gives us all gifts and talents, different talents and sometimes different ones at different times when they are needed. They may be needed by us at the time or someone else, but they are needed and perhaps the fact that they are needed is all the reason for it. Sometimes things don't go as planned and I guess that life don't seem fair, maybe it ain't, but it is what we make of it. If life was all that great who would need Heaven? If Heaven wasn't all that great, what would be the aspiration of one day going there? I'm going to pose this a bit different. Some says that God tests us, but what if God is giving us the opportunity to do good? What if the test is to see if you can give of yourself, even when others aren't, even when it seems so unfair, even when it may disrupt your plans. What if the test is to see that you are more for others than yourself, if in this world you are your last concern. If your world consists of more than just you.

   We watch and see people often failing short in their duties and who knows, by the Grace of God it isn't us failing. But what if it goes much, much deeper than that, something more, something else. It doesn't take a good person or a smart person to point out another's short comings. It doesn't take a saint to see when another person errors. That is the easiest, laziest,  most selfish thing one can do and everybody can do it. It does not make one look better and should not make one feel superior by pointing out what is wrong. What if that is your test? What if you are given the perception to see what is wrong and do something about it? Lectures well...again that is cheap and easy. Action, now that is hard. Selfless action to fill in the void, whatever and however many there may be with your actions, done out of compassion. Without judging, without reward, just doing deeds and filling in the spaces. Tossing out the pride. Tossing out the finger pointing. Tossing out the possibility of reward. Often it is called Karma, yet negative begets negative and positive begets positive. Be the change you would like to see. 

   Sometimes we fall and should we not have fallen yet, it is by the Grace of God that we haven't. It is nothing to be proud of, just honored by. When we do fall however, God not only gives us the strength to get back up but just as important, He gives someone else a gift to fill in our short comings while we do. Show us by example, all the while never pointing the finger, never feeling superior, never asking what is fair, and never seeking rewards. Redemption, maybe. 

  I have a bit of experience with this one. When your life is at end and as you know that death is there and there is nothing you or anybody can do, the bigger things you have done don't come to mind. It is the smaller things that you could have done but didn't and things you should have done but didn't. The small things that maybe you didn't notice at the time. The shallow breaths you fight for, you fight with smaller memories, those things that just didn't seem too much at the time. The things and people you took for just everyday stuff. The little, seemingly meaningless moments that you may have repeated, that's what counts. That is what you cling to. Saving 100 lives is a great thing, but just as great may be the difference you make in just one life. Using the gifts God has granted you to make up the short comings of another while the other person gets back on their feet. You may not have saved their life but rather improved it... what could be greater. Sometimes when a person falls though it effects innocent people and perhaps that is your purpose in life, to fill in the void. To protect the innocent while the fallen person gets back on their feet. It may take years but through perseverance and love, it will not matter.

   This may seem more the daunting task or the punishment, it is not. It is the chance to do a small part for someone, return part of the favor so to speak that Jesus done for you. If you change just one person, make a difference in just one person, help just one person, that should be all life has to offer and a blessing upon you. Even if you live to 100, it may have just been for one event, one person helped in what may seem either unfair or insignificant. And should this be, and you answer the call or calls, your life has not been wasted, it has been purposeful and meaningful. We tend to wait for a big thing, a big event to arise yet, we may just miss the important event and our whole reason to be. It is not the big things that matter, especially if we are who determines a big event. Seemingly we ourselves may call a small events could be seen by another as a big event. It really all boils down to how far into the forest you are.

  Equally important I think is the fact that the one fallen is chastised and those innocent pay the price due to one's inaction. What have you taught that person? What have you taught the innocent victims? That nobody really cares? That they are bad and you are good because you have not fallen? Thing is, you will make a difference one way or the other. Which one will you chose? After your choice, which will God chose? Hopefully He will be a bit more merciful should you just chose to point the finger and go about your life.

  As I watched the two, they were afraid. Seeing their home broken up, and both parents not getting along, the stability has been shaken. They have grown up in poverty and learned not to want as much, yet the things they want are for the other to have as well. They worry about the other getting full at a meal and their well being. These kids all worry not about themselves, but rather their siblings. See... I think we have it as children, especially when that is all we have, each other. Somewhere we lose it or consider it a childish thing, and it is gone. But we can make it back to there if we try, and just maybe, the world will be a better place if we do. At least our little corner of it. God gives us the fire, the world tries to extinguish it, but God knew this so we have all we need to start it back up again by asking, practising. We just have to ask and then work at it. Quit looking for what the world calls a big thing and learn to notice what big things really are. Perhaps that is why Jesus said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me."

Anthony Kimbrough