Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
Bill was one of the first members of our little group. Over time we’ve all grown used to his ways, cantankerous at times but always willing to help wherever required. Indeed, he is always the first to volunteer even for those jobs no one wants! He has a heart of gold really. Many have benefited from a quiet word of reassurance, comfort, encouragement or support from him. He is well respected and well liked by us all. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen him for a while as he has been rather unwell. In fact, from the latest news we had of him we entertained doubts as to whether we would ever see him again. He has a cancer.
Imagine our surprise and delight when he walked in to Thursday’s meeting large as life and apparently full of energy! Just like the old days, it seemed. Well, not quite as large as he once was, for he had lost an awful lot of weight, and most of what little hair he had left had departed, too. In fact, his skeletal features showed him to be a shadow of his former self, but it was still Bill. “What do you want me to do?” was his first question, before anyone could ask how he was. We found him a job in which he would not need to exert himself overmuch. He did it with his usual efficiency but that was not enough for him. He crept back into the meeting and took a full part in the proceedings just as he had always done. When we sat down to eat he appeared to tuck into his meal heartily, although he passed on the syrup pudding dessert. I tried to speak to him but as usual he was holding three conversations across the table at once. When I did attract his attention he told me that he had seen the doctor on the previous day and that he was satisfied with Bill’s progress. On Friday he was to go to hospital for a scan, but he dismissed that lightly as if it were of no consequence. The good news, he said, was that he had gained one stone in weight. Maybe he was putting on an act, if so it was deserving of an Oscar, and no doubt he will have been wiped out by the time he got home; but Bill was back with us. For how long no one knows. We pray that he is on the road to a full recovery but his fate, like that of all of us is in God’s hands.
For our cousins in America Thursday was Thanksgiving Day. This Thursday our little group had much to be thankful for; a good meeting in company with friends, some not seen for a while and of course, Bill was back with us. Today remember the reasons you have to be thankful. Praise and thank God for them. As Meister Eckhart once said; “If you only make one prayer in this life let it be Thank You.”
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years