God Gives you Everything You Have, Actually
Tom Drake, Johannesburg – There were five of them, a family group of parents and three siblings, all neatly dressed. Halfway through Mass the father got up and in a solicitous manner accompanied one of the boys, around eight years of age, out of the church.
I came to see that this youngster was severely handicapped — his neck jerked, his arms flailed, he walked in an uncoordinated manner. They soon returned, presumably from a visit to the toilets.
The noteworthy aspect to me was the complete acceptance by the family of this young boy — he was part of their unit. He was treated as a human being, a sibling, a son, and not any differently as far as I could tell from the other two children.
My respect, my admiration, and perhaps my desire to be as compassionate as they were — these were my emotions.
If a family unit can be accepting of the inequality amongst its members, why could larger social units not be as tolerant, as caring, as sharing, as well? Why not towns, cities, nations?
We all know that this is not the case, even remotely, in society at large. The feeling that we have earned whatever we manage to accumulate, that our talents deserve the recognition that we get, that those who do not do as well deserve to have less — by and large this is the attitude by which we live, this is the attitude we cultivate in our children. And we forget that the talents we might have are God-given, not man-made.
We may develop them to their potential, but we did not create them. And who are we to deny to others who are not as fortunate the right to sharing in the riches of this earth, which are all God-given?
I cannot say it is so, but I strongly suspect that anything the Good Lord has deprived us of, he has compensated for in a way or ways not immediately apparent to our human eyes. Perhaps the playing field is indeed level to the person with some insight.
Compassion is a gift from God, a talent which each and every one of us has been given, but it needs to be developed, to be used.
The New Testament has stories about the fate of those who fail to use what God has given them.
Trite, but, “Sharing is caring!”