On Friday the speech therapist came to evaluate Marc. His speech is fine, but I think she was looking for signs of a head injury so she wanted to make sure he could answer questions appropriately. The first thing she did was tell him a story about a man who got hit by a delivery truck. After he was hit, he walked to a nearby convenience store to get help. While he was in the store, a robber came in and made everyone give him their money. When she finished the story she asked my brother-in-law, "Was the man in the story lucky?" Marc answered, "Yep." It wasn't the answer the therapist expected to hear so she said, "Really? Why do you think he was lucky?" "Well, he got hit by a truck and he was able to walk away. Then he was involved in a robbery and he didn't get shot." Well, when you look at it that way, that was one lucky guy!
That is probably NOT the answer Marc would have given before all this happened (of course two weeks ago no one would have been asking him questions like that), but it's the answer he has today--because now he has a new perspective. Now he is thankful to be alive.
I remember sitting at dinner one night several years ago and crying. I had read Philippians 4:11 which said, "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances," but I was NOT content. I didn't like my circumstances. When I looked at my family sitting there, all I could see was the empty chair. I was only focused on what I didn't have, not on what I had. Today the empty chair is still there, but now I can see what else is there. I can see the people who are there rather than focusing on the one who isn't. I have had to change the way I look at things. I have had to change my perspective.
It's not easy and it doesn't just happen one time. It's a decision I make every day. Sigh. Just this morning when I opened my dresser drawer, I saw Anna's Baby laying there. I touched the tangled hair that my sweet daughter stroked thousands of times for comfort. I caressed the little pink dress that hid a broken body repaired by one of our nurses in Delaware. And I was overcome with emotion. I grieved my loss again. I was tempted to pick up that doll and crawl into bed and cry. Instead, I closed the drawer and went to fix breakfast for my other three kids. Do I still get sad? Yes. Do I have to stay there? No.
What is your perspective? Are you seeing what you have or focusing on what you don't have? Without having a near death experience, can you be like Marc and feel lucky for being alive? It's not something that comes easy or naturally, but it is something you can learn.
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13)