Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Take time to smell the bacon!

We take so much for granted.

People who are visually impaired admit they never appreciated the beauty around them until they lost their eyesight, and couldn’t see it any more.  It’s the same with all the senses…it’s the same with all that we enjoy.

I’m thinking of this because a former prisoner explained to me some of the things she enjoyed the most upon her release.  She was able to eat with a real spoon, knife and fork again, instead of the plastic “spork” used in the prison system.  She was so grateful to be able to hold a baby, to pet a dog, and to grab a piece of fresh fruit whenever she felt the urge.

I stood with a newly released prisoner in his first living quarters, a small apartment in a nice neighborhood.  He turned off all the lights, and savored the darkness and the silence.  For years he had not been in the dark, nor had he been in a place free of noise.

None of us can really identify with the feelings of prisoners, but I can come close on one topic:  tasting, eating and swallowing food.  In the year 2010 I was attacked by a brutal staph infection that eventually resulted in the loss of my ability to swallow.  I remember lying in a hospital bed and fantasizing about chug-a-lugging a glass of ice water.  For six months I was kept alive by nourishment that was fed into my body, liquid style, through a feeding tube.  I was most grateful for life, but how I missed tasting food and drink!

We have a lot of complaints and gripes, but I’m here to make the case that most of us have a lot to be thankful for, regardless of our current circumstances.  You’ll especially think this is true after visiting kids in the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital, old folks in a nursing home, patients in a cancer clinic, old-timers in a VA facility, and yes---residents of our county jails, and our state and federal prisons.

Today, take the time not only to smell the roses, but to smell and chew the bacon!

Then take the time to pray---for those who don’t have all the things we take for granted; and to give thanks for the simple blessings we enjoy each day.

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