Thursday, July 5, 2007

Just Beyond Your Shoulders

Just Beyond My Shoulders

I was stuck on my seat
Lending precious time to lamenting
Forgetting that I pay nothing
For the air I use to swear under my breath;
Then the Lord gave me a moment
To glimpse at HIS goodness not too far from me
For just beyond my shoulders
Were the motivations I needed:
The lady in crutches says
“I’m not ashamed of my identity”
The man limping says
“The accident left only me”
The woman in stitches says
“The anaesthesia could have been overdose”
The guy with bullets says
“Thank God for the second chance”
The mother who just lost a child says
“I’d take care of yours while you work”
The old man with tear-stained face says
“I planned to die last night had he not spoken to me”;
I was stuck on my seat
Thinking I know grief
Rather than counting my blessings
For each day I live;
And just beyond my shoulders
Were people who had experienced life
Yet praised HIM for each day
So I found myself doing same.

The Inspiration
The question Cain asked “Am I my brother’s keeper?” [Gen 4:9] is a reflection of how man can be – selfish. But thank God that we are made in HIS image and we have love in us, for HE is love. And I thank God for the people I have known that have shown me that love resides in us.

This poem came after I reflected on the love and selflessness of a great woman in my life. She had just lost an unborn child. Two days later, she had wiped away her tears and was up counselling people, attending to the needs of many and thinking of what next to do to add value to the life of her sisters. I said to her, “You are strong, you have recovered quickly.” She replied, “I still cry in secret, for I am human. But I have learnt to focus less on my grief and reach out to others. You don’t know what they are going through and most times it is worse than what we are going through. You don’t have to look too far. Beside you is someone who needs your kind words and love.” (I saw a quote in an email. It read ‘Be kinder than necessary for everyone you meet is fighting a battle’. I think the original quote is attributed to T.H. Thompson and John Watson).

I stayed with her for a while. She spent time (and money) on phone advising people who had needs. I wondered, “Don’t these people know she has her own problems?” She visited friends who had put to bed and helped them take care of their children when they needed to rest. I said, “Where on earth does one get the heart like this?” Obviously it can only come from Jesus Christ who gives us strength to do all things [Phillipians 4:13]. And what left me speechless was when a single mother (of three children) called and was complaining about work, the hardships in life, the plenty children she could not take care of (and all those things I call lamentations). My “strong” woman said, “Send me the children let me take care of them while you work. At least for a period you wont have to worry about food for them, what they will be doing while you work overtime. When you get back on your feet, I’d send them back. We don’t have to tell them there is a problem. Tell them they are going on a holiday.” UJO, God Bless you abundantly.

As children of God who have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we have the fruit of the Spirit [Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law]. Let our light shine before men that they may see our good deeds and praise our Father in heaven [Matthew 5:16].


And I tell you today, if you look just beyond your shoulders you will see reason to be thankful to God, and a person in need of your love.

God bless you.

3 comments:

Lanre O said...

Thanks Rita.

This is so lovely and full of inspiration. The other thing I admire is the fact that it is not just a display of talents but a pointer to the creator, this has been a missing link in some inspirational write-ups.

Do have a great day .

Anonymous said...

Awesome piece..we will do well to avoid complaints and focus on the blessings..God's ways never cease to amaze me..
welldone friend..keep going with the good work of faith..
Godspeed.

Esuru Rita Onyige said...

To Lanre and "Anonymous"

I give all glory to God for HE is my source of inspiration. But with touching words like yours, I can be nothing other than motivated to continue writing. Thanks and God bless. I also hope that you share with me the good works you are doing by using the talents HE has put in you.

Dear Anonymous, I'd really love to know who you are. Please could you send me a mail so I could thank you personally? Thanks.