No-one wishes for hard times but everyone wishes for the riches that can come as we embrace these hard times and live with them.
I read this quote with my ‘new’ eyes. My new eyes see things from a steeper viewing angle, they are critical, narrow and inward focused. My personal hard times at the moment are adjusting to the possibility of life as a disabled person. I may be starting to adjust and live with this possibility, but embracing is still a long way off!
Not wanting to sound miserable and defeatist (although some days I am). In some ways I have embraced my situation. As a very independent individual I have been forced to ask for help on many occasions lately, something I find quite difficult to do. From simple things such as asking for something to be passed rather than moving to get it, to requesting lifts to and from when I can’t drive. This is where the spirit of community comes into its own, you could describe it as the ‘riches’. From the help at the Meeting House, getting to and from Chapel to an improvised pulpit so I could deliver the service sat down, to the staff at the shopmobility scheme always cheerful and with some innovative thoughts on mowing down pedestrians! Help is only a request away and never, as yet, refused. By embracing the hard times you find the riches, without the hard times you wouldn’t look for them. These little unobtrusive gems that lurk in dark corners waiting to be found. So often to the giver plain and simple, a small gesture, but to the receiver a real blessing that can mean the difference between enjoying the company of others and staring at four walls, a comfortable trip to the supermarket rather than a struggle at best. It's true that bad times bring out the best in people, and certainly in our Unitarian community everyone leaps to the aid of each other whatever the problem. I feel blessed to belong to such a community.
So my new eyes see far too many limitations in a situation at the moment, see too many barriers and not very far forward, but they also see the kindness that hides in every black hole, the smiling faces and cheery words. I can look through blessing tinted spectacles to see the real riches and that is something worthy of embracing.
The potential blessings in our communities are untapped resources. How much could we offer that we have yet to discover ourselves?