"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Tempered With Grace

I walked quietly to the picture window to open the drapes.  As is my usual, I was up before anyone else; I always enjoy this peaceful time before anyone else awakens.

The room was still dark and the floor creaked in a specific spot as I crossed the living room with my cup of coffee in hand.  That creak in the floor immediately brought back memories of my youth: early Christmas mornings - again when no one else was up, - I would sneak upstairs from my basement bedroom so I could plug in the lights of the tree and look at all the Christmas presents, “Santa” may have brought. For a split second, at this gentle, break of day, that memory came alive again as I stood there alone in this room. The alive, though fleeting memory warmed me. It made me glad to be here.

On this particular morning, however, I wasn’t seeking Christmas presents; I wanted to see what the new, spring day would bring.  Each morning that I have been at my folks' place, a little robin has been sitting on the bumper of my dad’s pickup. I wanted to see if she was there today, too. I’ll have to remind myself to check to see if she is building a nest there. I hope not!

As I opened the drapes, I must have caught the attention of 5 or 6 deer standing there in the yard. They began to move quietly across the street, not in any fear, only knowing it was time to move on.
I watched them as they traveled together across the road, and into the neighbor’s yard. One came up behind them, following at a bit of distance. I watched her move more slowly.  She was limping.  I looked more carefully; I wanted to see what was causing her limp.  I cringed as I saw it.  She didn’t have a right, front hoof.  It was dark at the base of her leg, so apparently the wound had healed, though obviously leaving her lame.
Darn, I thought, I wish I hadn’t seen that!  Now worried for her, I watched to see if the others would wait for her. They had jumped the neighbor’s fence and were moving on.  Doggone it, anyway!  Will she be able to jump that fence, too?  Will she think to go around?  I stood and watched, knowing there was nothing I could do.  She paused and then jumped; she glided easily over the fence.  It seemed her landing was ok, too.  I sighed in relief. Still I would have preferred not to have even known about that little deer with no foot.

I couldn’t help but think of my mom.  Had she seen this morning sight, she would have eagerly told me all about it. She would be excited about seeing the deer and would be telling me all that the little doe was able to do despite her injury.

I couldn’t help but reflect on our differences.  Mom always the optimist, always positive, always seeing the good in things. I tend to be more like my dad. I worry; I see potential problems and want to alleviate them before they arise. Because of that, I’m often viewed as negative. Whatever, I guess; I’m ok with labels if that is what needs to be.
In reality, though, I see a place for both. Obviously, cringing at the site of a wounded animal reveals compassion, not that the more optimistic view does not, mind you. Of course it does! And worry can really sometimes more accurately be called circumspection, if it leads to corrective action. So there can be a place for that, as well.
Of course it is much easier to be around someone like my mom, who sees the good in everything, who exudes joy, even in sorrow. She really is one of the strongest people I know.

Besides all of that, if my mom had seen me cringe at the sight of the wounded deer this morning, she wouldn’t have judged me, or criticized me for saying “I wish I hadn’t seen that!” She would have had compassion for me; and she would have tried to make me feel better. Or, she would have simply and patiently listened to my lament. That’s what my mama does.
Definitely, it’s proper to temper negativity in the presence of others. But perhaps ones criticism could also be tempered with grace…exactly like my mom does.

Ok, so I am simply reflecting while I ramble. That’s what I do.  I must remember to see if the robin built her nest where she shouldn’t have…so I can worry.  Then, I will see if I can get her to move it, before it is too late.

There really is room for both types of people, when tempered with grace.

Tempered with Grace

As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.   ~ Proverbs 25:20

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? ~ Matthew 6:26
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. ~ Ephesians 5:15


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