Friday, September 7, 2012
Faith is a strange object. It is something we all believe to be a quality held by the best of humanity. Yet if I were to ask a quantifiable definition of the word it would escape the most educated of us. The reality is that no one can actually quantify this almost magical quality. It breathes, and lives, it touches and reaches, it wanes, and strengthens, waxes cold, and hot, it gives, it takes. Much in the same way that life itself is moving and unending so to is Faith. Even if one lacks it in self. There is always someone with sufficient Faith to carry us to our most honorable destinations. Amazingly enough their Faith soon breathes life into our own and our happy arrival is based less upon their superhuman Faith, and more on our own. This "seed" is planted when, and where WE plant it. There is not divine gardner determining who will be a suitable pot. We are ALL given a seed, and as the gardner expected to plant it. How we tend our preciously delicate seed is our own merit. If we so chose we may indeed place it upon the shelf and bother no more about it. We may plant it in the best potting soil known to man! We may simply fill a pot with dirt from some deserted pile and figure it MIGHT have enough nutrients to produce a fruitful plant. We may even drop it in the earth and layer it with fertilizers, hydration, and sunlight. It is our AGENCY to do with it as we please. Though I do not believe we should be startled at the results of our care if we do not tend to things properly. Even if gardening is no where NEAR a talent we have a responsibility to do our best to educate ourselves on the needs of the living thing we are now responsible for. I am NOT a gardener. I kill just about everything I touch. That I have managed to keep a pot full of bulbs alive for more than one season astounds me. I believe the saving graces is my Mother's semi-annual visits. with regular conversations with a person who is a master gardener I have managed. My flowers are not winning awards, but they live. They will get more beautiful as I practice this age old art on them. So too, we must tend to our Faith. Planting it in the best we have. Making room in the center of our hearts we place the small fragile seed, and cover it. Regularly checking in with our own Master Gardener we talk of life, and love, and all things under the sun. Learning to care for our Faith. As we converse we are giving strength to the new growth. As the growth becomes bigger it becomes stronger. It does not shoot up to 60 feet over night. But by small and simple increases it grows strong. It is tender while young and must be protected from the storms that rage around us. Once it is fully grown it will withstand the hurricanes of the negative world in which we find ourselves, and come out the other side beautiful and radiant inside us. I have needed a massage for over 5 months. My arms fall asleep while I'm laying on my back arms at my side. My hands cramp and spasm as I try to give the massage my reputation demands. I ache every day before I ever get moving. but knowing the toll this work takes on my own body I have refused to receive work until I can properly compensate. September is the month when ALL my bills are due. State licensing for my craft, vehicle registration, student loans, phone, liability insurance, car insurance, you get the picture. Adding to this a horrid mistake by a payroll company last year which has left me shoveling out to the IRS more than I would ever believe they deserve. Either way, I'm holding to my budget with unflinching commitment this month, and a massage. . . ISN'T in the budget. A client who is also a friend engaged me in conversation and I stated very plainly that I usually give them the massage I wish I could get myself. This led to the topic of when I had ACTUALLY had my last massage and not the fib I tell clients to get them to take care of themselves. which of course led to my reasoning behind having waited so long. The subject changed again and I thought nothing else of the words exchanged earlier. It is a common conversation for me to have with clients I've been seeing for 2 years or more. I finished up, and left the room so They could dress and went about my remaining duties as if nothing had changed. Typical end-of-shift duties. As I went to the front to turn in my lotion bottle, and see that I had filled out all my SOAP notes the manager on duty greeted me with a look of hesitation. Never a good sign. I asked if I wanted to know what I had done. She responded " there's something for you", and held up a tip envelope. I was confused to say the least, and when I reached for it and she held it back from me my consternation was increased. " You're not going to like this, but you can't be mad at me! it's so you can get a massage from Rick. I wasn't given a choice!" she states emphatically. I snatch the envelope and look at the front. " So Deb can get a massage from Rick" is written neatly on the front. I didn't even need to see the name of my benefactor to know who had left it. "I'm gonna killer her" I state in low tones. I turn to leave and my manager on duty just smiles. My anger is feigned and we all know it. As tears fill my eyes I can not even begin to describe the sense of relief and weight that is lifting from my body. The act was unmatched in kindness and generosity. There is NO WAY the meaning and significance of the act was known to my benefactor. There will never be words to describe the sensation given by Faith rewarded. There are moments in our lives when it may feel as though Providence has forgotten us. In these Abrahamic moments, as the Heavens seem closed to our upturned cries for relief and sustenance, a friend of a more mortal nature steps up and shows us that the miracles in our lives are given BY the divine THROUGH the mortal.