The picture made me a little angry, then a tad sick; finally I got around to deeply saddened. The picture shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did. After all, I know human nature, I have a smidge of wisdom given to be by my Father. There they sat in the photo, making themselves as comfortable as possible in the chairs against the back wall of the office as they waited for their turn.
There were three or four people working on the other side of the glass serving the three or four people on the lobby side who were actually physically standing in line. The rest of the folks waiting were plopped into the chairs with their shoes, sandals, flip flops or tennis shoes, keeping their place in line for them – a line of empty shoes…
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, I think sometimes more. The office was the welfare kind and the people who had their shoes mark their place in line were the recipients waiting their turn. I know there are legitimate reasons for people needing help, but I noted none of the people in the picture were handicapped, just too tired or lazy to stand and wait to be waited on. I mean, why would you when you can have your shoes do the job for you?
Later on that seventy-five-degree day as I was pulling off my street onto the main street I spotted her. With no one behind me I pulled short of the intersection to observe her from a distance. She was walking her dog – a big Rottweiler, no easy task for the lady who’d obviously been bound to her wheelchair for a long time.
The wheelchair-bound lady was pushing her big wheels in hard and furious downward motions to propel her about every five to ten seconds apart before resting to coast while the overgrown Rotty trotted beside her. I couldn’t hear her, but I could see her pointing forward and the big headed dog studied her with ears perked.
A few second later she did it again. This time the muscle-bound dog started to take over – he lunged forward with strong strides and before too many of them the lady in the wheelchair was sailing as she white knuckle gripped the heavy leash.
As I pulled out into traffic I glanced over to see the lady and Fido having a beautiful day, her thin hair laughing in the breeze… I thought about the people I’d seen earlier that day in the picture of them sitting inside the welfare office. I mumbled to myself inaudibly, “I’ll bet if that lady in the wheelchair had to be in that line, she’d rather do it standing.”
I thank God literally I don’t have to stand or sit in the welfare line… but aren’t we all a little like the people in the picture? Don’t we all take more for granted than we should? Aren’t all of us a little lazy now and then?
It could be that maybe those of us who were treated a little harder and given less, are really the blessed ones? Brings a whole new perspective to the adage, “less is more.” I think most often the harder road provides more gratification. I think the Lady and Fido have that figured out.