I’ve just read: ’Faced with trouble, some people grow wings; others buy crutches.’
I understand the principle. Troubles enable us to develop courage, resilience, strength; we cope with difficulties and fly above them. The alternative is to be disabled, crippled by our troubles; we can only limp along with crutches…
Christians may quote: ‘But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.’
Those words have been an inspiration to me in the past. At times my faith has sustained me through troubles. However the truth is that I haven’t always soared on eagles wings; instead of powerful flying I have been the disabled, limping man in need of crutches.
I think of my experiences yesterday…
Paul has difficult and infrequent contact with his children and grandchildren. He saw his daughter and granddaughter briefly at Christmas; he hasn’t seen his son and grandson for some time. He’s anxious both about their welfare and family relationships.
Over the last year or so Will has messed up. He knows he’s done many stupid things. The Social Services are involved and there is the possibility that his children, who live with him, could be taken away. There was the latest in a series of meetings yesterday…
Jimmy wrote about his Dad: ‘His cancer progresses very quickly now. Two days ago, the oncologist decided to stop the chemo and asked us to find a palliative care room. He thinks dad has one month to live at most… Today he could barely speak but smiled at people.’
Paul, Will and Jimmy are all Christians. They’ve each experienced the peace and power of ‘soaring on wings like eagles’. However, yesterday they felt weak. They may need the crutch-support from friends and their God to keep them standing and enable them to make slow, perhaps painful, progress.
Wings or crutches? Sometimes we need both.