What if I can't...


"Have you had a stroke?" She had no way of knowing. We'd been out of touch for decades, but her question took me by surprise. Do I really look that bad? I wondered.

In public I'm simply embarrassed.  

I shuffle and hobble, stiff-legged and off balance. In a restaurant, I dread getting up from the table. I'm certain everyone is watching. I'm not that old. I bet they think I'm drunk. 

I survey the shortest path to where we sit in church but it takes me through a door where I imagine that all eyes are on me.  I try to walk faster, but it only accentuates my broken gait. 

At Gavin's party, the other grandmothers wear skates and play with the baby, and the little ones laugh. I sit at the table. I'm grateful it's not far from the restrooms, but the distance between where I sit and where almost everyone else is laughing and playing looks as challenging to me as a marathon. 

I can't skate. I can't play. But I can take pictures. I grab my camera and make my way across the room that gets larger in my eyes with each step. 

~ ~ ~

At brunch with a friend, she tells me that Pollywog Creek is a gift - the photos and family stories. She is sure it is a blessing to many.  And I want to cry. 

"What if I can't take pictures?" I ask. I can barely walk around the backyard, much less venture out to the creek or pasture. It's a monumental task to sit on the ground.

"What if I can't do the one thing I do that people love?"  I bite my lip, but I know my chin is quivering. Crying in a restaurant would only add to my embarrassment. 

My friend is compassionate. I see her tears. But she is also wise - and she reminds me of this: it is God that empowers me to do whatever He wants me to do. 

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God?
Or am I trying to please man?
If I were still trying to please man,
 I would not be a servant of Christ.
(Galatians 1:10 ESV)

{Photo}the goldfinches are coming back to Pollywog Creek - can the painting buntings be here soon?