The world is mine…

My dad was a minister–and he had an incredible cache of sermon illustrations that he used. I have some of them, but some of them he never wrote down–or just put a word or two in his sermon notes.

One that I remember him using quite a bit was this poem. I don’t know who wrote it…I don’t know if he did. I do know that he frequently introduced it by talking about the lady who gave it to him–and who he thought wrote it. Towards the end of his life, I asked him to write down her story, because he indicated that this poem–coming from this woman whose life apparently was incredibly difficult–really touched him. He never did, so I don’t know what her experiences were that touched him so much.

But I got to thinking of this poem this morning when I visited my 90-year-old mother, who is in rehab in her nursing home for a broken hip. I am able to walk quickly and easily down the hall–while I pass people struggling with getting their walkers to move…working the wheels of their wheelchairs…slumped in the wheelchairs, waiting for the aide to move them…sometimes walking on their own–but slowly….

I have some medical issues of my own–but I have been blessed, and I do not currently have to deal with most of its side effects. This poem, coming to mind, reminded me that I forget way too often to say “Thank you, God. Forgive me when I whine, for I am blessed and the world is mine.”

Today upon a bus, I saw
A lovely maid with golden hair;
I envied her — she seemed so gay —
And oh, I wished I were so fair.
And suddenly she rose to leave,
I saw her hobble down the aisle;
She had one foot and wore a crutch,
But as she passed, a smile.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine;
I have two feet — the world is mine.

And when I stopped to buy some sweets,
The lad who served me had such charm.
He seemed to radiate good cheer,
His manner was so kind and warm.
I said, “It’s nice to deal with you,
Such courtesy I seldom find.”
He turned and said, “Oh, thank you, sir!”
And then I saw that he was blind.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two eyes — the world is mine.

Then when walking down the street,
I saw a child with eyes of blue.
He stood and watched the others play;
It seemed he knew not what to do.
I stopped a moment, then I said;
“Why don’t you join the others, dear?”
He looked ahead without a word,
And then I knew, he could not hear.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine;
I have two ears — the world is mine!

With feet to take me where I’d go,
With eyes to see the sunset’s glow,
With ears to hear what I would know;
I’m blessed indeed, the world is mine.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.

Author Unknown

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