Mike lived next door to Yahaira and her husband. A serious car accident left him severely handicapped and dependent on others. Yahaira was happy to help Mike anytime he called. Mike came to depend on her for little things like cooking and cleaning.
One evening, Yahaira was out. Her husband, a writer and editor, was working from home on a deadline. Mike called and asked if Yahaira was home.
“Hi, Mike,” he said, shouldering the phone while sending a FAX, “Yahaira’s out this evening.”
“Oh, I see. Well, okay, then…”
There was a pause.
“Hmmm,” the distracted husband muttered, stalling for time as he read an email.
Mike cleared his throat. “Sounds like you’re pretty busy.” “Yes, I am, Mike. I’m on a deadline. Can I help you?” he asked..
“No, it’s okay.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, I’ll just wait till she gets home.”
And the call ended. He may or may not have said goodbye to Mike – Mike would have spoken up if there was a problem, right?
The next day Yahaira told her husband why Mike called: he needed someone to button his shirt. Mike can’t manipulate buttons because his fingers are so mangled.
Yahaira’s husband took a deep breath and braved the hot syrup feeling in his spine.
“If I don’t have two minutes to button up a neighbour’s shirt,” he thought, “which of us is disabled?”
There is no greater sacrifice of praise we can make to God for his many blessings to us, no greater song of thanks we can offer than to honour God in all who have been created in God’s image. Our love of God is nothing unless it includes love for neighbour; commitment to others is incomplete without recognition of God as the source of all love. It is in the love and kindness we extend to others that our humanity most resembles God; it is in even the smallest acts of charity and selflessness we make time for that we participate in the very life of God.
– Dr John Frauenfelder, CSO Broken Bay