Sunday, November 20, 2011


A few weeks ago, I saw an elderly couple coming out of their apartment.  She was walking with two canes and slowly worked her way down the 3 or 4 steps out of the apartment (no ramp).  Then she went over to take one of her husband's two canes from him.  He had one full leg and one that was cut off a little above the knee.  He worked his way down the steps with one cane while holding on to the rail.  This was after what I already knew had taken place.  They both had to walk down a half-flight of stairs inside the apartment building, because no apartment buildings here (that I have seen) have an elevator on the ground level.  Wherever they were going, it was going to take them a long time to get there.  I have to give them credit, because I would be tempted to stay home if it was that difficult for me to get out.

Watching them reminded me of several things that I (and maybe you) have taken for granted.

I am thankful that I can walk without any assistance.  I do not need help getting out of bed or out of a chair.  I can easily walk where I need to go.  I can climb up and down stairs (though down is much easier).  I can walk fast or slow (I prefer fast, and Denise often reminds me that we are not in a race).  In fact, getting around is something that I seldom give much thought to.  In the past, I have experienced problems with my hip when walking was very painful or times when I have sprained my foot that slowed me down, but I could still get around on my own.  I do not need to be dependent on anyone or anything.  I do not need a cane, walker, crutches, or wheelchair.  In fact, I have never needed any of those things.  Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with health and the ability walk.

I am thankful that my wife and daughters can walk without assistance.  They do not need help or suport to get around.  They can climb up and down stairs.  They can walk.  When Denise had her lower back issues several years ago, it was painful to do everything.  Those times remind us how grateful we are for health.  Thank you, Lord, for blessing my family with the ability to walk.

I am thankful for American handicapped accessibility standards.  Living overseas and watching other people (like this older couple I saw), helps you realize how much easier it is to live in America.  Most apartment buildings in America have either no stairs or a ramp to get to the entrance.  When they have an elevator, it is on the ground floor.  A person in a wheelchair could roll in to the elevator completely unassisted.  That will not happen most places in this part of the world.  Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of rules that make it easier to get around for everyone.

I am thankful that we had two minivans when we lived in America.  We could easily get in a car and drive where ever we needed to go.  If the weather was bad, we could walk into the attached garage, open the door with a button, drive out, and close the garage door with a button.  All that without being in the elements.  Most people around us in Ukraine do not have cars and have to walk or ride public transportation.  In fact, we have been without a vehicle for this term in Ukraine - and have survived!  That means walking to the bus stop in all kinds of weather or daylight.  For some people, it is difficult to climb the steps into the marshrutka or bus.  Whatever you buy when you are out, you need to carry home with you or hire a taxi to drive you home.  Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of owning a vehicle.

These are just a few of my many blessings, which are too numerous to count.  Lord, thank you for blessing me in so many ways!

How about you?  Maybe you cannot be thankful for all these things, but you have many other things to be thankful for, just like me!

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