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Thursday, 2 August 2012

Commitment - and (more!) privilege.

We arrived at a campsite in Mirepoix, yesterday evening.  As I towed our caravan forward of the pitch that we had been allocated, the young man standing on the adjacent pitch (behind a low hedge) mouthed "Bonjour".  I was about to respond in kind, when I noticed the British registration of his modest 'converted van'.  At the same time, he noticed that I was on the right-hand-side of my car.  We both laughed, and said "Hello".  He was a charming young man.

Nothing unusual, or significant, in all of that.  However, I later walked past his van, and saw a young woman changing the clothes of a wee girl of about three years of age.  The mother was 'sitting' on the grass - but in what I found to be an unusual position!   Then, as I returned, she was drinking a cup of tea - and there was a motorised wheelchair beside the van.  I commented that she must be English - "Everything is sorted with a cup of tea".  Later, I was to regret those seemingly innocuous words.

It was the young mother who had the physical disability that required her to use the wheelchair.  She also had a motorised tricycle in order to accompany her husband when he went cycling (with the little one safely strapped to a seat behind him).   But a more cheery young woman one would be hard-pressed to find.  There was no obvious hint of the "life's been tough on me" syndrome; no expression of having been "hard-done-by"; no suggestion that she should be given any particular sympathy.  Just a lovely smile, backed up by a cheerful disposition - in spite of a condition that wouldn't be "... sorted with a cup of tea"!

The young husband worked, tirelessly, to look after his wife and child.  We saw him hang out the washing; he seemed to be attending to the cooking.  Indeed, in many ways, he was playing a dual-role in the family.  His obvious commitment to those who depended on him was beautiful to behold.

Regular visitors to this blog will not be surprised to learn that I found myself measuring this young man's level of commitment to his family against the commitment I sometimes display towards the Lord.  I came a sorry second!  I also found myself - not for the first time in recent days - realising what a privileged person I am.

Perhaps more of us need to think along the same lines!

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